April 12th, 2014

This is a lovely year for me, my younger son Thomas has got married to a very beautiful Russian girl called Anya, and they are expecting a baby boy at the end of May. On Tuesday James and I are going to Corfu, and we are going to miss almost all the tulips which is a shame. I have just walked round the garden and I think my favourite is tulip whitalli. It is pale yellow lemon on the outside and soft orange on the inside. We seem to have quite a lot of them, and they are really exquisite.
Tim Richardson has given us a paragraph in ‘how to spend it’ in the Saturday Financial Times. Though the photograph was taken ages ago, he has got right all the planting that is there now. I was pretty pleased by what he wrote, as was Polly.
After three months we have finally moved back into the study which is a completely different colour, print room yellow, and looks like another room. As it happens, at the front of the house, the planting is hugely improved. The five rosa mutabilis have been suited by the relatively mild winter, and have grown a lot. They have very pretty red foliage, and as they have all been moved around they have settled down very well. They are a shade tender, but are in a very sheltered place there. They are underplanted with Erysimum ‘Parrishes’ and ‘Apricot Twist’. They don’t last for ever , Erysimums, and you have to take cuttings. They flower for a long time, partly because they are flowering when it is not too hot.
All the hellebores are still going strong, as they flower for about three months. The Bergenias look pretty, as there has been no frost to spoil them. The best leaf in the garden is shown by the various Paeonies that we grow. ‘Early Scout’ is in the lead. Paeonia Veitchii is only just coming up from below the ground, and I am excited by a new apricot Paeonie that I have bought from Bob Brown, at Cotswold Garden Flowers. In the borders there is a lot of leaf coming from Tulips, Alliums, and Camassias. I know that Polly thinks that there are far too many Camassias in the Burgundy border. There are certainly a lot of Allium Globemaster, as one Allium quickly turned into about thirty. They look magnificent when flowering but there is a definite space when they finish. We put silver leafed Astelias in their spaces.
At the bottom of the paddock we have a lot of Camassias up and in bud, with Pheasant Eye Narcissi in front of them, seven hundred to be precise. The idea was that everything should flower at the same time, during the flowering period of Malus Transitoria. Typical of gardening, we shall be in Corfu, and I shall miss it all, unless everything surprises me on Monday.

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