It’s hard to remember the beginning of June, it seems so long ago now! The heat must have addled my brain. In fact, it was quite cool at the start of the month, which began for me with the re-laying of two patio areas and a path. I made the poor man who was laying them put out every single stone so that I could decide which ones looked best together. Of course, now they’re laid they all appear to be more or less the same colour!
The roses were loving it at the start of the month – the blooms looked so fresh then. Sadly they are all faded at the time of writing and I was deadheading them twice a day at one point.
I took a trip to one of my favourite gardens – Goodnestone – and I think I saw it at its best, with great spires of foxgloves and foxtail lilies in the borders and a wonderful profusion of hardy geraniums, roses, poppies and petunias.
It was my birthday in the first week and I had a surprise trip to the Coliseum in London to see the Kenneth Macmillan production of the ballet ‘Sleeping Beauty’. Fabulous costumes and set, and an equally fabulous setting! There were friend and family celebrations too, as well as quality time with the grandson – and a family engagement!
Then it was back home to a lovely coastal walk in Hawksdown and Walmer. The garden was looking at its best and the patios were finished in time for the sunshine.
I popped into The Deal Bookshop to sign the paperback of ‘Alice’s Secret’ as well as ordering a stack of books for my TBR pile.
The middle of the month took me to a real hidden gem – Conyer creek, where there were two great walks: one out to the River Swale and a peaceful outlook to the Isle of Sheppey, surrounded by oystercatchers, skylarks and curlews. The second was an impromptu visit to the old brickworks site, home to some interesting widlflowers (stonecrop, viper’s bugloss and pyramid orchids) with the path progressing to take in more of the shoreline and countryside. A truly lovely day out.
Another walk a few days later followed part of Jane Austen’s Serpentine walk on the Goodnestone estate, with fabulous views of the house, a very scary spider or caterpillar nesting tree, a holiday cottage to aspire too and more views of the beautiful borders in the gardens.
The Salutation garden in Sandwich was looking spectacular when I visited on a hot Friday afternoon, having the place almost to myself. Everything looked wonderful against those clear blue skies.
The next day I didn’t have to walk very far to do a bit of shopping at Jo Aylward’s Open Studio, and while I was there I couldn’t help but admire her beautiful table decorations (there was tea and cake, too…)
As the end of the month approached, it was time to explore further afield with a trip to Upnor Castle, on the Medway opposite Chatham. It’s a defensive fortification dating back to medieval times, with wonderful views inside and out, set at the end of one of the prettiest roads, once full of inns to serve the men garrisoned there. (It still has two, and it’s a short road.). As the tide began to go out there was a chance to walk along the Saxon Shore path to Hoo and take a look at some amazing houseboats, as well as a few abandoned ones.
The last day of the month marked the first day of a visit by my sister, so we took in the medieval streets of Sandwich before heading to Margate and the ‘Animals and Us’ exhibition at the Turner Gallery, with these rather special clay sculptures by Stephanie Quayle.