27th October, 2014. The end of Autumn.

What we call the ‘Old rose border’, in the small border in front of the low stone wall near the kitchen, is all being changed. The ten Portland roses have all been taken out. I dont like roses near the house, they are too unattractive to look at in Winter. We are in the process of digging out all the Stachys lanata ‘Superba’. What a struggle, and it seems to take half the garden with it, I have hardly seen such dense roots. On top of it all the wheelbarrow is almost too heavy to push with all the stachys in it. Talk about a thug. In this bed, which is not very wide, we are going to plant seven Calamagrostis acutiflora ‘Overdam’, with next to it Astrantia ‘Roma’ which has a very long flowering period. The calamagrostis has very pretty pink and white tinged leaves early on, and the Astrantia ‘Roma’ picks up the colour. We are going to leave Geranium ‘Anne Thomson’ which is magenta, and Valerian phu Aurea, which is one of my favourite plants. It glows golden in early Spring, and then its flower has a lovely scent in the evening, though the golden colour fades later on.
Neil and Polly are at the bottom of the main lawn, Neil up a ladder, held by Polly, against the Irish Yew, trimming off the top six inches. It all looks quite precarious, but needs doing.
I am looking forward to replanting the ‘old rose border’ as it had become rather a mess, though there are some very nice things in it: Paeonia ‘Arietina’, and Paeonia lactiflora ‘Bowl of Beauty’, which Polly does not like, goodness knows why. Perhaps she thinks it is gaudy. We are going to put some cream in this border, with Filipendula vulgaris Plena, and divide it as it has a very good leaf, and I think would look good edging the stone path. There are also quite a few named snowdrops in this bed which we might have to think again with.

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