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The lovely weather we’ve enjoyed over the past couple of weeks broke today, and it rained for much of the day. Luckily I can say, hand on heart, that the garden needed it. I’m hoping for a dryer day tomorrow though – less for myself than because the elder son of our next-door neighbours is getting married: it must be frustrating and upsetting to do all the final preparations for your big day under brilliant sun, only to see drenching weather arrive on the eve of the ceremony.

My own upset today was the realisation that I’ve missed (by three weeks) the deadline for the local Wildlife Trust photo competition, in which I’ve done quite well in the past two years – I simply missed the announcement that it was open for entries, and by the time I started to feel concerned about it and contacted them to find out when the competition was happening, it was too late. Normally I would just shrug, because my attitude to photo competitions is ambivalent at best – but wildlife photography being very much my thing, missing this one has made me quite sad. But that, I suppose, is what diaries are for.

On a happier note, R and I bought this lovely iris at Coughton Court yesterday, and I planted it in the pear tree bed between an Alchemilla mollis and a fern, hoping that the greens would set off its dramatic colour. I can’t tell you the variety, because the label stuck in the container merely said “SMALL PURPLE BEARDED IRIS” – which is undeniably accurate, this bloom being only about 20cm off the ground, but otherwise isn’t hugely helpful. The nursery operation at Coughton appears to be run by the Throckmortons, who previously owned the estate and still occupy part of it, and it has a slightly shambolic air about it. Still, the iris is gorgeous, and if it confounds my expectation by taking in a spot in which nothing else has survived, I will be very well pleased.