I think I might have over-reached myself today. Early in the year I agreed to help at a lunch in one of the local village halls, which morphed into agreeing to host the lunch, which ended up meaning cooking the lunch, barring some help with the puddings. When I saw that a garden club visit fell on the day before the lunch I thought I wouldn't be able to go, since I'd be cooking, then I thought that cooking lunch needn't take all day and it was a morning visit so I could go and look at the garden and then do the cooking in the afternoon.
Which I did, and it turns out that cooking lunch for two dozen people in a form that can be transported to a village hall in the car and then served cold does take more than an afternoon. It was twenty to nine by the time I'd put the last leek and mushroom flan in the Aga, and here I am still waiting for it to cool down enough to put it in the fridge. More of the lunch tomorrow, and a little of the garden now.
The garden was tucked in behind the church in Lavenham and is open at the end of the month for the National Garden Scheme, so you can go and see it yourself if you would like to. It is described as being built around the ruins of the original ecclesiastical site and they are honestly pretty ruined, contributing more of an unevenness in the ground than crumbling walls a la Ninfa. The fishpond, which I guess is very old, takes up fully a fifth of the five acre site. There are some pleasant borders that proceed in a vaguely Arts and Crafts fashion away from a house that looks as though it might have been revamped at the same time, though I would bet that the core of the building is much, much older. There are some nice trees, a vegetable patch with some cultivated beds, some bits awaiting reclamation, and some cheerful free range chickens who are not allowed in the rest of the garden and have to be fenced out of the cultivated areas of vegetable.
There are a lot of bronze sculptures made by one of the owners, who does them professionally. Some were too buttoned up for my taste, but some of the more freely executed ones were pretty good, but it was academic as I couldn't afford any of them, so I didn't bother going on the mailing list for the sculpture gallery.
Lavenham was looking delightful, and there were swallows swooping overhead by the hall, and some recently sheared sheep smelling strongly sheep like, and I remembered that I like the smell of sheep. It seemed very fitting for a town whose prosperity was originally built on wool.
Then some of us went for a coffee and I discovered that the garden club plant sale had made over a thousand, which is what we needed. So it was a very nice morning out, except that I should really have been cooking and packing up what I need for tomorrow. My grateful thanks go to the Systems Administrator who on being warned in advance that I would need the kitchen for an unknown length of time on Tuesday evening suggested calmly that we have pizza so that there would be no preparation at all for our supper, and then refrained from asking when I expected to be finished or what I wanted to do about supper, not even once. I hope the last flan has cooled down now as I should like to go to bed.