Polly has started clipping the box hedge in the par terre which is a big job. The weather forecast is for it to get hotter next week so she would like to try and fit it in soon. We both have not forgotten the time she cut the beech hedge out the front, and the next day the temperatures soared to 90 degrees and immediately the hedge looked dreadful. Sibylle who came to lunch soon after took one look at it and murmured under her breath ‘Scorch’ and it took a year to recover. It seems to me as a gardener you need to keep a constant eye on the weather forecast. Today I cut down all the Euphorbia Fern Cottage which looked very unattractive with mildew, but luckily there is enough going on in that border to take the eye, particularly the two large pampas grass, Cortaderia Richardii. We had a couple to the garden today who had a shock when they saw Cortaderia Pumila as they thought it was small, and it is enormous and they had ordered three! The dahlias in pots which are in front of what we call the soldiers are all flowering now, and look very pretty. The best is one called ‘Lemon Meringue’ which is creamy white with delicate yellow markings. I have never grown it before.
A new agapanthus called Indigo Dreams is the darkest one I have ever seen and is flowering with a centaurea whose flowers have now turned into silver discs, which are beautiful and unusual. The dahlias which are flowering in my pots in the par terre are probably my favourite, and are called Jescot Julie. It is the markings on them which make them so attractive, different on the back to the front. I have started doing something which the photographer Andrew Lawson told me to do, and takes ages. You rub between your fingers the Honesty seed pods, and they end up looking like translucent Ivory. When the sunlight hits them it lightens up a bed, and lasts for a few months. I will try and do some more before we go to Corfu. At the moment the garden is rather in between with a lot of cutting back, but when I get back from Corfu we are into autumnal light, and the Autumn border is in full swing.