Since we last spoke...

I know how you, my dear and very faithful readers, hang on my every word so I must apologise for leaving you in the lurch for so long. Such a lot has happened and the weather has been so gorgeous that sitting down in front of a computer to blog-speak has been low on the list of priorities. Today though, ahead of the next thrilling instalment of the World Cup and because it really is too hot to garden outside I’ve decided to update you.

You’ll remember that in April we met Bob and Bob, the aphidologist kings. Well, they popped by again in early June to see if our wild flower paddock had any goodies for them. By happy chance one of their greatest fans, Gemma, was staying the weekend here with her husband, our son Sebastian. Gemma, I must tell you, had, a week earlier, almost overdosed on Bob and Bob’s website so the three of them spent the afternoon seeking unusual and rare species.

To their mutual delight they came up with a Tubaphis Ranunculina. Better still, it was being parasitised by a bright red mite (see the photo below). They also photographed brown aphids being tended by an ant and as you don’t often see that sort of thing, here it is too:

Enough of all that. Rosie and I went to Crete in early May and that’s another reason I’ve been so silent blog-wise. As no-one is ever interested in other peoples holidays I won’t bore you with details but I will show you one photo of a wild flower meadow in Omalos. Eat your hearts out, Bob and Bob…think what you’d find there.

But the main reason for the gap between blogs is of course our garden openings. We had several small groups visiting in early June, all enjoying the wonderful sun and the garden looking at its glorious best and raining us with compliments and comparisons with Sissinghurst and Great Dixter (so good for the ego) but when it came to our first public opening we encountered rain of a different order: Storm bloody Hector. The forecast was dire, the wind blew, it poured all morning and the great Sussex public decided to postpone their visits till another day. For the 34 - yes, just 34 - that turned up it was a double bargain: an almost empty garden to enjoy and a blissfully sunny afternoon as the clouds rolled away precisely as predicted at 3.15. 

Still, the opening last Thursday made up for it, as 259 visitors paid their £5, ate their cakes and made the NGS very happy. And us too for that matter, as we’ve now raised £50,000 for charity since we began opening in 1987. One further public opening to go this year: Saturday July 7th on behalf of Family Support Work though if this scorcher goes on much longer the poor old garden will be completely frazzled despite Rosie’s dead heading and our constant watering (our own rain water harvest together with our own well so don’t worry, Southern Water). 

If you’re reading this, come if you can. If you can’t, here’s what you’re missing: