The last time I had a full week away from work was last August, so I am, in a word, exhausted. Our forthcoming break in Cornwall is so keenly anticipated that I am afraid it may have rather too much to live up to. At least the inevitable dose of tonsillitis, which normally afflicts me the moment I start to wind down, has had the good grace to arrive early, so I can be shot of it before we go.
Meanwhile, I am preparing our London garden for a week without daily tending. It doesn’t take long for pots to dry out, so I’ve been watering like billyo and getting as many plants in the ground as I can. Keeping me going each morning are clumps of glittering white Anemone apennina which open their silky petals at the command of the rising sun. This spreading, rhizomatous plant arrived in Britain from Italy’s Appenine mountains centuries ago and has made itself very much at home. At this time of year the feathery foliage is topped with white, ice blue or lavender coloured flowers. The rhizomes increase in size every year and can be divided, although they don’t form offsets as bulbs do. When happy Anemone apennina will produce abundant seedlings, eventually creating undulating carpets of foliage and flower each spring. Even The Frustrated Gardener’s tired, jaded eyes can’t fail to find refreshment in such sparkling simplicity.