Very much a work in progress – albeit five years after I first saw this garden. Half the garden was then impenetrable so we have felled lots of scraggy trees (many with honey fungus), planted lots of others and started to make some headway with the planting. When I say ‘we’ it is not I who has been swinging the mattock and wielding the spade (credit for that should be given to Nicholsons, Lucy and Fenella).

The garden has the huge advantage of a number of drystone walls in that very mellow coloured stone that springs from the ground round here.We have a front path whose pattern was shamelessly lifted from the excellent garden at York Gate, lots of colour and carpets of snowdrops for which I can take no credit as they were planted by the remarkable Nancy Sandars who was born there in 1914 and died there aged 100.

Nancy was an archaeologist who translated the Epic of Gilgamesh and, during WWII, worked as a motorcycle dispatch rider and at the Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park.

I like doing things slowly although it is quite scary how quickly the years roll past and I realise that pretty much all the trees I plant from now on will still be youngsters when I shuffle off: quite grounding this gardening lark!