We have been here for two days on that very dreaded early flight from Gatwick, having to get up at 3 in the morning. We are lucky, the weather is heavenly, hot, but quite a lot cooler than in the summer. Another year we must come for ten days, as it is fine to garden, and it has obviously not rained since we have been here. I have been watering my prostrate rosemary up the top, which is at least still alive, probably because I was looking after it when I was last here. The blue agaves, of which we have six, are putting on new shoots on the side, having sat still for a year. It is much cheaper to buy small ones to start with. We have asked Francis Hamel who is a brilliant artist, to come out here and paint a picture of Prosilio. quite a big one.
He is going to start off with some sketches of what appeals to him, and then we will choose. The two cats seem very pleased to see us as I think they get quite lonely in the winter. Everything is beautiful, and nobody is here., I think this has to be my favourite time of year. Last October we planted a lot of Sternbergias and only three have come up. I remember it landed me up with six months visits to the physiotherapist by trying to plant them into a dust like surface. I am not going to make a mistake like that again.
Francis Hamel lives in a cottage at Rousham, which is the earliest William Kent garden in Oxfordshire. I cannot think of a more inspiring place to live. He also has a studio there, and what I particularly love is the light in his pictures.