I am on my own here as James went on Friday to Hong Kong for a week. Not really on my own as Tensing and Temba are here with me, enjoying themselves every day in pursuit of the trapped rabbit, weaving in and out of the beds, getting pretty wet and dirty. Today started off grey and finished being a perfect summers day. In the Reine des Violettes border Allium Firmanent has appeared, a bit shorter than Purple Sensation, and a duller purple, quite useful for the time of year. I am pulling out allium purple sensation, as when it goes over it is a bit funereal. My Amsonia are flowering, I would not be without them, a soft slatey blue. We had a delightful group of Canadians, interesting for me as they grow the same sort of things as us. In a way a group of 10 or 12 is perfect for me and Polly as you can really discuss plants and ideas with them. The day before they had been to Roy Strong and the Veddw, a real contrast. The roses are just beginning to flower which is always exciting, some of my new David Austin roses, like two, I am finding very difficult to get into a good shape. Polly and I feel like cutting them right to the ground.
My Greek surgeon has told me to walk without a crutch anymore, and I cannot pretend that it is not difficult. Sitting in the kitchen writing this I look out to my left and gaze at James’ triumphal arch. We are going to get some more of the asters ‘Glow in the Dark’. In the main border we have some gaps, until you grow plants you really do not know how they are going to behave in the ground. The painted lady kniphofia has such a heavy head that she snaps off, which is no good. Normally I would not like to plant things as late as this, but it is perfect growing weather.