I’ve been slowly working my way along the front border – doing a little weeding and deadheading for an hour a couple of mornings a week. Now the weather has turned hot, it is a welcome opportunity to work in complete shade as the sun doesn’t reach this border until mid- to late-morning in July and August.

Today, I finished removing the aquilegia seedheads and cut off all their leaves, and pulled out the creeping campanula (to give it a second flush of flowers). It’s surprising how much space theses all take up, shading everything else out so the wildflower seeds I scattered in April never really had a chance. I took the opportunity, too, of removing the peony foliage. Of the three I kept, the two vibrant red ones produced no more than ten flowers which only lasted a week. My favourite pink ‘Sarah Berhardt’ produced no flowers at all. I will be removing all three later in the year, and attempting to dig out the Japanese anemone and much of the iris. Again, they flowered early and were over in a flash. Some of the pheasant grass clumps are performing badly, though may perk up, and the shade and damp loving astilbes are suffering with brown curling leaves and dead flower buds.

And now, I have spaces to fill – and seedlings coming along in the greenhouse to fill them.

My final job was to carry eight full watering cans from the tap at the back of the house to the front to water pots, herbs, and the plants I want to save in this border, before the heat drove me inside for the rest of the day. Looking at the forecast, I might be doing this every day for at least a week.