Monday, 15th January, a mild and wet day, 2018

It is only 50 degrees today, and I think how lucky I am compared to some of my friends in the States. James sets old fashioned traps with cheese for mice, and seems to catch one every time on the cellar steps. He tosses them from the kitchen door into the middle of the Bupleurum Fruticosum, and Temba who has a very good sense of smell stands there with a mouse in his mouth looking enraptured. I dont like mice much even when they are dead. Almost all the snowdrops are coming up and make a lovely splash of white. The Sarcoccoccas perfume the air as you walk past them, and the ones in the par terre have been pruned back a lot and are more in scale. The three Skimmia confusa Kew Green have got out of all proportion, and are going to be cut hard back after flowering. The two on the right are much larger. Tomorrow the two broken lime trees are going to be cut down, and I am rather looking forward to seeing what that looks like, as it will let a lot more light in. Tomorrow I have got my second lecture at Steeple Aston. I have already gone to see exactly where it is. Clive’s photos were so amazing last week that there were a lot of gasps in the audience.

0My Anemone Ingramii is flowering already. It is the deepest blue anemone blanda, the earliest to flower, and it comes from Greece. It is slow to increase but when it does is an eyecatcher. I first saw a large patch of it at Bob Brown’s nursery, Cotswold Garden Flowers, and it so impressed me that I never forgot it until I could get hold of it. It was difficult in those days. We are still cutting back the borders. My two circles in the paddock are starting to look interesting. By that I mean a lot of it is flowering, mainly the snowdrops, and the earliest Paeonie Mairei which we have divided into two. Thomas and Nicholas are coming to stay thursday and friday, and maybe we can sit down there.

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