April 9th, 2019

Tomorrow afternoon we are going to Corfu, and I hope I don’t miss all the tulips which are starting to open out. Sanne, which is in the Klimt border, is now running all down the border looking very pretty, and repeating well. Cornus controversa has been in leaf for sometime, whereas Cornus alternifolia argentea is not showing yet. The shape of those two Cornuses is quite beautiful winter or summer, and if you are starting a garden you must plant one of these two. For a small garden, we have seven magnolias, and I have just ordered another, Black Tulip. I got reminded of it seeing in on Instagram being grown at Holker, and it was a particularly good photograph. I first thought of it about three or four years ago. Spending time in the paddock is almost our prettiest place., Mainly because all the trees we have planted there have matured and they look so pretty in the spring., Tilia Winter Beauty is a mass of red stems, and the red is balanced on the other side by Salix Batsfordiana, which has a thick tree stump from when we did not cut it back early on. It has got huge the Quercus cerris variegatus, and is not in leaf yet. The two trees were planted as whips, and it is almost like a miracle to see them so big. I saw a mature specimen of the Quercus variegatus, at Kerdalo in Britanny, Dianey Binney, of Kiftsgate, sent us there, describing it as the most beautiful garden in the world. At that moment in time it was quite an accurate description. The owner, Prince Wolkonsky, was 90 and still planting. I remember my friend Karen,, saying ‘he is probably having a rest’ and I replied ‘no, gardeners dont rest!’

The hot summer last year was a disaster for my daffodils. So we are giving them fertiliser this year to see if that helps. I am not sure we have the time or the energy to dig out all the blind ones. What have done well are my Leucojums, and my species tulips. My crocuses were not that good and I have seen my fritillaries better, though they seem to have seeded a lot. I think in a way that it is just the critical eye of me and Polly, and i must not look for faults too much, but enjoy what is doing well. It is cold and windy again,, but honestly I will be pleased if it holds things up.

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