The tulips are over, and we are planning which tulips we are going to grow next year. Mariette is going to be transferred to the Main Border, and we have ordered 100 Blue Parrot. They have nearly petered out, but when you start looking there really is nothing to beat them. We are going to return to Abu Hassan, and are trying a new one called Uncle Tom. Mariette is going to go again in the par terre, and we will have to do some research as to who her companion will be.
The main drama of this week was the arrival of the sheep in our paddock. We had two incredibly windy nights and days, which the garden stood up to pretty well. We then discovered that Magnolia Aurora, freshly moved to the paddock had lost almost all of its few leaves. Polly kept saying the wind had taken them, but she was covering up for the sheep who had broken into the paddock and done quite a lot of damage, greedy things! James and Polly between them have mended the gate.
Polly and I went to a very good nursery quite near here, called Avondale Nursery which has rare and unusual perennials. I was particularly pleased with something called Serratula bulgarica. It has glossy, architectural foliage, and when established, sends up long, upright stems with white thistle-flowers, loved by bees, july to october, and must go in sun. We are going to put it at the back of the autumn border. We spotted it last year, but it was not yet for sale. This nursery has the national collection of Sanguisorbas.
The stars of the garden at the moment are Cornus alternifolia argentea, and Cornus controversa. Though I openly say that I do not like shrubs, I would not be without these two aristocrats of the shrub world. Both these plants are structural and look good all the year round.
We have just had an exciting invitation to go to Reddish in September, which is Cecil Beaton’s old garden, and I am longing to see how it has progressed. I did my first lecture two weeks ago, and feel that I would do it better next time.