For some time Polly and I have found the steps down to the par terre unsatisfactory. Finally we have ‘bit the bullet’, and all the ivy, about 20 years worth, that has been covering either side of the steps has been dug out by Polly . Not only do the steps appear a lot more spacious, like three people could go down at a time, but Polly calls the brickwork that is exposed, ‘very Queen Anne’. That is one of the fun things that you can do in a garden, rather like changing a stage set. We both keep going back and looking at it and congratulating ourselves! When you dig ivy out you practically ought to wear a face mask, as a lot of dust and bits and pieces fly out and get in your eyes. Suddenly a lot of ladybirds arrived. We are discussing what we can plant along the outside edges, just to soften the brick. We have quite a few snowdrops, and think we will pay a trip to Fibrex Nursery who specialise in ferns, amongst other things. I have not forgotten the year that swarms of tiny flies were hovering over the ivy. In fact they were an embarrassment when we had visitors round, as we were desperately trying to pretend that they were not there. We are going to see if we can find some turf on line, as it is so mild that it would take almost straightaway.
I put the photographs of Mostyn Hall on the blog, as it is my family home. James is a trustee and we are lucky enough to be able to go there about 4 times a year. A very large garden is looked after by just two gardeners, Kevin and Phil, who work so hard and do a very good job there. One year I said to Phil, I thought quite gently, that you should not put manure heaped up round the stems of roses, and he should change it. He looked me in the eyes, and said quite quietly “No”. It was quite funny, as I am not used to that!