21st September, 2019

James is now a companion to go to Kew with. We have never gone together before because he has always been working, and we are at Pettifers at the weekend. We went to the Broadwalk borders, and I was thrilled to hear him say that he preferred Pettifers Autumn borders. Still here we are concentrating on the Autumn, and there they are having a much longer spectrum. How lovely Kew was, so many beautiful buildings, and I certainly want to go back and see their interiors. London is filled with stunning things. James has gone to see his mother, and Temba is sitting on the kitchen step waiting for him to return.

When I drove down yesterday I could not wait to cut down the Golden hop tree. It was blocking all the light in the study, apart from its leaf looking very chlorotic, quite hideous actually. It has opened up a view to the church and a. statuesque pine tree. It stops cluttering the beautifully clipped undulating beech hedge. You can see a small black wrought iron gate, and the clock on the church, apart from giving us a lot more light in a room in which we spend a lot of time. Polly does not like me cutting down too many large things, but I am amazed that I did not see this before.

When we get to November it is the time for planting bulbs. I am talking about tulips really, and before we went to Corfu I had ordered all the ones we needed. Peter Nyssen is the wholesale firm I go to, and I think they are pretty good. Bloms, and Avon Bulbs are both top class, but quite a lot more expensive. I think this has been quite a dry season, though tomorrow we are expecting a week of rain. In my opinion badly needed, and it is going to transform most of the borders near the house. The Autumn border has pretty good soil, and one or two visitors have commented how we do not have to stake anything down there.

] am pretty pleased with the Autumn border this year. In all the time that we have been planting it, it has never looked so good. I think it is the use of yellow, purple and blue. We did use yellow last year but we have planted purple to go with it this year. The different colour pink monardas against Helenium Sahins early flowerer early on was fairly mind blowing. I took some good shots but needless to say Clive’s were absolutely stunning.

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