I can't resist turning left onto the Mirror Garden for a look at the colours of my little hazel with Euphorbia wulfenii subsp characias. My young hazel is getting quite big now and I'll have to coppice it next year. Let's see, what can I do with my six hazels? I can: coppice them for plant supports, bean and pea wigwams and firewood; eat the nuts; grow snowdrops under them (useful on a hot slope); and, not least, enjoy their colour in autumn and their catkins in February. The man who used to sell me wood from his own managed woodland in Ireland (a thing rare as hen's teeth) called his first child 'Hazel', because he loved it (and her!) so much. I feel the same affection, especially in February when the snowdrops are pushing through ...
By the time I am down in the Rose Walk, the mist has almost completely dispersed. And I can enjoy the new tidy prospect my husband has delivered me. At the far end, to the right of the picture where the short hornbeam hedge is colouring yellow, there used to be a heap of rubbish. For three years I haven't been able to take pictures of this view without getting plastic bags and barbed wire in the frame as well! Thanks my dear!
If I look back up as I come down the first set of steps to the Vine Garden, this is what I see. I'm now officially gardening on concrete, weeding out the undesirables and encouraging better-behaved (and better-looking!) self-seeders to colonise. On this first flight lives the little nigella whose picture is below and some rather daring nicotianas (read: every time they dare to flower someone's feet chop their heads off!)
This is the next level, down to the Iris Garden (with the feline Nigella - Ella - pausing to admire my hard work). On these steps and just below I've managed to establish thrift (Armeria maritima) and Campanula muralis (below). Neither are self-sowing yet, but I remain hopeful. Aubretia is also in place and will no doubt run all over the shop, and in pots up on the supper terrace I have some Erigeron karvinskianus for planting out next spring
I'm not going down to the orchard this morning, but from here I can see the hyssop and marjoram, also planted as would-be colonisers. The santolina is due for removal elsewhere next spring, because I have to hop on (or in) it every time I tend to my vegetables, to the left of the path. Cowering in the midst of all that madness are young yews, which I'm growing on to add big punctuation marks on the steps down to the orchard.