Barry the Great has just about finished his garden work, which is just as well. The rest of the job, apart from what we do ourselves, is vegetation, and down to Tony, who charges precisely half what Barry does. He is moving box up from the vegetable garden, very meticulously. We are perhaps the only people in the British Isles to rue this warm weather, since it is not ideal transplanting conditions, but Tony is doing it so scientifically I really hope it might be all right in the end. Even without the trellis painted (and what a job that’s going to be ….) the layout is so hugely improved that it looks miles better. There is now box down both sides of the flower garden, which is a huge improvement in itself, a stepping stone path down the middle, and the two granite urns which we bought years ago from Mrs Villain have been mounted on brick piers, which looks quite thirties but in a nice way. We have a policy of not buying anything at the moment due to how much we’re paying out in labour, and so we have not replaced the hose in the greenhouse, which has sprouted three pinholes. I might add that we get our water off the hill and not from a water company, and what goes into the greenhouse has not been treated — and since we have had about a third more rain in the last two years than usual, we aren’t exactly worried about it. But conditions in the greenhouse have become quite markedly more humid, with the result that it now has a resident toad. I’m rather pleased to see it; a first line of defence against slugs and snails. One thing about suddenly slamming from a very late cold spring to a sudden outburst of summer is that all the beech everywhere has suddenly popped out. Rather than producing small leaves which grow, like the birch, the beech produce leaves which are full sized but start off thin, like bits of silk scarf, having been furled inside cigar shaped brown cases. So all around us, there are these very fine bright leaves, which look particularly beautiful in the low evening sun, since they are almost translucent.