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I have never possessed a little black book till now, nor even a little black dress (unless you can include one that is embroidered surprisingly with flowers) I was given a beautiful notebook for my birthday, this now sits in my back pocket to note down any plant that I come across on my travels. I have some fantastic inclusions already – Crocosmia Hell Fire, Kniphofia Toffee Nosed, Echinacea Sunrise – I will leave you to check them out, lets just say they are a fantastic description for their colour. Just what are gardens need as we embark on late summer.

I recommend that we all acquire a little black book (or whatever colour takes your fancy) and start making notes about interesting things that you want to remember – do not fill it full of lists of tedious none life affirming and never-ending jobs that we all need to do.

We need our gardens to go out in a blaze of summer glory and this time of year I am continually thinking of ways to improve customers gardens. You cannot go far wrong with a mass of Asters, Echinaceas Rudbeckias, Cosmos and the super grass ( in my opinion ) Anemanthele Lessoniana with a few Dahlias thrown in for good measure. If only I had not handed out all the hollyhocks I grew from seed last year, as they would be looking pretty dynamic in my garden right now. Instead they are just looking dynamic in everyone elses. My favourite is a black hollyhock that must tower at least 9ft tall. It sits against an intense yellow Rudbeckia Herbstonne, and together they look mighty fine.

I have realised that this blog post is really about writing. As a member of the Manchester contingency of the Wicks family – we are widely known for our inability to throw things away. Dads house is fantastic, draw upon draw of our family life. I proudly carry this forward, and have a suitcase full of letters from friends over the last 30 years. Every now and then I get them out, they make me laugh so much. My sister Lou is staying at the moment, she was reading that at one point she was thinking of joining the navy -of which she has no recollection now – good job she wrote me a letter about it. My letter writing has declined over the years, however I have started again, my handwriting is appalling, more scrawl than writing, however the more I practice the more I love doing it, a bit like gardening really.

The world is in fact actually a very small place, and none more so than in the world of blogging. I received a message on my blog from Australia, Jessica had worked out that her family had been our neighbours more than 30 years ago. This summer whilst in Cornwall I happened to need a ginger beer, and found this one from Bundaberg,so I took a picture of it, for no other reason than thinking it was a little odd having Australian ginger beer from Bundaberg – which is where one of my cousins live, so this image is for all my Australian cousins, and Jessica Grantley.

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