22 July 2017, early morning after the first rain for two months

The light is already softer, and the garden looked transformed with drops of rain glistening  on every plant.         I think it is a waste of time putting the sprinkler on, and I tend to give a whole watering can to plants that are flagging.    This is hard work, but I make a mental resolve not to grow things that cannot cope with the situations  that are thrown at it.   Though we grumble, and talk about the weather a lot, we really have the best conditions.    It is certainly worth while looking up the forecast.      It is in Corfu that I find things really difficult, and it is a joy all the different things that I can grow here.      Agapanthus Quink Drops came from Graham Gough at Marchants Hardy Plants, and it is positively exciting to watch that plant open.       I still make the mistake of planting, say a Euphorbia, right next to a Molinia, early on, forgetting how big the Molinia is and is sucking up all the moisture from the ground.        When I look back to say twenty years ago, and all that seemed to be in the ground were stones and clay.      Really good nurseries like Avondale,  Brian Ellis, and Marchants Hardy Plants, both have gardens displaying the plants they sell.      It is time I went to see Graham again, as I miss the company of him and Lucy, and always learn a lot when we have lunch together.

I am still struggling with the Burgundy border, which will really have to change its name.    My favourite plant in that is the Glycyrrhiza Yunnanensis, needless to say suggested by Graham,  and is doing so well at the bottom of a slope on a sharp corner.      I am now going to take out of that border, Miscanthus Cabaret, getting huge and the bottom 3 foot of it all bare and brown.    Not attractive.      I am toying with putting in Phlomis Russelliana mainly because it has real structure, and looks good with marvellous seed heads for a very long time.      This is not burgundy, but I find that if you have a theme with a border it helps things along.        All in all, and with Polly’s extremely hard work, I am thrilled with the garden this year.     You will be pleased to hear that although James watered our new Wisterias  with the poisoning can, they are thriving!

July 17th, 2017

In a way it is quite interesting seeing what stands up to this exceptionally hot Summer.    I have not got in a panic yet but am watering with a watering can plants I think need it.   The Veronicastrums do not really like it and their leaves start drooping.     It is now that I appreciate the benefits of being a north facing garden.    For example we hardly see the sun on the main lawn in the depths of winter, and my favourite place is in the par terre down the bottom.         The dogs do not like it at all, and I am taking them to their hairdresser Peters Posh Pets in London this Thursday.       Next week we dont have many visitors,and we  will be cutting back flat all the Astrantias as not only do they turn brown but seed everywhere.      The stars of the garden at the moment are all the Eryngiums who have loved this weather.       Their deep blue stems are particularly amazing.       My deep red rose, Souvenir du Dr. Jamain, is putting on some new growth,  as various people including Helen Dillon say they find it really difficult.      Itea Illicifolia has never looked so good, and the Bupleurum Fruticosum is enormous.       They flower at the same time,   and are planted near each other.

The par terre is looking good as all the dahlias are beginning to flower, and the Agapanthus are flowering, not Windsor Grey or Quink Drops yet.       Someone said to me that people will not know for long what Quink Drops is.     I still like using ink, but always seem to get it all over me.       We planted the two new Wisteria up the front of the house, and James watered them a few days ago with the can used for poisoning!      I think we are alright as he washed it out a lot first before using it,   and I have been checking them!