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China Girl blog 19th June 2019

The weather has shown no mercy, rain and showers and cold winds battering the June garden. Mother says she feels like taking to the bottle every time she watches the weather forecast! There seems to be no end in sight to our island’s awful weather.

This week has been hectic, with pre-booked coach tours every day. On Thursday a coach of Japanese garden lovers failed to arrive. The Tour Leader telephoned to say the coach was unable to negotiate the narrow lane and could they have their deposit returned? Ma said sorry no, we had already had four coaches that week. The endless rain has beaten the vegetation down, making the lanes look narrow.

On Saturday we went to the summer antiques fair at Shepton Mallet, primarily to collect a life-size cold-painted bronze ladybird which a dealer had found for Mother for her collection. However as usual, Ma came away with a couple of objects she couldn’t resist! A pair of late eighteenth-century amazing mogul stirrups, which look somewhat like bronze bedroom slippers. Also a pretty ceiling boss.

In the afternoon, Ma took a small group of Italians round the house, which took some time as everything had to be translated.

Coming into flower, the Phytolacca Americana, known as Virginian Poke Weed, Pigeon Berry, or Red Ink Plant which can grow to ten feet tall, the flowers in long pink racemes, six inches long. The berries filled with crimson juice, which was used as ink to sign the American Independence declaration. Young leaves were used in the deep south to make poke salad. In the late summer and autumn, the birds eat the berries, which spreads this strange looking plant around the garden.

We had two Chinese in the garden; Ma thinks it is the first Chinese to visit us, they asked if Ma was one of the workers!

Time slows down as the days drift by as we all wish for the sun to shine.