Your garden in May
Well, although the summer months are drawing ever nearer, it doesn’t really feel like it just yet! Let’s hope the cooler weather that continued during April means that when summer does arrive, it will be here to stay! Time will tell.
Although temperatures are still considerably lower that usual for this time of year, it’s clear for all to see that spring is well and truly underway. Just driving around, you can see hedgerows rapidly coming to life and the blossom is at last starting to appear on many of our trees – and there are bees buzzing around our outdoor plant area! Everything is a little later than usual of course, so we must just be patient and enjoy it when it happens. The weather isn’t perfect but it’s still a lovely time of year when we really need to get cracking in the garden!
May is a busy month as we make our final preparations for the year and also anticipate the move from spring bedding to summer bedding. As the risk of frost slowly diminishes, the selection of bedding plants increases dramatically and we can plan our bright, bold and beautiful summer displays. As well as summer bedding, any tender perennials such as Dahlia and Canna lilies should be safe to pop in soon. These can be a great way of brightening up borders, planted between shrubs and perennials to give masses of late summer blooms, or even planted in pots to give dramatic displays.
In the greenhouse, it is about time to be hardening off any seedlings planted earlier in the year. This literally means toughening them up before they face the much harsher garden environment. Start by standing plants outside during the warmest part of the day and slowly progress to leaving them overnight when all risk of frost has passed.
In the vegetable garden, any last seed potatoes need to be planted fairly soon to ensure a long growing period and there are lots of young veggie plants in the Garden Centre now if you want to get into ‘growing your own’.
You’re probably all aware that lawn mowing season is upon us again. There is lots of advice in our gardening department on greening up your lawn for the summer. In fact you can pick up a whole range of step-by-step guides to gardening jobs for this time of year, or you can download them here.
Plant of the Month for May goes to the spectacular Rhododendron. These wonderful evergreen shrubs are grown for their big and beautiful flowers, which come in a multitude of colours. Even if you don’t have the required acid soil, there are lots of varieties which will happily grow in containers planted with ericaceous compost.
There are large Rhododendrons excellent for woodland gardens or larger plots, and dwarf varieties suitable for rock gardens. If in doubt, ask in the Garden Centre for advice on which would suit your garden.
Click here for a list of jobs to do this month