The garden at Villa Carlotta, Lake ComoI've just returned from a few days in sun drenched Italy during which time we visited the beautiful Lake Como. Never one to miss out on seeing a garden, we went to Villa Carlotta which had amazing views over the lake. The garden itself was a little tired and run down, but it must look incredible in the spring when the banks of azaleas and rhododendrons are in full flower.

Apparently, in its heyday, the Villa was one of the most important halting places on the Grand Tour with its collection of art (which can still be admired and includes stunning Canova statues and an amazing plaster frieze) and, what must have once been a very romantic garden.

It was a bit of a shock returning home to the much cooler weather. But I cheered up once I'd picked a large bowl of tasty tomatoes from the plants in the greenhouse. The grafted varieties have done especially well and I'll grow more of them next year. This weekend, I hope to clear my trial beds, empty the pots of summer bedding and scarify the lawn. It's the start of my autumn tidy-up.

Happy gardening

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