Back at Pettifers after ten days in Paris, and feeling that I have seen an abundance of yew pyramids, both at Les Invalides and Versailles. Of all the shapes available to me, it is one of the last that I would choose, but perhaps my garden is not really large enough. I discovered that Louis XIV loved scented flowers, and grew about a million that were in pots, having them redistributed around the gardens of Versailles. I think I would have fallen for Versailles a lot more if I had seen it in the middle of summer, with its fountains playing, and scent wafting in the air.
I think I forget sometimes how delightful it is to have scented plants, and last year I discovered a white nemesia that smelled strongly of vanilla, and I think I will grow it in larger quantities this year. The golden Valerian phu aurea, it’s flower is lovely, but more in the evening. I feel sorry for James who has no sense of smell at all. I must admit I grow roses that do not really have any scent, and I am including them because of all their other qualities.
All of my hellebores are flowering, and increasing well. Polly said that she did not really like them when she first came to me. She is changing her tune now. I do not really see how your could dislike a hellebore, what else flowers so long, and all you have to do is cut the leaves off in the late autumn. When you include them in your mixed herbaceous borders you are not really aware of them in the summer. We are going to make a few changes in the Autumn Border and the Klimt. I felt inspired by seeing a picture of Monets white water lilies glowing in a.blue pool. We can achieve this with Aconitum arendsi carmichaeli as a background, with leucanthemella serotina dotted slightly. I always think you have to be careful with white as your eyes goes to it. There is an exhibition coming to the Royal Academy soon as to how gardens have influenced artists over time. This should be well worth going to.