The month of May in France is a happy moment. We have several public holidays during the month, which gives rise to a series of long weekends, coinciding with the first days of warmer weather.
For those who love their gardens, like me, it is an exciting time too. Our winter plans and preparations are finally put to the test, and the new shoots start to grow on familiar plants as well as new introductions to the garden. We take the young seedlings out of the greenhouse, and get them used to being outside. And of course we start pulling weeds, because some how they never need any help to grow!
If we are looking for inspiration, then this is the month for going to local flower fairs, where horticulturists bring out their finest plants and set up store for a few days. This weekend I went to a local fair in the grounds of a chateau, the weather was not perfect but we dodged the showers and skipped from one stand to the next until the car was full to the brim!
I love these fairs, where you find specialists in roses; hydrangeas; peonies and of course in young vegetable and herbs for the potager. The producers know their plants well and can offer tons of advice, and generally are happy to answer other questions.
If you are in France next May, then you will like to know that there are several exceptional fairs within easy reach of Paris. Among my favourites are : St Jean de Beauregard, generally the last weekend of April; Chantilly generally mid May; close to Giverny there is La Roche Guyon generally the second weekend of May. All worth a visit, for the backdrop decor, the beautiful plants and the essential friendliness of happy gardeners!