It has been raining hard all the time, and several of our Dahlias have been completely grazed off. Last night Polly and I agreed that she would dig them up and repot them, and put them in the safe haven of the greenhouse. There they would stay until it stopped raining and got a bit warmer. We have never had to do this before. What is annoying the slug pellets don’t work, and night and day you don’t actually see the slugs. I suppose the box hedge in the par terre is not totally ideal! Our new geraniums from Fibrex Nursery are a great success, though they are not enjoying the weather either. When we went there it was like going into a sweet shop, as we have never been at that time of year before.
Some of our best combinations are, dare I say it, by chance. Glycyrrhiza Yunnanensis (worth looking up) and don’t ask me how you pronounce it, with aster turbinellus in front of it , both wit h red stems and good leaf. We have been working hard to change some of the leaf contrasts, and Polly has cut the chimneys in the par terre. I though it was going to take all day, and in fact it took three hours, and what an improvement. She does it beautifully, and goodness knows how we ended up with that shape. My great friend, Karen Abel Smith, took me to Rockliffe Garden, yesterday, once again in an Irish drizzle, and it was very interesting to see it having heard about it from Karen. I bought five, little orange and red plants, looking like scraps of velvet. These are annuals and are going to look good next to James’s marigolds in the par terre. I fell in love with Dahlia Merckii, but it seems it is is too late to get hold of it. It has a beautiful leaf and small delicate flower, and I will remember it for another year. One thing about being a gardener you have to keep a sharp eye on the weather forecast. My friend Harriet Baring came over, and has apparently had two casualties in her garden. Cornus alternifolia argentea, which cost her, dare I say it, £60, and Cytisus Battandieri. Whereas ours has shot away in Pollys courtyard, and is the only thing that I grow better than Harriet.
With all my moans, I have never seen the garden looking so lush and beautiful.