The garden takes no notice of the lockdown, and work continues apace. Having had it in mind for years already, I finally planted new box hedges around all of the North Lawn (and in quite a few other places as well - 550 box plants goes quite a long way....and can get fairly boring by day four of wielding the planting spade), while the TD has encased all of the pop-up sprinklers which deal with the edges of the North Garden in rather handsome copper piping, which hides their unattractive plastic casing, and has a distinctly Sissinghurst look to it. He has also nearly finished re-making ( I would say 'restoring' but it wouldn't be true; the old wood was too far gone to be capable of saving, and so it's been a matter of building again from new...) the wooden walkway on the West side of the North Garden, while I've been ( and the job is ongoing) taking apart ten years of compost heap, and using it to mulch every plant, pretty much in the entire garden. It's wonderful stuff - rich and dark, to the extent that it looks almost edible - but the supply is endless, and I need to get it done, so that I can then re-construct the compost heap once more, in small, with what remains from the old heap which is not yet usable.
We've made a major decision to re-work the Wooodland garden, under the pine trees, where until now there's merely been a straight path which goes through from one end to the other, and with only a passing nod to what is planted there (many camellias, with the occasional aspera, and pieris, and some distinctly blowsy hydrangeas arborescens) and the path has now been re-cast into a very long and windy serpentine form, which allows a much closer inspection of the shrubs. I have on order some acers and a rhododendron (which is optimistic, I know, but it's a matter of getting the humidity level right) and a viburnum, and some more Serratas, and a Baggesen's Gold (lonicera)...all of them to help to define and emphasise the new layout, and already I've moved a philadelphus, and a spirea, and two hydrangeas and a rather large camellia, all to the same purpose. It keeps us busy.
The Paoli came for 'distant' coffee, on Saturday - which was the first time we'd actually seen anybody at all in nearly seven weeks - and we had garden chairs at the end of the North Lawn, and dutifully all sat two metres apart from each other. At least that seems set to change, soon!
Leeks (cold), with Tomato and Basil coulis.
Pork Chops, with sage and wine sauce; braised celery.