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China Girl blog 9th May 2018

For three glorious days, we at last felt the warmth of May. The sun shone down and lifted our spirits and all is well, which reminded Ma of Leonard Cohen’s song, “The sun poured down like honey”, Ma adding “On the Lady of the Flowers”.

The past week as usual, seems to have passed in a flash. A group of Dutch people arrived by coach, asking why the lane to Cothay was so narrow. One woman asked Ma how she managed to have crocus and Delphiniums flowering together in early May. She was mortified when Ma explained that they are plastic and part of the film set; the fake Wisteria mingling with the real are making a glorious show, it seems make-believe is often better than the real thing! The Yew Walk has been transformed and our neatly clipped hedges have been made to look shaggy & neglected by the use of Yew branches stuck into them. Turf has been laid in the courtyard on top of the gravel. What will they do next?

Robert and Vivien have spent hours skimming the lake of the awful blanket weed, which for the first time is covering the surface. They will surely go to heaven without wings!

Scenting the air, the unusual rampant climber from Japan, Akebia quinata with deep purple flowers, known as the chocolate vine, is in full flower. Also flowering is Viburnum carlesii, a native of Korea, its heady scent almost over-powering if you bury your nose in its lovely white flowers.

All at once the garden is ready to explode with colour. Sadly, the white tulips in the Unicorn Walk are fading in the heat, but soon they will be covered by the tall catmint Six Hills Giant, a lovely thing of a plant, spreading about a metre, marvellous for hiding unbidden weeds.

No picture can capture the essence of these spring and early summer days at Cothay. The agelessness, which is all-pervading lingers in the warm still air. Time is of no importance; you can never recapture the presence, for as a 12th century Persian saying goes “For this too shall pass”