15th March, 2017

Fritillaria Imperialis red are difficult.     They have been in for seven years and have only increased to two in each of the three plantings, even though they have all the right conditions, very good soil, sun, drainage, etc.      Still they are worth growing.    I strongly suspect there are deer or munkjack in the paddock, they have been nibbling my beautiful Magnolia Aurora.     There are very odd bits taken out of it, like a little nibble.     I hope it gets tall soon to be out of reach of the predators.       Yesterday afternoon Polly hired a scarifier, and goodness me what a lot of work, I have never seen her do it before.    Up and down, up and down, and then raking into about five heaps which still need picking up.       It is worth it though because the lawn is full of moss and thatch.     I care more about my plants than I do the lawn, as we employ Green Thumb which has certainly improved the lawn out of all recognition.       In two seconds they do what would take us hours.     Today is a very foggy and beautiful morning, and every time I walk round the garden bulbs have spread, or something new has opened.   The dogs are barking like mad and I remember we have builders putting in new cills at the front of the house as they have all gone rotten.   This is a noisy and dusty job, and they are doing their best to avoid all my plants at the front of the house.    So far they have done pretty well.

It is extraordinary the way the wind has blown all my Fritillaria Meleagris and blue Anemone Blanda to the left hand side of the garden underneath my five trees.     We have daffodils the other side, and later in the day the Fritillaries open alongside them.    We have a lot of bluebells that side, and once a woman was very rude to Polly about them being Spanish ones.    I was ignorant in those days, and due to Dianey Binny and Betsy bullying me I dug them all out of beds, and had not a clue whether they were English or Spanish, or whether it mattered!       My friend and neighbour Liz Holbeach has given me permission to hide her hideous air conditioning units.with wooden planks, I have done the same thing to hide the Fennymores bins.      Those bins, I do not know whose idea that was.     We are slowly disguising some of the ugly things we are surrounded by.     I was very pleased that Liz said yes, as I was nervous of asking her.

Tensing is giving what my friend Diana Berry calls his intermittent bark,  it will drive me crazy soon, though I have got used to it over the years!

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