WORK is moving on at a pace at Driftwood to get the garden ready for the landscapers to come in next month. I’ve now cleared the whole area in which they will be working, resulting in the whole garden resembling a building site. I’ve had to dig up many plants and shrubs, some quite large. They have been potted up and stored, wherever there is space in the remaining area of the garden. The end result is hardly anywhere to sit down. It has been quite back-breaking moving all the plants, sculpture and rusty metal for the job to go ahead. Fingers crossed all goes according to plan.

READ MORE: Geoff Stonebank's Driftwood Garden Diary

One small area of the garden still looking really good is the bed planted up with buddleja, hydrangea and Salvia Amistad. 'Amistad' is a bushy, upright perennial plant that grows up to 1.2m with aromatic, slightly downy, corrugated, bright green slender leaves that have pointed ends. In late summer it produces profuse, large deep purple tubular flowers with black sepals borne from early summer through to the first frosts. I’ve had 2 large specimens for several years but lost one last winter. This spring I purchased another 3 and the whole bed is ablaze with their electric blooms.

The recent spell of really warm weather has meant the garden has become very dry indeed, that coupled with my 2 weeks away has meant a lot of watering to ensure the plants don’t come to any harm. I’ve now cut back all my geraniums and potted up ready to store for the winter, in the hope they will all come back again next Spring. I’ve had to complete the task much earlier than usual, due to the ongoing work in the garden.

The next big job on the horizon is to empty the shed and make sure it is rodent proof. When I ventured in, earlier in the year, to empty it of the stored garden furniture and sculpture, there was much evidence that it had harboured visitors throughout the winter months and some of the wood panels at ground level had been eaten away to gain entry! I was able to repair most, earlier in the season, but need to complete the job before I fill it up again.

All the china, trays, urns, teapots and the like, used for my open garden events are carefully stored in there too, in large plastic, lidded crates. It is no mean feat, boxing it all up and transferring it to its winter home. There’s going to come a day when I’m just not able to carry it all myself. Hopefully a few years away yet!

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