29 January, 2019

Snow is going to arrive any second, and I am making my escape to London, as there is a steep little run on to the main road here which never gets gritted. We have been enjoying the hellebores for quite some time now, and snowdrops. Polly has got on very well with cutting back the borders and mulching them, which is a relief as snow will bring everything to a grinding halt. The golden leafed Cornus Mas has buds all along the branches, but it has not opened yet. We brought some sprigs of Chaenomeles nivalis into the house, and they have flowered for ten days. Interesting, as I have never done it before, and had no idea that they would last so long. One advantage of January is the wafts of scent when you brush past the sarcococcas. Poor James, who has no sense of smell at all, misses out on this.

I have become a grandmother for the fourth time yesterday, very exciting. Dominic and Hetty have had a baby girl and called her Phoebe. So lovely to have something to think about other than Brexit, January or snow. Tensing is getting better, though still in a ruff poor little man. I am going over in my head what I can put in the space in the autumn border where we took out the huge clump of Miscanthus sinensis Yakushima dwarf, which was not dwarf at all. Though I must be honest about it I planted three when one or two would have done, but I suppose taken longer to make an impact. I have got interested in an Aconitum called Cloudy, together with one of my best asters called Pink Buttons. Look up Cloudy as it looks very pretty. In weather like this I look up Graham Goughs plant list at Marchants Hardy Plants and Avondale Nursery which is only half an hour from here, and then I daydream,.

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