The house seems very quiet now as my two grandsons, Arthur and George have flown back to England with Dominic and Hetty. The stars of the holiday were a huge blow up dolphin which everyone tipped off, and George driving the boat standing in front of James. Both of them mastered the rudiments of swimming before they left. It was the greatest fun having them all and I adored it.
I thought the garden looked pretty rough when we arrived, but it was the middle of August and to my eyes there were several dead plants in pots which did not help. Now there has been a quick wave of a magic wand, replacing the old Osteospermum in a trough near the pool house with prostrate Rosemary, I can’t think why it took me so long. After flowering they look pretty dreadful, and the soil level was much too low anyway. I cannot have my friend Victoria Wakefield’s critical eye resting on them! The pink Tulbaghias are still being a great success, flowering indefinitely. I have two Durantas in the courtyard , pretty with little purple flowers. Podranea Ricasoliana seems trouble free with a very nice glossy green leaf and is still flowering with soft pink flowers. I can hear a click click click going on outside which is James pruning two olive trees. Everywhere in Kassiopi you see the dead trunks of Palm trees which would look better taken down. I suppose it is a matter of time until the two I planted at Oneiro succumb, I do hope not. Our little grove of Cypressses in front of the Italian house have shot away and are well over 6ft and looking very healthy, with only three dead . It is nice to plant something that succeeds with very little effort. The Oleanders are being pruned too hard, I must talk to GIannis about them. Everywhere else the Oleanders are twice the size and flowering very well. We comment on this every year, and never do anything about it. The Arbutus Unedo looks very healthy growing wild in the hedgerows here, and this is the first yellow Banksian Rose we have planted which seems to be doing okay. The Lantana is going to be dug out, not only does the plant have a bad form but no flowers. It is in the shade which is why it is behaving like this. I don’t like it anyway, but James loves it. I hope he will just forget about it!