Saturday, 30 April 2011

Our April Garden 2011

Garden update...

As with most of the UK the weather here has been glorious for much of April. Such a contrast to last year. Almost all the photos in my April garden roundup were taken today as it has just been such a beautiful day.

We even had the paddling pool in action.

In front of the plastic flowers in front of the shed the Autumn fruiting raspberries are looking healthy. They were planted last year so this will be the first year they fruit properly, all being well.

The peas are in. Fortunately hubby deals with all the veggies as I am not as committed a gardener as I used to be - things were easier till children appeared on the scene!

Grrr, there are loads of these pesky dandelion clocks on the bank beside our garden.

I did get round to planting up several pots with pansies and violas recently which was definitely worth the small amount of effort and expense involved.

If anyone knows the name of this plant I'd be grateful if they'd let me know what it is. It was in the garden before we came to live here.

Pretty clematis flowers.

The pinky purple lilac is now flowering.

The hosta is coming on. I have quite a few hostas, about fifteen I'd say. Last year the slugs discovered them though, so I'll need to make sue I deal with them this year (eeeuugh!)

Bleeding heart.

Promising pink hawthorn. None of the wild hawthorns are in flower here yet.

Aah, this plant was here before us too and I don't know what it called either. Any ideas?

Crab apple blossom.

Look at all those lovely flowers, we should have a healthy crop of apples this year for crab apple jelly making.


A little dunnock in the foreground being very brave. I think it was collecting food for its chicks as it's beak was full of beasties.


This pair of new little leaves on the white beam tree looks like a pale green butterfly.

Solomons seal on the front path, I planted it only last year.

Rowan leaves.

A last tulip.

In between photographing the garden and supervising the paddling pool I was able to do my first al fresco hooking of the year. Just one motif for the new blanket.

Oh well, May tomorrow, just where is the time going? Enjoy the rest of the bank holiday weekend. I love May!

Monday, 25 April 2011

Saturday and Sunday Bike Rides.


I begin my bike ride by stopping off at a holidaying friend's house to feed her cat.

Meet Lilo, enjoying her breakfast.

Then I set off. We're having a break in the sunny warm weather, so all is a little damp and gloomy again I'm afraid.

The cows say hello.

Farmhouse perched on top of neatly rolled field, trees reflected in the river.

The view across the strath as I climb higher, I like how lots of little white farmhouses dot the hills.

At the top, quite a bit bleaker up here.

Lone tree.

The first of three reservoirs for today - Barcraigs.

I like the field dotted with sheep.

Bracraigs in the distance, hummocky field in the foreground.

Old empty cottage, empty road.

Windswept beech trees.

Reservoir number two - Cuffhill.

Reservoir number three (in the distance) - Kirkleegreen.

Blaeberry flowers line the road.

Fence & view.

Lovely trees. Just to the left is the most rundown farm, so ramshackle it's picturesque (and hard to believe it's inhabited!). I'd love to take photographs of it but I feel it's rather rude and I'm not brave enough to ask permission.

Funny sheep.

Another farm. I like the red door, red tractor and red barn. I feel OK to photograph this one as I'm just taking pictures of the farm outbuildings and not the farmhouse itself. It also sits further away from the road so I don't feel I'm being so intrusive.

Home via the cycle path. I notice a snail. After seeing this one I realise there are hundreds of them on the path and I veer around trying to avoid squashing them, fortunately it's still early so there aren't many other people about to wonder what I'm up to.

Having been on the cycle path quite a lot recently I take a little detour through the woods (almost, but not quite, bluebell time) returning past the 500 year old collegiate church for a pleasant change.

Now to Sunday...

As the weather forecast was good we had planned a family bike ride to the Isle of Cumbrae. The morning dawned bright and sunny. I recklessly wore no socks. By the time we'd arrived at Largs to catch the ferry the sky was dark with leaden clouds and it wasn't exactly warm (I so wished I'd worn my socks!). But it wasn't raining either so we carried on.

From the ferry looking back towards Largs.

Looking towards Cumbrae. It's a very small island and not very spectacular in itself but it is in a fantastic position and has lovey views of Arran from its western side (which I hope aren't obscured by cloud today). There aren't many cars on the island so it attracts quite a few cyclists who enjoy the quiet roads.

Against the backdrop of the mountains of Arran, hubby & A head towards a gorsey corner, the coconut scent from the gorse was quite delicious.

Look closely and you can see a big scary face painted on the rocks (click on the picture to make it bigger for a better view)

A & N play on the pink beach after we stop for a picnic lunch at Millport (I really, really wish I had my socks on by this point!)

Sandy details.

Then we head up the hill behind Millport.

Just to prove I made it to the top with the trailer. Quite a steep climb, I had to stop and admire the view while getting my breath back.

Heading back down the hill. The tiny yellow speck on the road in the distance is hubby & A, well ahead of us.

Here comes the ferry to take us home.

Today (Monday) was hot and sunny again, we picked the wrong days for our outings I think!


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