Tulips in the par terre 17 April, 1920

Today is April 17, my fathers birthday, he would have been 100. I miss him a lot, he was very eccentric and different. We were going to get a visa to go to Russia, and he said we would never darken his doors again. He never had a passport, and said the war was enough for him, It is cold and windy today, quite gloomy compared to what we have been having. We have made a major change out the front of the garden. For years we have grown a Clematis armandii and it ended up thick and woody, not attractive, That has gone now, and five rosa mutabilis which all seemed to lie on the ground. Time had not improved this planting! We also eradicated Scilla Peruviana, as it had not flowered in 15 years, all these were adjacent.Most of my tulips are flowering, and some of the colour schemes are good, The Klimt border is always good, with Sanne running all the way down it, which has repeated very well. The par terre has triumph tulips, which have repeated for four years, They are very strong. I have several species tulips which run under the ground to increase. I will try and take some photos of them all. They come up year after year. As I am here all the time I will start dividing them. Now we have the summer to look forward to, and the autumn border and my dahlias. Polly thinks I have ordered too many dahlias, and this weekend she wants me to check where they are all going. Needless to say I have found a new one with Avon bulbs that has taken my fancy.


28th July, 2020, the best I have ever seen it

Is it the clear skies, the weather, or the attention to detail? We have done a new stone door out of the drawing room, It is nearly finished, and will be done at the end of this week. This week we are having a few visitors, including the head gardener of Bressingham gardens. We had two hardy plants members who knew everything needless to say, I like the Hardy Planters! The best is the par terre, the colours and the dahlias, a few new ones. I am going to change it for next year and plant some more agapanthus round the edge, I seem to have discovered some very special ones this year, Alan Street from Avon Bulbs, the darkest blue you have ever seen and not too big. Indigo Chimes is amazing, Similar. The Iris Rhapsody in Blue is getting the push. It is too scrappy and short flowering, Arabella Lennox Boyd came to see us a couple of weeks ago, it was like a visit from the Queen, James was made to weed, very unusual. I think I picked up quite a few tips! I am half way through my hip healing, I find my clothes situation tricky, and very soon I am going to have to go to my London hairdresser! An attempt at trimming it myself has been an unmitigated failure!

2 June, 2020, A Spring that goes on and on

Being in the middle of a lock down is not so bad when you have cloudless skies and endless sun. Because of the lack of airplanes and cars everything is pencil sharp, in fact you have never seen such beauty. I wonder how different everything will be when this changes.. We are all becoming used to watering, and brown lawns. I prefer watering with full cans than sprinkling, The roses started flowering a lot earlier than usual, but they all look very healthy, and the colours are lovely. We have a new rose called Keith Vaughan which is very pretty, exceptional in fact, and is going to go up the back of the house, This flowers twice, which is what almost all of my roses do. This is not a David Austin for a change.

We have gone through the Allium period, Purple Sensation, Mount Everest, Globemaster, and at the moment are engaged in pulling them out as I always feel they look funereal when they are going over. There is a later Allium called Firmanent, which flowers in June and is darker, A rather pretty little one is called Unifolium, soft pink and more delicate. Thomas and Nicholas are going to come and see us next week for the day, with Georgia, Thomas’s girlfriend. I am so looking forward to it. I miss the family a lot, and hope we will see Dominic and Hetty soon, with their burgeoning family. Their latest addition is Phoebe, aged one, already a temptress.

All the beds are filling up quite fast, and some of the colour schemes are pleasing. The Cayeux Irises are very tempting and a couple more are arriving in June, and I have to make up my mind whether to indulge n any more. The new planting in the front garden I am pleased with, It is James’ responsibility, and Malus Everest is springing out in every direction, The planting is similar to the far end, which gives a sense of continuity. We went to have a swim with my friend Philip Astley Jones, not too cold but perfect. It reminds me of our trip to Jaipur a few years ago because there is an Indian pavilion hung with Indian fabrics and with Indian marble furniture,