Torrential rain by 10.00, they said. Undaunted I set off to Lord and Lady Mantle’s, optimism played a part, as did the fact I overslept and was on garden autopilot. A cup of their finest Costa Rician brew was beckoning me across the moor. When I was so close I could almost smell the coffee, my route was blocked by the local farmer. Holding sway over his kingdom, in tweeds and Landrover, he insisted on telling me a joke about last night’s football before he would deign to let me pass. As tolls go, it was relatively cheap. I won’t repeat the joke, you really had to be there to appreciate the fine nuances.
Fortified by my cuppa we started Operation Plant Out The Three Thousand Coreopsis tinctoria That Lady M Had Been Tending before moving on to a similar operation involving poppies. Lord H continued his battle with the weeds and roots of many seasons and looked natty in his homemade wet weather gear. I really think you could start a sideline there, Your Lordship. Better than the usual ermine.
The rain began in earnest at about noon and we struggled on gallantly for an hour before enjoying well-done (not burnt!) bacon butties and a good old chitty chat. Not a bad day for what was meant to be a wash out!