The good news is the Snakehead Fritillaries have done really well this year. We bought a seedling when we went to visit a farm that had a field covered in them, so wonderful. each year they open the farm to visitors, but that year it was very wet and all the cars got stuck in the mud and had to be pulled out by the tractor.
The plant has been staggering on in a big clay pot on the East bank facing the frosty morning sun, it seems they need pretty hard conditions to flourish, so I reckoned that would be perfect.
They are strong this year - I am tempted to plant them actually in the bank and see if they will spread.
Sadly the nights are still cold and windy so most of the magnolia petals have fallen but they look so scrumptious on the grass it makes a good excuse not to mow right up to the tree yet.
There is a bit of a demarcation dispute at the bottom of the garden. We get on well with them, it is good to hear their two little kids cavorting around. They have a huge wooden climbing frame and an even larger circular bouncy thing, with a net round it that they jump, kick many balls both rugby and footie, and generally seem to live in.
However there is now a bit of friction. Their house is even further down the bank, so "we look down on them". Recently they did a bit more terracing and started edging onto the bottom path. This is a right of way from the lane, across the bottom of our garden to the neighbours next to us on the hill [not much town planning when these cottages were built] so it has to be defended or how will R and Ben and Milly, [two large dogs] navigate to home with the morning papers?