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My new secateurs have arrived.    My Niwaki  are  as   beautiful  as they are  sharp and my favorite new thing.   

This week I have felt that winter pruning can begin in earnest.  I am  getting to grips with long overdue and renovation work on  those deciduous shrubs that need a bit of careful attention.  I did  cut back a Viburnum opulus to within an inch of its life today, which now  means that a  long forgotten wall is now in full view .  I think Vitus Coignetiae is my number one for contender at the moment.    However at this time of year you cannot go far wrong with a well pruned Cotoneaster horizontalis  with its  blood-red berries against the iridescent red, peach and  burnt orange  foliage.

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Light levels have been either full on blue sky, or dull as ditch water this week, with many gardens still  full of glowing  embers of colour.  Or  just a variation of  brown .     This  image  is from  my favorite border in my care. If you  have read my blog on stepping into the border it is that one.   When the light is right  on the  Asters and Crocosmia  it is simply stunning in its simplicity.

 Hosta leaves are still looking good, in their disintegration state of play.

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Also stripped down giant lilies were looking good last week.

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I look after a garden  which belongs to a family with the surname of Wilde.  As  their  garden ventures away from the house, the garden  becomes bigger in  its capacity to be  big and wild.  The far side of the stream  is amassing Gunnera on an annual basis.  I must phone  with my latest idea   Pampass with Miscanthus , with  the  strong winter stems of silver birch  – all that yellow and white going on.  I know it will work.

Just watched the culture show  on BBC  2  all about Paul Smith , catch it on iplayer if you  can.  I have come to the conclusion that we all need to collect to inspire.  I gave up the idea of minimalism a long time ago.