I managed to persuade James today to help me to tackle the ivy facing the kitchen door and on the two walls either side. What a job, you really need a man, as I have already pulled a muscle in my right arm, and the first thing he said he needed was a jemmy, which in my ignorance I did not even know what that was. Thomas and Nicholas came to stay for two days, and the best bit of news this week is that Tensings leg has healed well, and he is now allowed to go for his walk, and he has to lose weight. Poor sweet no wonder he has put it on, as he has been trapped in a cage for four weeks, and no exercise has been allowed. The clocks have gone back an hour, so we are plunged into darkness in the evening. I reckon the ivy has been planted for about twenty five years, and never again, as we will certainly have to rebuild one of the stone pillars. The benches will have to be taken in soon, but I am not making the mistake of saying I am going to repaint any of them, it takes so long and is very fiddly. Certainly two of them need doing, the mauve one in the paddock, and the blue one by Nicky Hodges.
In the paddock we are suddenly overrun with molehills, so will have to get some help. Our so called grove of magnolias have got lots of buds on them , which is hopeful. We have got four magnolias all to the left hand side. That side they avoid getting frosted, and down the bottom we have three alders with red catkins. It is so important to have things to get excited about in the Winter. There is a frost tonight so it might be the end of our dahlias. Actually I am longing for it to be clean and tidy in the par terre, and get on with the planting of the tulips. I have left the greenhouse door open and hope everything will be alright. James is such a help in the garden when he is in the mood for it!
Tensing and Temba have just been delivered back. It does not seem the same without them at all. Tensing has an x ray on friday, so we will know if his leg is healing well, I do hope so. Scott, our tenant in the cottage, said drily about him that he had not lost his voice, as Tensy always goes for him when he goes in or out of our blue gates. It is really autumn here, things are going black and need to be cut down. Polly has already cut the leaves off the hellebores in the two circles in the paddock. Those circles have already got some snowdrops flowering in them. The snowdrops are the one plant that gets you though the winter. We are already making a few changes near the house. All the ivy is being taken off the left hand wall, I think I have been very naive about ivy, I had not realised that it would get as thick as your wrist and push its way right through brickwork, I now cant wait to get rid of it. It stopped my clematis Etoile Violette from flowering this year, by overhanging it with a lot of shade. We have got rid of a lot of bergenia too, and the Cotinus Grace has died after being in for about twenty five years. I will take a photo when we have replanted it.
In the paddock we have taken out one of the three. Prunus Yedoense, because it was interfering with Quercus cerris variegata, which has got huge. and is very spreading. It looks so much better without it. I like the paddock a lot now. The Quercus was only 12ins when planted which seems amazing, and I have moved it twice. Malus hupehensis have more red berries on them than I have ever seen, beautiful.