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China Girl blog 10th July 2019

Woven through the summer garden there is a sense of magic, the picture made up by a thousand tiny details hidden away from the mad rushing world.

This week has been a bit of a nightmare, especially when a group of fifty-three Belgians arrived one and a half hours late, due of course to the driver getting lost in the myriad of lanes which surround Cothay. Avril reported seeing a large coach in Ashbrittle, five miles from Cothay. Having found his way back to Greenham, the coach driver refused to drive down the lanes to Cothay. It ended up with the visitors walking a mile; luckily, they were all quite sprightly! Lunch, having been laid up long before made the salads looked a little wilted. However as the people were all hungry, they appeared not to notice! All in all, somewhat of a disaster, as they had very little time to see the garden.

On Sunday a group of twenty classic cars arrived without getting lost; apart from parking in a damp field, all went well.

Lin, one of our guides, told Ma she was woken by a noise in her kitchen in the middle of the night. Taking a torch and a large candlestick, she crept downstairs to find a badger in her kitchen, having come through the cat flap; he was eating cornflakes left out for breakfast!

The botanist Martyn Dix came to see the garden; we had made a list of problem questions we wanted to ask him; of course, he was able to answer all the queries.

So many beautiful plants are flowering, including the Alstromaria, from South America, in all their glorious colours. You should never pick one, but rather pull it, which leaves space for more to grow.

Francoa ramosa, a native of Chile, with an evergreen rosette is looking lovely; it doesn’t seem to mind where it grows, seeding about at will. Arisaema candidissimum, a bulb native of western China is flowering in the scree bed for the first time, when Ma looked I t up she found she had planted it in quite the wrong place as it should have been planted in damp shade.

Ma says gardeners are seldom happy; we all longed for sun, now we really do need rain but only at night, falling softly on the parched earth.