May ramblings

Deal calm

After the cloudburst at the end of April came calm weather and spring blossoms – white lilac and quince in the garden.

The temperature soared for the first bank holiday in the month and I was in London, at the Foundling Museum in Bloomsbury, doing a bit more book research and taking a look at an exhibition by The Lost Words artist, Jackie Morris.

And still on a book theme, the paperback copies of my second book, Alice’s Secret, arrived!

Alice's Secret

After a cold start to spring the flowers picked up – my ‘Pheasant’s Eye’ narcissus, planted in memory of my mum, was the last of the bulbs to flower, and the first rose came out by mid-month. The hedgerows were bursting with May blossom and it was warm enough to open up the summer house and check on the spiders that had taken up residence there over the winter.

I spent a weekend in East Sussex, visiting Charleston and Virginia Woolf’s house, Monk’s House, at Rodmells in the pouring rain. No photography allowed inside Charleston, but both gardens looked lovely, even though it was so wet. And it was fascinating to see Virginia Woolf’s bookshelf and writing desk!

Later the same week, I visited Goodnestone in lovely sunshine – the surrounding landscape looked spectacular but the gardens were yet to hit their full glory.


The weather had a downturn by mid month – the sun stayed out but a chill wind blew in off the sea. And my daughter arrived early, to surprise us all, on a visit from India! She left nearly 40 degrees behind and shivered in 14… But we had a great afternoon at the Sandwich Food Fayre, with an impressive array of food on offer, including vegetarian and vegan, and we picnicked on the grass outside St Peter’s Church. Deal looked fabulous in the sunshine, too.

Deal Kite

The following week was grey and gloomy and it was a real struggle not to put the heating back on. I gave in when Jules came back for an overnight visit, when we went to Sandwich Museum and the Court House to escape the rain and cold.

The garden did its own thing meanwhileand I spent a weekend, when the sun returned, doing battle with nettles almost as high as me. The garden centres were filled with temptation and the garden burst into the next stage of bloom, producing foxglove spires in all the borders, one glorious lupin and, by Chelsea week, roses everywhere.

The final bank holiday was another hot one and after two days of gardening and writing it was a relief to escape to Seasalter to enjoy the sea breeze and the stunning weather. And I can’t leave the month without another photo of the grandson – fast asleep on his first holiday abroad.