When I came down from London yesterday I could not believe how many new things had been done. The main lawn had had its first mow with stripes from left to right, making it look as if you tipped over into the landscape, and it was a very fresh green. I have been buying a lot of miniature Tete a Tete daffodils, and, though an expensive way to do it, have been placing them against patches of snowdrops in the grass under the tree honeysuckle, Lonicera Maacki . If you do this now at least they come up in the right place next year. The poor battered tree honeysuckle is already sending out tiny red buds, and it seems to have a lot of admirers even in its present state, Sue Dickinson and my husband James, who let out a low moan when he saw it! Polly has turfed around it and I am longing to see how everything does without having the large ash taking up all the moisture.
On Tuesday we are going to see Harriet Baring, see blog a year or so ago called’Helping Harriet’. Polly and I both got a text from her showing a new border dug with Harriet’s thumb bottom right of picture! No wonder we enjoy helping her, she is funny, and I am sure her long suffering husband, Justin, has dug that border. She has wonderful soil, and everything grows so well for her, quite unsettling! On Tuesday it was raining hard all day, and Polly and I both made separate lists for her new border. Needless to say we overlapped on plants quite a lot, but we both felt excited about what we were going to suggest for her. 3 Rosa Mutabilis; with Aster laevis around it, which is a graceful species, also Sedum Matrona (she has it, and it needs dividing), Euphorbia Jacquemontii, Calamagrostis Avalanche, and Calamagrostis acutiflora Overdam, at least 3 of each, we cant tell until we are looking at the border, and 3 Sanguisorba Stipulata. I think it is the best sanguisorba, as it stands upright and flowers mid summer with a very good leaf, and looks great against the grasses because.it is the right height with deep maroon buds. If there is room, Miscanthus Cabaret, which has a very fresh green and white stripe, maybe one at each end. They are pretty large. At the end of the border on the left Cornus alternifolia argentea which would pick up the colours very well and give structure. All those grasses are amongst my favourites and combine very well with perennials. When we are standing there looking at it we will be able to see if any of these ideas are any good. I am keen to do another one or two green beech dividers, as in the first border.
At the bottom of the steps have been placed two stone balls , one either side, which was my Christmas present from James. I am thrilled with them, and they were fixed on this week. The steps look completely different now, better I hope.