A potential gardener presented himself in the course of today: he sounded a bit weird on the phone, but as I said to the Professor, the sort of man who wants solitary outdoor work is also, not uncommonly, someone who finds talking to total strangers a bit of an ordeal. When met in the flesh, he was shy, quiet and civil, and he seems a nice chap. Both the animals thought well of him, which is always a good sign. We asked him where he’d like to start, and he said, tidying up, which is music to our ears. I have planted some red-stemmed dogwood under the silver birches, which I hope will look very nice once they bush out. It’s taken this awful winter for me to see the point of dogwood. On our way back from the Moorfoots, I bought a third witch-hazel, which has dark red flowers, not as showy as the traditional yellow, but interesting, so I bunged that in as well. In a climate like this, you value things which happen very early (or very late). My black hellebores have come out, and the scillas are coming along nicely. Tomorrow it may snow again. I do hope not. One thing, by the way, which has been an unqualified success is my bird feeder. I bought it after realising that the very small birds like goldfinches must be having a hell of a time — it’s designed to hold tiny oil-rich seeds, and it’s being emptied with great celerity. I saw goldfinches on it this afternoon, so evidently some of them survived, goodness knows how.