‘So when are the coconuts arriving?’

Today is an absolutely glorious day here and I’ve actually managed to venture out into the garden without being shrouded in my ski jacket! It seems that spring has finally sprung here at Quarry Bank and the garden is looking absolutely stunning, and full of beautiful colour.

The gardens were bursting with colour today
The gardens were bursting with colour today

Come Monday the garden will be jam-packed with Victorian activities as part of our Victorian May Day celebration and we are hoping, praying and keeping our fingers and toes crossed that the weather holds out.

He was enjoying the sunshine too!
He was enjoying the sunshine too!

This year, amongst the usual favourites of dressing-up, our sweet shop and traditional Victorian toys and games, we’ll have some fantastic Victorian Swing Boats that I’ll be manning in my huge hooped skirt (yes I get to dress up again, and I think you all know that means I’m fairly excited.)

I've been waiting since October to see these gorgeous flowers!
I’ve been waiting since October to see these gorgeous flowers!

We’ll also have a couple of May Pole performances by the children of Styal Primary School who have been practising their routine for weeks . Other entertainment will be in the form of our lovely Victorian policeman who will be watching out for any troublemakers, along with some traditional barrel organ music, and a few Punch and Judy shows throughout the day.

The lower garden and the Mill Meadow will be the setting of our Victorian May Day
The lower garden and the Mill Meadow will be the setting of our Victorian May Day

But perhaps the stall that has provoked some of the most interesting conversations in the office is the Coconut Shy. I certainly didn’t expect when I started working here that I would be having a conversation about hay bales and the number of coconuts we would need to order for an event at a Mill! We’ve settled on 200 and if we’re left with a few after May Day, quite a few of the staff and volunteers are keen to drink Pina Coladas from them as a May Day treat (albeit not a particularly Victorian one!)

This beautiful rhododendron is currently my favourite flower in the gardens
This beautiful rhododendron is currently my favourite flower in the gardens

The festivities start at 11am-4pm, and make sure you bring along a picnic rug so you can munch on some delicious hog roast sandwiches that will be served in the Mill Meadow and cool off with an ice cream in the sunshine (optimistic thoughts again!)

Laura

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