We set off at 2.30 am to catch the plane in order to spend two weeks in Corfu at Prosilio. We drove through groves of purple Judas trees underplanted with especially deep blue honesty, and when we arrived our two cats greeted us like long lost friends.
There was no one on the road from the airport, and I could feel myself getting excited as to what it was all going to look like. The cypress trees never disappoint me as they grow three to four foot a year. First of all I thought all my newly planted Cydonias and Judas trees were dead as they were not in leaf. That was a bitter disappointment as I had planted ten of them. Three days before we left they all came into blossom and I just hope that they thrive. I find that I just have to really stick to what does well and hope for the best. There are two ancient olive trees near the house with small curved walls round them. After ten years I accept that I can grow nothing under them, and I instructed Yiannis to put white stones from the beach round them. We hand weeded and levelled the soil, with the help of James and my friend Anna Buxton. Anna is from Edinburgh, and has a very good town garden there. She is adept at cloud pruning. We had a delightful time looking at all the wild flowers, and we found a large clutch of orchids in woodland near the sea. Going up behind the house, even though it had been strimmed, were masses of ornithogalums. Everything was fresh and green. When you looked at the sea you could not believe how blue it was, with the snow capped mountains of Albania in the distance. It was a total paradise.
My pomegranate trees looked especially beautiful coming into leaf, a sort of pinky red haze, and my lemon trees are thriving. They need pruning, but James’s long handled cutter has given up the ghost. This is so annoying as we use it all the time. The olive trees need a great deal of maintenance as they grow at least three feet a year and need cleaning out at the base. You are allowed to have bonfires in Corfu until half way through May. My younger son Thomas had discovered three ancient monasteries hidden in brambles on the north of the island, before and above Acharavi, and a beautiful waterfall. They made for fascinating expeditions. Thomas and Anya came up with a large wicker basket filled to the brim with grapefruits which had been picked at Oneiro.