Once the fire-breaks are cleared for the winter, general garden cleaning can begin. This year there is a huge amount of work in the arboretum – so much so that we will follow a thinning out and cutting back of ‘obvious’ cases, with a second sweep, removing some plants altogether and opening up vistas and altering densities. The arboretum is now mature; we no longer wait for it to grow – we cut it back. Such is life in the garden… As it is a hectare (2 1/2 acres) in size, it is going to be quite a job – especially to remove the cut wood and to turn it into mulch. This photo, taken on the wet walk on 29 June, will wait in cyberspace to be published – as early on 1 July I go off again for 4 days on Rotary work and then back to Samaria.