The clocks have changed and light is flooding out, and everything seems to grow 2 inches each time it emerges from the ground. I find that exciting. We have made big changes in the apricot border, for instance have taken out the Colutea Media, it took Polly a whole day to dig it out. In its place we have planted Cotinus Grace and at the back a gift from Rupert Goldby, which was Daphne bholua Jacqueline Postill. This is normally columnar but we are going to top it to make it bush. The Colutea looked an awful mess in the winter, and as this is a small garden, relatively, I mind this. At the moment the fritillaries look amazing and have seeded everywhere. Probably because we cut them down in July and they have been in a long time. The tulips have come up in all the beds, particularly in the par terre where we have Slawa, Paul Scherer, and Amber Glow. We have planted a new one called Marmalade which I have high hopes for. I have just ordered some plants from Avon Bulbs, everything is special there. This morning I got up at 5 to take some photographs, and I had gone to bed very early, I took three very good photos, and Clive is right that the whole thing is in the light. My magnolias have been a disaster this year, both Athene and Aurora were completely frosted and I feel like taking them out as both flower earlier and this is the second time this has happened. Magnolia sieboldi and Gold Star are much later and as a result safer.
A week ago we went to stay in Cornwall with two friends called Nick and Vanessa Courtney. The stars of the house party were Lord and Lady Clinton, both 89 and totally charming. He had the most amazing eyebrows I had ever seen. She was a sweetie and as keen on gardening as I am. We went to the Cornish flower show, and Glendurgan which had a wonderful maze on a steep slope. It was made by one of the Fox brothers. Basically we never stopped laughing which is always good for you. They had a very comfortable bungalow with a special view of the sea, and one day of very good weather. Polly is very excited as after three years Lathraea Clandestina has emerged, It is a purple toothwort, a parasite mainly of willow, hazel and alder, rarely seeming to cause any harm to its host. The slightly orchid like flowers are all one sees above ground. Needless to say my friend Mark Griffiths told me to buy it.
The bottom two were this morning when I got up early!