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China Girl blog 13th June 2019

The lane that leads down the hill to Cothay is hung with Queen Ann’s lace; hardly wide enough for a horse and cart, the wild flowers glimpsed between the high grass. It is indeed a magic carpet leading to Cothay. For a few seconds, as you come over the crest of the hill, you might see the cross above the sacred Oratory and wonder if you have gone back 500 years into the heart of Old England, when the house was built at the end of the War of the Roses in the fifteenth century.

This week has flown by, with coaches booked for garden visits, house tours, Ploughmans lunches and cream teas every day. The week culminated in our annual Plant Fair on Saturday. Stall holders from far and wide brought their wares, an amazing sight of colour and scent. Vivien sold plants on our stand whilst Ma worked in the Tearoom, where they ran out of everything. We should have ordered double the amount of rolls and cakes. Sadly, the nursery selling unusual plants has closed; they usually take a stand and Ma always acquired many treasures from them over the years. This year she settled with two jars of proper old-fashioned strawberry jam from one of the stands for her breakfast.

Thank goodness Chris came back from her holiday on Friday; she and Joy, our volunteer gardener, tidied up all the plants we have for sale.

I heard a lady say “Oh look, they’ve got a Pekingese, my Grandmother had one who used to go rabbiting.” Ma didn’t tell her how inside every Peke is a sheepdog – I love to round them up and terrorise them! Ma said I was absolutely heaven! The lady told her friend I was called ‘Absolutely Heaven;’ “What a good name” replied her friend. I might change my name!

The June days roll on, with the garden becoming ever more lovely; I wish the month would last forever. The old trees surrounding the garden shutting out the rest of the work, like scattered dreams, they rustle gently in the summer breeze.