18 JUNE 1948, Page 14

In the Garden

Seasonal processes are much in advance this year. The July trimming of the yews is already in hand. The lavish growth may be due to a good mulching with compost in the early spring, after the soil was loosened under the hedges. I found, however, that the interior of the bushes was sooty black with the depredations from that pest which clings like flat brown seed to the underside of the leaves and twigs. When all the cutting is finished I shall have to spray the hedges with soft soap and derris.

Dianthus and iris are showing well on the flagged terrace and round the pond. Each of these two perennials is a gardening world unto itseif, with its priests and devotees. It is good to have a small enthusiasm for both, one that just borders on fanaticism. There is then no heart-break, such as I might have experienced when Y discovered a new setting of some dozen plants of Sweet Wivelsfield attacked overnight by a couple of leather-jackets who had found their way into the compost previously worked into the bed. It is these disappointments, however, that make the compensations all the more sweet. And how many there have been