18 th October, early Autumn

Polly is back from holiday. While she has been away I have decimated what Bob Brown called ‘The Sainsbury car park’ in an article for Gardening Which. At the foot of my Betula jacquemonti. Were two large bushes of golden euonymus, a very large spiky evergreen berberis, and a couple of Lonicera pileata. I can see this was not a very inspiring group. It is difficult here as we not only have the roots of the betula but also a huge yew tree further down. All these plants cluttered up the white luminescent trunk of the betula, which is particularly good from the kitchen window aspect.
We have had plenty of rain these first two weeks of October, which the asters did not enjoy at all, but was sorely needed. Down the bottom half of the garden it is a blaze of colour, particularly the autumn border, and the dahlias in the par terre. The combination of the berries of Sorbus ‘Joseph Rock’, Sorbus vilmorinii and Crateagus laciniata make an amazing spectacle.
Polly and I went to a very good lecture by Tim Richardson, on his book, The New English Garden, which was held at Whichford Pottery. Three quarters of the way through the lecture, three large pictures of Pettifers flashed up on the screen, and everyone turned to look at us which was quite funny as we were at the back. Though we were very pleased as Tim only talked about 12 of the 25 gardens that were in the book.
Yesterday, was one of my most enjoyable days this year. A trip to
Marchants Hardy Plants, and three and a half hours spent with Graham and Lucy Gough. I was lucky as it was the second last day before the nursery closed. Graham was taking 25 per cent off his plants, but there were not many people there and I had his undivided attention. I learn a lot when I walk round Graham’s garden with him. It was looking beautiful and the sun came out enough to highlight the various grasses and textures of the different plants.
I am longing to get back to Pettifers to show Polly all my purchases. Quite a lot are destined for the aforementioned ‘car park area’.

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