It has been an amazing Autumn. The colours have been beautiful and so far there have been no frosts, so all the dahlias in the par terre are still flowering and when you get to the end of the lawn it is an unexpected sight that greets you. The two Sorbus Joseph Rock are a tawny red with orange berries, and now all our three new magnolias are safely at the bottom of the paddock on the left, making a lit tle grove. Polly was right after all, she usually is, as they were getting frosted where they were, and the soil in the paddock is exceptionally good. It has been a lot of work taking the ash tree out. What a difference it makes, the whole garden looks completely different, and the light is flooding in, with the malus hupehensis making more of a statement. They are laden with red berries at the moment, and we have made one or two alterations in the Klimt border. I am sure that everything is going to grow better both there and in the Burgundy border without that huge ash overshadowing everything. The ivy on the left hand side of the steps seems to have died back for no apparent reason, and I think we are going to have to dig out both sides and start again. Polly had a very stimulating Italian group when I was in Corfu, which she found quite exhiliarating. They loved our garden apparently.
In two weeks time I have Graham Gough and his wife Lucy coming to stay the weekend. They have not been to stay for seven years, which is far too long, and I am longing to show them all the changes we have made in the garden. A large proportion of our plants come from Graham, and have over the years.
Pettifers has come out in a book called The Private Gardens of England edited by Tania Compton, and I wrote the text for our section. The one thing that made Polly and I jump up and down with excitement was Andrew Lawson’s photographs, which we had not seen before. He somehow seems to capture the feel of the garden effortlessly.
The front garden looks very pretty at the moment, with an aster called pink buttons that I bought at a plant fair outside Paris. It is almost my best aster. ..All my nerines are flowering, and as we are at the end of October that is a bonus. We have cyclamen popping up all over the place, and the ferns are coming into their own. All of our hard work to make the garden a more interesting place in Winter is beginning to pay off.