Sometimes I think that I don’t like the garden now as much as early on. The roses have had their first flush, and Rhapsody in Blue is riddled with black spot which is annoying. It is almost too big a job to pick off the leaves which are infected. Having had rain every day it has now been dry and hot for at least ten days. What I love later on is the soft light that comes with Autumn, in fact the garden looks totally different. I have been cutting back things in the par terre and there it is absolutely beautiful. The colour combinations and the shapes of the Phillyreas are especially pleasing. The square which has Clematis Alionushka and Eryngium ‘Big Blue’ is the best one. I enjoy being down there as it is a garden within a garden, and I have been pulling up the peachy alstroemeria. If you bend down and tug getting the root, it will flower again. It does last for ages in water. Clematis are amongst the most interesting things in the garden now. Minuet is flowering for the first time, and is very delicate and pretty. Princess Kate, recommended by Eric, has taken off in its second year, and I like it a lot. I have two of them behind the cold frame. Eric, who works at Chanticleer in the States, quite often points me in the direction of good plants. I must make the effort to go to Chanticleer, as I know I would love it. It has been written up by Robin Lane Fox amongst others.
My two favourite plants in the garden at the moment are Cortaderia Richardii, and Digitalis Ferruginea. I feel excited just looking at the tall spires of Digitalis Ferruginea, they are so graceful and about 5ft 6ins. This is a short lived perennial and will self seed. It looks its best when there are about five of them together. I have put a couple of photographs of them on the blog that goes with this. Cortaderia Richardii flowers for about six months and gives height to a border. Where I have planted them they lighten up the space near my two yew trees. The dahlias have suddenly stopped being a failure, and are showing more promise, thank goodness.