It might be the month of Maying (see last year's Muse Day for picture and poem/song), but it's also the month of Clematis in my view. Already I have vast swathes of Clematis montana clothing the fence and this pictured Clematis alpina 'Francis Rivis' is threatening to overwhelm the contorted hazel supporting it. Looking like that though, I can forgive it entirely. Elsewhere there are fat buds of other Clematis bursting forth everywhere - if our mix of fair weather and rain keeps up over the next week or so, I'm sure they'll be the main feature for May's Blooms Day.
Without further ado, here's May's events as assembled by the ever diligent You Ask, We Answer team:
1st: May Day - traditionally the day when Britain's men get out their handkerchiefs and sticks and wave them at each other in a spot of Morris Dancing. There's also very quaint dancing round the maypole and the Queen of the May is chosen in each village. Sadly not every village does this these days and if they do, it's quite often shifted to the first Monday of the month as this is the May Bank Holiday. The above link takes you to lots of information about our traditional May Day customs and the venues where they're still held and this link gives you an overview of all things associated with May.
3rd: International Dawn Chorus Day and International Worm Charming festival, Blackawton, Devon. How many worms can you get out of the ground without digging them up?
3rd-9th: Compost Awareness Week - this year's theme is Food for Thought. I might also have a guest post elsewhere in celebration, watch this space!
4th: The Great London Garden Trail - 10 great garden designs to have a gawp at to celebrate the launch of the RHS' Encyclopedia of Garden Design
7-10th: RHS Malvern Show - yippee I'll be there on the 8th!
13th-24th - National Be Nice to Nettles week [week? Shorely shome mishtake -Ed] - see my article from last year for more information about this much maligned weed
17-24th: National Watercress Week. Alresford in Hampshire is the venue for the Watercress Festival on the 17th. I've seen the watercress beds there - most impressive.
19 - 23rd: RHS Chelsea Flower Show - I'll be going there for the first time on the 19th :D
22-24th: Late May Bank Holiday weekend and also the Chippenham Folk Festival. Even more men waving hankies at each other than you can shake a stick at. My post from last year will give you a flavour of what's in store.
25th: Cheese Rolling, Cooper's Hill, Gloucestershire - lots of totally mad people chase Double Gloucester cheeses down a very steep hill each late May Bank Holiday Monday whilst trying not to fall over. The prize for the winners (who usually do fall over and roll down the hill head over heels)? The cheese they've been chasing. Thanks to Matron for reminding me - this is one of the most bizarre events that will make the events diary this year and was one of the main reasons I put the YAWA team on the case in the first place. And whilst we're at it, let's not forget the Woolsack races in nearby Tetbury either.
29th: Bluegrass legend Dr Ralph Stanley and his Clinch Mountain Boys are playing at Bath Festival and we have tickets!!!!!!!!!!
As ever, if you think I've left anything out, do get in touch. Have a great month everyone.