9th January, 2019″¡j

We have just got back from four nights in Cambridge. What bliss, no queueing, no airports, arriving feeling fresh and energetic, and what a beautiful city Cambridge is.

We went on the fourth day to the Cambridge Botanic Garden, which included a Winter garden, and lovely old greenhouses which I liked though I knew little about the contents. We had waited for the sun to shine, which is when I fell in love with Salix Irrorata. With the winter sun filtering through its stems I had to find a place for it, which I have, and five of them are on their way on Friday or Monday, from Bluebell Nursery, They are joining my newly planted Prunus Subhirtella Autumnalis, which is already obligingly flowering, So far we are not like the rest of Europe blanketed in snow, thank goodness. We visited the Fitzwilliam Museum, the Christopher Wren library, Kings College, and the Mathematical Bridge amongst several other things. Our hotel was right on the River Cam, and I am determined to use sparkling lights in my garden next Christmas! James is not so keen on the idea.

The lawn is recovering from the incredibly hot summer last year, and large patches of it treated by Green Thumb have turned black, so it is not at its best. The borders are still being cut down and we still have quite a long way to go. Today is cold, and as the garden is north facing it helps a lot to be working in the sun. It might be my imagination but I feel that it is getting a tiny bit lighter every day. All of my snowdrops seem to have increased a lot, and cyclamen and aconites are putting themselves about. Both of my cameras were on the verge of collapse, and a very kind man in Blinkhorns in Banbury has got them both going for me. Tensing is doing his intermittent bark all the time. The poor little man has his head in an enormous ruff, from having licked himself raw on his back leg over christmas. I fear he has to keep it on until next Monday. They both badly need to go to Peters Posh Pets.

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