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China Girl blog

Now that it is September, autumn has settled on the garden. The gentle wind ruffles the remaining flowers as they drop their fading petals. Written on a sign in faded lettering, is “Don’t pluck these blossoms” But it is useless against the wind, which cannot read.

The glorious avenue of catmint, which stretches under the Robinias for 100 metres in the Walk of the Unicorn, has faded to a pale grey, its beauty remains but a memory. Now the faded colour is reminiscent of a grey seascape.

The leaves of the Kentucky bean tree Gymnoctadas have started to fall, always the last to leaf up, and first to lose its leaves, which lie like confetti on the lawn, blown hither and thither by the wind.

Still in flower are the spectacular white willow Gentians – Gentiane asclepiadea from Europe, we grow them in the Spike Garden, which still holds its beauty. I find them hard to grow, so will put a tray underneath them filled with a gritty compost to catch their tiny seeds. Spectacular here are also the tall pink Salvia involucarta.

In the early morning dew, I could swear I saw the footprints of a unicorn, but no one believes a small Pekingese, save my dearest Mistress