Thursday 9 May 2024

Wild garlic and bluebells

April was a mixed month: a great start, with the Easter holidays and all the fun that comes with that, and then endlessly cold, wet and windy days when it seemed like spring would never come. The fire was lit, the heating remained on and there was no chance any summer clothes were coming out of the wardrobe.

We went to Brighton for the day in the holidays. It was so windy that it was hard to stand up straight at the pier, but we still had a lovely time. A browse around the shops (I bought a stripy jug), burgers for lunch, playing the games in the arcades. Basketball is their favourite.

Another day out, but closer to home, was the D-Day museum. It was bitterly cold that day (and windy, again) so we didn't hang around outside that much.

John and Angus were in their element inside the museum.

However, it was the Overlord Embroidery which I enjoyed. 83 metres of hand-sewn applique telling the story of the D-Day invasion.

Some of the panels are based on real photos from the time, like the photo above and picture below.

The quality of embroidery and level of detail was quite amazing. 

Traditionally female past times, such as embroidery (always craft, never art) are often associated with decorative images of flowers, birds, animals and other wildlife. It's interesting - and challenging - when you see the representation of death and destruction rendered in fabric and thread; the actions of men, sewn by women. 

I was in there for hours. John had to drag me away. But don't worry, I bought a book in the gift shop.

And we had lunch afterwards. The teenagers did put down their phones, don't worry.

Other highlights included a few trips to Chichester, a always a favourite place, and the most incredible brunch of sweetcorn fritters with poached eggs. I dream about these now.

Lovely as the days out are, it is the quiet home days I love the most in the school holidays. Time to just be in our house and potter and be quietly productive. Spring bedding was (rather optimistically, in hindsight) put on the bed and shelves refreshed with seasonal objects.

Floors were mopped, windows cleaned and skirting boards wiped.

Washing, always washing.

I took every single house plant outside and gave them a bit of love. I re-potted plants that were root bound, or just looking sad, and took cuttings from some others.

I set up a propagation station on the kitchen windowsill and have already planted some new ones.

I spent many, many hours - days even - in the garden over the Easter holidays. I planted seeds and bought plugs in case the seeds don't work out. I weeded and dug over and trimmed and swept.

Things were jet washed and pots were planted up.

My reward was a posy of spring flowers, all from the garden, which looked beautiful in my new jug.

I did try to carve out some quiet moments to myself over the holidays. These take the form of reading (some new favourites below) and listening to audio books (None of This is True by Lisa Jewell was particularly good). I always have my headphones in when I'm gardening - either music or a book or a podcast. 

Other lovely things include haircuts, manicures, picking up my patchwork quilt and feeding myself nice, nourishing food - breakfasts of granola, yogurt and fruit, lunches of minestrone soup packed with vegetables.

So many beautiful walks lately, and all of them in the woods because they are just lovely at this time of year.

The bluebells and wild garlic are two spring highlights I always like to savour. I picked a bunch of the garlic this year and took it home.

I carefully sorted it, composting the odd stray plant and putting the flowers in a jug, then washed and weighed the leaves. 

I followed this recipe and made pesto.

It keeps well in the fridge if you keep a layer of olive oil over the top of the pesto. It's amazing with cheese on toast, as well a stirred into an omelette and with pasta, of course.

We walked in ancient yew woodland...

...spotted the first cow parsley.....

....enjoyed rare glimpses of blue skies....

...and admired pretty washing lines.

Lots of beautiful spring things, despite all the horrible weather. However, it seems that finally spring is with us, with some warmer temperatures and settled dry weather. My next seasonal goal is to sit on the outdoor sofa with a coffee this weekend and, maybe, eat a meal outside if it's warm enough.


  1. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos Gillian, glad you enjoyed your break. I shall definitely try the Lisa Jewell book, she has been recommended to me before so she must be good. Enjoy your weekend in the sunshine.

  2. As usual your photos are just beautiful. I LOVE Arjoh ghosts and have quite a few around our house. I can only get them either from ebay or there is a store in SanFrancisco that sells a limited amount. The books look interesting and I'll check them out. The quilt is just amazing. The time you're putting into it is staggering. Best to you and your lovely family. Oh,our weather here in N. Ca has been amazing. Temperatures in the 70's and now some 80's. We are using the BBQ more now and eating outside.

  3. Wonderful post again. Thanks for the tip about the embroidery - I love going to see embroideries and will try to make it to this one soon.

  4. Hi Gillian. What a lovely post filled with so many beautiful pictures of flowers and food - two of my very favorite things! Love your haircut by the way! I have an appointment in two weeks and I'm excited to go just a bit shorter this time. Have a great weekend!

  5. Thank you for sharing some of the things you and the family have been up to. I enjoyed reading about them and seeing the photo. Hope you got to have that coffee outside at the weekend.

  6. Lovely photos, thank you for sharing your busy Month round up. Lovely haircut and nails, pretty jug. We were in Havant last week visiting family, whilst staying in The New Forest. Have a lovely weekend x

  7. Thank you for sharing your month Gillian. I so enjoy your photos! About to start the Lisa Jewell book this evening.


Hello there! Thank you for leaving a comment. I read them all and I always try to answer questions, although sometimes it takes me a while.