27th April, 2019

The tulips are not over, because there was very hot weather over Easter which is now followed by cold and windy weather which is holding the garden up. The borders are on the way to leafing out, and I feel I have made two quite big mistakes with my tulips this year. I thought I loved Belle Époque, and I now think it is rather strange instead of beautiful. I had my hopes pinned on Sapporo which is in the Chartreuse border, but find it deeply disappointing! Still,our new ideas for next year, now is the time to assess your tulips, I think will be absolutely lovely. The Chartreuse border, because we have taken out a large Skimmia Kew Green, leaves quite a lot of bare earth at the moment. The tulip Sapporo has let us down, not chunky enough and it does not really do what it said it would. It said it would start off yellow and turn cream. The Klimt border is always reliable, and tulip Sanne goes on flowering for a very long time. Out the front we have been sent the wrong tulips, which I am going to complain about! Couleur Cardinal, first spotted at Powys Castle, is glowing and has different shades of red on the outside. Ballerina never lets me down, and combines well with Purple Dream. In the par terre we have planted the same combination two years running, and it was much improved by the addition of Black Bean.

Both Cornus Controversa and Cornus alternifolia argentea are in leaf. The first one almost a month before the second. The ferns are unfurling, and Polly has mowed the lawn with swirls rather like Bridget Riley. It will be interesting to see what the Autumn Border looks like this year as we have introduced quite large sections of yellow, and the middle large clump of grass, Miscanthus yakushima dwawf, has gone.

Our new border with the Salixes irrorata has taken off. They were small when they arrived but with good roots and have almost doubled in size. Everything in the paddock has got so large, particularly as two of the large trees went in as whips. All of the camassias at the bottom have come into flower, and the Malus Transitoria are a picture..

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