The garden in our new house is little more than a worn lawn surrounded by various muddy patches and some boring grey stone-filled borders - quite a contrast to the flowers and terracotta-tiled patio I lovingly tended in my last house. Fortunately Thomas is proving to be a keen gardener, planting new fruit trees and bushes every week. I have a few favourites I am trying to track down for here, but not being much of a gardener I know what they look like but not the names, unfortunately. Last week my description of a 'droopy tree with fluffy pink balls' drew looks of derision in Mclaren's garden centre, but I did end up with an ornamental Japanese flowering cherry tree - eventually. This week they looked even more puzzled when we tried to describe my favourite autumn tree. I knew it was small - 4 feet or so, had brilliant colours in autumn and fluffy balls in spring - this one stumped them completely so I gave up and spent an hour wandering around till I finally found a Hamamelis x intermedia 'Diane' just as I was on the verge of giving up. That was it - my favourite tree! So now I am set to trawl the internet for somewhere selling it at an affordable price.