The garden year started disastrously, with the coldest March since we came here, which heart-breakingly killed off about a hundred mature echiums, which I had been nurturing for two years. I also lost most of my cannas, but that was my fault, as I had to leave them outside, unprotected, whilst the new greenhouse was being built. The growing season got off to a slow start, and then there was a minor miracle when we had a warm summer for the first time in years. There was no rain to talk of on any of our Open Days, so that visitors arrived and the takings rose above £5,000 again and we were told that we raised more money than any other garden in Cumbria for the tenth year running. The wonderful Christine Walkden brought a group here for the first time and I hope we may see her again. We had our first Artist’s day, organised by the astonishingly brilliant Alan Ward, who also finished his statue of Leda and the Swan. The garden is different every year, but I don’t remember seeing it looking more beautiful. This was almost entirely down to Matt, who had precious little help from me this year, and who very sadly has ended his long tenure here (see here) I have lots of plans for the coming year, and there will be some-one new in charge, which is making me very nervous.