The full flush of roses appears to have quietened down, though the roses on the pergola are still looking good. Their colour is starting to be set off by the single purple flowers of the clematis. Elsewhere there are small groupings of pink and blue.
In a small trough by the steps at the back of the house we have planted the variegated pelargonium Lady Plymouth. It dates from early in the 19th century and has scented leaves. There is another scented-leaf pelargonium with downy leaves planted in one of the pots nearby, pelargonium tomentosum. It has been in cultivation in the UK from 1790.
At the front of the house you can find a number of martagon lilies. Their colour is very subtle but rich They have been planted not only because of their attraction but as a reference to the name by which Elizabeth Gaskell was known in her family, Lily.
Chris Tucker. Garden volunteer.