On Saturday James and I went to Asthall Manor, which is near Burford and the original home of the Mitford family. It is a beautiful house with a church in the grounds, and set in fields. Every two years there is a large sculpture exhibition there for a month in June and July. Rather to my astonishment James bought a sculpture by Joshua Locksmith called Stellation, which is made of Ancaster hard white limestone, and was on a wooden base. It was 54 x 54 x 54 cm. I think we are going to have it in Corfu. The garden was created by the Bannermans, and is lovely.
The star in the garden at the moment is Persicaria Dschawachiswilii which comes from Georgia and originated from Graham Goughs nursery, Marchants Hardy Plants. We have only just discovered the name of this amazing plant which is at the back of the Autumn Border, and we placed a piece of it in the Klimt Border. The second two stars are Aconitum Stainless Steel, which is a very soft slate blue, and we are going to try cutting it flat after flowering. This is in the Klint bed and we have put some of it in the Autumn Border with Helenium Sahins early flowerer in front of it, which is only just opening. Delphinium Alice Artindale is living up to every expectation, and is one of the most beautiful blues I have ever seen. I still find delphiniums difficult, and Rosemary Brock is refusing to grow or flower further down the Klimt border. I have never seen so many bees in the garden, certain plants are smothered in them. I think the wisteria is hating the cold summer with so much rain. James cut a large dead branch out of it at the weekend. I would like it if he did more in the garden, but there are only certain things that he likes to do! The Dutch people we had yesterday seemed very upset that we are now going out of the EU, they are not the only ones. The long grass at the bottom of the garden is going to be cut next week, when it will all look very different. I suppose with all this rain it will green up quickly. I have to remind myself that this is not the only year that the dahlias have been decimated.
The new Cotinus Old Fashioned is showing a lot of promise at the front of the Burgundy border. It is definitely a blue colour. A man came from Holland yesterday who noticed the difference in the steps, no Ivy, and the Ash tree, or lack of it, making the garden look a lot wider. The last two large gardens I have been to, Rockliffe, and Asthall Manor, have had no grasses at all. I would not be without them, I think they really enhance the garden.