|Corydalis 'Purple Leaf' peaks out from behind the bluebells|
|The blue-green foliage of the dicentra emerges from a winter slumber|
It’s at this point I realise that something is amiss. A californian lilac, Ceonothus ‘Concha’, presides over this corner of the garden, clothed in May with light blue liquorice alsort flowers which, in slowly deteriorating, clothe the ground below in baby blue confetti. Only right now it’s not looking quite as perky as it should. In fact, it’s looking decidedly – and there’s no gentle way of putting this – dead. Shrubs of this genus are often not particularly long lived on our heavy Kentish soils, and it’s not unheard of for them to croak after five or six years. This particular specimen, although in a corner and sheltered from the coldest gusts from the east, could be exposed to winds from other directions which would seize its top heavy growth and rock it about in spite of our best efforts to stake it securely. Well, no matter – I wasn’t overly convinced by it in that spot (truth be told, I find its leaves rather too small and ungenerous) and its loss presents an opportunity. What to put in its place, now...there’s the question.