I did the Bonariensis thing and it looks much better but I have also developed a theory about nettles. Lurking amidst the sandpapery square stems were some of the largest nettles ever seen by man (allow me a small exaggeration – it is my privilege) and I think that the autumn nettle gives out a much worse sting than a summer nettle. Especially the really little leaves just coming out of the ground – perhaps they are bitter and resentful or maybe they had a tough childhood. I got stung four or five times (before arriving at the obvious solution and reaching for my gloves) and could still feel it six hours later. Did you know that nettles are good for lactation ? and even more interesting the word for a herb that has this effect is called a Galactagogue. Also the process of Urtication (flogging with nettles) is very efficacious in the treatment of rheumatism (although I suspect it may be a simple case of pain transference). My final nettle fact is that the sting of the New Zealand tree nettle can kill a horse.

Good news is that the computer engineer has moved out and all is well with the A-S technology. Also I collected the vast majority of my bulb order this afternoon and my barn is now rather satisfactorily covered with piles of bags labelled with different clients’ names.

I buy my bulbs from Jacques Amand in Stanmore (www.jacquesamand.co.uk). Stuart Chapman is in charge of counting and despatching thousands and thousands of bulbs in hundreds of varieties every autumn – every time I see him he looks as if he is being hunted by a pack of wolves. You can tell where he has been in the warehouse by following the half drunk cups of cold tea. Still I got most of what I need (in spite of bad growing conditions this year – there are no white Eremurus to be had) and the rest will follow shortly.

I am listening to Sunday Morning by the Velvet Underground and the picture is of Naploeon’s tomb.