Every time I visit Coton Manor Gardens in Northamptonshire, I come back with loads of plants and loads of inspiration, but, let's be realistic, whatever I do to my garden, it will never look anything like Coton. The Susie who runs it is so clever and hardworking that even in August her borders are full of colour, perennial colour, as you see. Check their website for better photos, opening times, details of the garden school etc.
I've been rereading the famous Wild Swans by Jung Chang. It is such a detailed book that every time I read it I learn more. It's fascinating to hear a first-hand account of the Cultural Revolution and to understand a little about how Mao managed to brainwash a whole nation. I hadn't quite taken in how many ancient buildings and books were destroyed at the time.