Heatwave for bank holiday weekend, 27th May, 2017

Looking out of the kitchen window in the shade our thermometer reads 80 degrees which is hot for England at this time of year.     I have been bending over a lot cutting the flowers off my Hellebores,  as I don’t really want them to seed.    We have very good Hellebores, starting off with Elizabeth Strangman’s and moving on to Ashwood Nursery which is within reach of my garden.      We already have quite a few seedlings, and while I am bending over I spot an Iris called Iris Graminea, which flowers right at the base of the plant and smells sweet.     This is a species Iris that I planted years ago as an edging to a path wending its way through the border.       Yesterday James and I went to a party at the Museum of Garden History in Lambeth, which is a really attractive venue.     We have given them a tile for their garden room, which was a clever idea of how to raise money for the museum.      Then we listened to a lot of people making speeches about their tiles, some were better than others, Stephen Lacey spoke very well which was to be expected.     I can see myself going there if there are any tempting lectures.      The members of the Museum of Garden History came here last week, but it was a huge downpour, and I felt so sorry for them all.

We have got Gardeners World coming here in about six weeks, with Adam Frost who has been on television a lot during the Chelsea Flower Show.        This is an excitement as we have never been on television before.       Valerian phu aurea is in full flower, and smells lovely as you brush past it.       Polly is busy planting  Dahlias, I hope they will not be decimated by slugs as they were last year.      The Camassias  are all going over, and the creamy white ones are about to flower, they are called Camassia leichtlinii semi-plena.   I think they are almost my favourite.      The other one I love is the pale blue called Electra, which has flowers twice as large as other Camassias.       The other pale blue flower is something called Amsonia Hubrichtii, whose leaves turn a beautiful golden colour in the Autumn.

Burgundy border photograph

This is one of the prettiest borders at the moment, if small.   Every year we struggle with it to make it better, and at the moment we are feeling pleased with it.     There is less changing of plants, Valerian Pyrenacium  dominating at the moment.    You see this plant a lot at Chelsea, which for the first time in years I am not going to this year but going to Chatsworth instead.    Valerian Pyrenacium has a soft green leaf, quite tall, and a very soft pink fuzzy flower at the top.    It seeds mildly which is handy, I love plants that do this as it makes the whole thing look more natural.   Last year we took out Miscanthus sinensis Cabaret as it has just got too huge and wide, and have substituted it with Miscanthus Morning Light, which is more graceful with a much thinner leaf.   We have repeated with three of these running round the border.       At the moment it is full of Camassias and Allium Globemaster, one of the best, and even dies well.     Last week it poured with rain almost every day, but this evening is a lovely evening, and tomorrow we have 54 Australians coming.     We have just come back from Mostyn, where finally they are mending the ancient greenhouse which is very exciting, and they opened for the garden scheme for the first time and got 1,500 people, so morale was very high!     Dominic and Hetty were staying, with their two sons Arthur and George, and they all went to the beach at Prestatyn and brought back shells and jelly fish in a little coffee cup.      They loved Tensing and Temba.

I have got my first cousin coming from America this week which I am looking forward to, in fact a lot of Americans next weekend.     I love Americans as they are so enthusiastic.