May last year was taken up with counting my losses. My collection of cannas was decimated, literally, down from 250 to 25. This was because I’d had to leave them outside while the new greenhouse was being built and they were killed by the late frosts. Nearly all my Echiums were gone, but losses amongst the dahlias were less severe. This year the casualties have been negligible, but I’ve had to contend with a potentially more significant loss, that of Matt, who had gardened for me for ten years (see Matt posting). Matt would be irreplaceable I knew, and May is the busiest month, when we need to lift the tulips and plant out the succulents and the half-hardy tubers such as the dahlias. In fact I had no gardener at all during the winter, until Amos (see The Hotel posting) recommended his best friend, George, who, being Romanian, was eligible to come and work in the UK. George started here in February and although this is his first gardening job, he has proved to be more than equal to the task. What he lacks in experience he makes up in strength, diligence and pure hard graft. He is proving to be a worthy successor to Matt, as this video of the garden in May amply proves.