Beginning of August

James and I went for twenty four hours to visit our friends who live at Reddish, which is Cecil Beaton’s old house. What a fascinating place and reeking of atmosphere, with a lot of ancient sculpted yews and box. Not one ugly thing to look at – I suppose they know how lucky they are. A beautiful border ran alongside a Hansel and Gretel type thatched house, with a lot of origanum, verbena bonariensis, white cosmos, white gaura and various grey leaved plants. The air was buzzing with bees and butterflies.
They had the garden open the other day for charity, and had about 700 people. It was hot and we sat outside all the time. The paths were original Cecil Beaton paths, and were very pretty being a mish mash of different stone and designs. Across the road were two white geese and I thanked my lucky stars that I had not taken Tensing and Pertemba as they would have found it good sport to chase them. I wonder who would have come off worse. I reflected on how lucky we were to spend time at Reddish and to watch the garden develop, and that we had taken a step back in time.
Now we are well into August, one of the mainstays of the garden is japanese anemones which seem to glow, and flower for a very long time. The garden looks fresher and prettier due to some quite heavy downpours. One of the best asters I have ever seen is Aster Marina Wolkonsky, found at Marchants Hardy Plants, Graham Gough. It is a soft haze of green with deep purple and a yellow centre. I dont tire of looking at it. 3 plants have bushed out hugely, I think it is my new favourite aster. The miscanthus are all flowering, and the best is Miscanthus Kaskade. Its flowers are very white, and it starts to flower in what looks to me a very original way! It is not too tall. The par terre is looking at its best, Dahlia Akita has taken all this time to flower, but it is worth it. Dahlia Admiral Rawlings has persistently taken all the prizes, and Robin Lane Fox has given it a good write up this weekend in the FT. It is 7 ft tall and one of the very first.
After 2 years the end is in sight of a persistent pneumatic drill and ten to fifteen cars parked out side our house. Polly is quite funny, she says after 4 years of photinia red robin in my garden, one has been planted outside her bedroom window in the new housing development right next to us. Such is life.

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