The days are getting much longer, and things are really starting to grow. Today is St David’s Day, and they are playing ‘Men of Harlech on the radio, which is very rousing. My dogs are sitting outside the kitchen door looking muddy and bedraggled. The favourite pursuit of Tensing is chasing grey squirrels, and he never tires of it. What they did to amuse themselves before there were two of them I cannot think. The first photograph I have put on the blog is Tulipa clusiana Cynthia. I have been growing this for ages and it increases by running under the ground. One group is 30 tulips and the other group 6. I really ought to plant some more as they give a lot of pleasure because they are so early with their bright little splash of colour. My dogs are just sitting outside, and I know what they want. It is for Polly to give them their daily walk, as it was raining this morning. The sun has come out, but you still need several layers. Yesterday was exciting as we elongated and double dug the end of the Autumn border. It was more difficult than it sounds as there were a lot of bluebells in it, and snowdrops buried very deep. The soil was good loam, but sticky and clung to your boots, so eventually you could hardly walk and had to knock it off. We then planted some asters and Sorgastrum Nutans, and moved Kniphopfia Rooperi that had refused to flower where it was, as it got covered with Miscanthus Yakushima Dwarf. The general shape of the border looks much better as it kind of envelops you in it, particularly if you sit in either of the two big wooden chairs.
We have just spent ages on line looking at dahlias, trying to decide what to grow this year. At the end we looked at Sarah Raven’s top ten to see if we had the same taste, and we coincided with about four. One of the most difficult things is if the colour reproduction is good, because if it is not you are lost. What it does not tell you is whether it thrives in bad weather, as most dahlias look terrible wet. I have decided that every year we should have a change, as it is more exciting, and the rooted cuttings are only £2.50. Anyway it is fun thinking out colour schemes. I have put my first bunch of daffodils in a vase, and it is a cream with a huge golden yolk centre. Alan Waterhouse (Molecatcher) has caught 6 moles, and comes all the way from Kidderminster. The paddock is fully recovered, he is a genius!