When I returned from Corfu about ten days ago I found a transformed garden. Down the bottom was a lot of sky and the light flooded in everywhere. The ash tree was fifty years old before it met its demise. My greenhouse now stands on its own with nothing overshadowing it. Next year it will be very interesting to see how the Burgundy and the Klimt border manage without that enormous tree sucking up all the moisture . The garden is still perfectly framed with the large lime trees down the bottom and then the rolling landscape to their right.
Looking at the garden now I wonder why we do not have more visitors in the autumn. It has to be the best time of year for my garden, with the autumn border not yet totally out, and michaelmas daisies and grasses in most of the borders. The light is soft and the colours are intense, with the stars being the tender gladioli that Polly gave me for my birthday a year ago. These have to be lifted now and replanted next spring. We have enlarged the autumn border so that it sweeps on round the corner, and planted it with plants bought from Marchants Hardy Plants a week ago. I am always telling people to go there, and I hope they take my advice. It was looking beautiful and having lunch with Graham and Lucy is always delightful. Because it is not too hot everything lasts a lot longer in the autumn. I still make the mistake of telling Polly to plant something where it looks good rather than where it is going to thrive. We have to move the Cotinus Old Fashioned as it is never going to manage under the yew trees. We are lucky it is not dead. Tomorrow we are going to a lunch party at Reddish (Cecil Beaton’s old garden) and I am longing to see Sophy’s hot border. Graham told me not to bother dividing veronicastrums, (I had already done it and it was a disaster)! We have had a lot of rain lately and the lawn has come back and looks very good.
All the astrantias and geraniums are flowering again, having been cut flat after flowering, and my sorbuses are covered in berries. Betula Ermanii is about to drop its golden leaves, and Euonymus Planipes is scarlet with scarlet seeds. My dahlias look very pretty, though I am not going to repeat the small flowering ones. My favourite is Jescot Julie, as I love those colours and it changes colours on the back. What a blaze of colour and how uplifting it is. We are coming out in a book soon called Private Gardens of England, by Tanya Compton, but it is very expensive at £75. I am lucky and get one free!