For some time the front border has proved difficult, partly because it is small and has to look good all the time. Finally I am pleased with it, because the beech hedge has recovered from last year’s ‘scorch’ as Sybil put it, and Polly has clipped it an undulating shape that we both approve of. The Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’ is flowering which is unusual, and flowering well. The gift from Sue Dickinson of Buddleja Agathosma has had to be removed because of the water coming into the study. This has been a blessing in disguise because although a very beautiful silver felt leaf it was very untidy. Funny, as one continues to garden, that one appreciates things that are tidy. I used to get furious when James said at the end of a week that it was all very neat. Doing a block planting of Rosa Mutabilis has proved a great success as they are still flowering away now. My Eremurus ‘Obelisk’ are doing well but where they are covered by Clematis Armandii ‘Apple Blossom’ they refuse to flower. We have planted a Magnolia Stellata ‘Royal Star’ outside the study, and the Ptelea trifoliate ‘Aurea’ has easily doubled in size having done nothing for three years. It keeps its lime green colour throughout the summer. When I start to get cross with a plant it suddenly seems to jump to.
The Old Rose Border. The change here in the border in front of the two lead urns is one of the most exciting things we have done for a while. After being moved 3 or 4 times we have the final resting place for Astrantia Roma. Giving it the companion of Calamagrostis acutiflora ‘Overdam’ I cannot think why I did not think of it before. We have got quite a lot of snowdrops in this bed, and the Greatorex doubles go deep down doubling up and up in a rather fascinating way. We have also planted 100 Black Parrot Tulips from Bloms, and these should look stunning against the Valerian Phu Aurea which is a bright lime green at that time of year. The best thing we have done is to remove the roses.
Burgundy Border. The main problem here is the huge ash tree which has increased in size hugely since we have been here. It sucks all the moisture from the ground of this particular border, which is only small. Certain things can cope with it. Skimmia Kew Green is looking happy, and so are Agapanthus Windsor Grey, with its seedheads still very decorative. Allium Globemaster is a major feature, and the second Miscanthus sinensis ‘Cabaret’ has taken off.
My fourth border is so embarrassing that I am not going to talk about it at all. I just hope that we will have time to do something about it before next year.