Food, friends and flowers at Water Lane

And just like that, Summer has arrived at Water Lane. It might be tempting fate, as there is still time for a late frost and we always need more rain in the garden, but once again the glasshouses are bursting at the seams with seedlings ready to be planted out, while every other available space is a propagation station; at last count Ian was preparing over 250 dahlia cuttings.

There were a few days of ‘do we, don’t we’ after the inclement early May weather, but now the garden restaurant, under the stretch awning, is fully open for the rest of the season, and our guests have been enjoying the gorgeous sunshine while lunching from chef Jed Wrobel’s new season menu. There’s still time to try Jed’s deliciously moreish Asparagus and Parmesan Straws, a truly seasonal special, which will be coming off the menu soon, as the asparagus season comes to an end. And if you love them as much as we do, the recipe is in this month’s Wealden Times, along with several other May time seasonal recipes.

In the shop, we have new season stock, including garden tools from Japanese inspired brand Niwaki, plants from the Hairy Pot Co and Anna Pavord’s inspirational book The Seasonal Gardener (Phaidon), which has been fully revised and updated, and is essential reading for a beautiful garden, all year round.

Living and working at Water Lane has brought us so much closer to appreciating the beauty and importance of the wildlife in the garden. Anyone who is a fan of Monty Don and Gardener’s World will know it’s No Mow May and we urge you to consider this in your own green spaces. The top right-hand quadrant of the walled garden is a wildflower meadow and is full of long grasses, flowers and glowing with yolk-yellow buttercups.

There’s much else happening on site with our creative workshops and courses including an introduction to Book Binding with the Seagull Bindery on 25 May; Kate Monckton Ceramic Candlesticks and Bud Vases on 26 May and Terrapy Terrariums on 28 May. There is always good coffee and homemade biscuits on arrival and each workshop includes a two-course lunch in the garden restaurant.