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May in the Garden

Let’s set the scene..
The temperates rising, the sunshine has arrived and we are starting to sit outside on a Sunday.

Now is the time of year to start preparing your garden for the summer season, cutting back any of your spring flowering plants that have finished like Anemones, Hyacinths, Lily of the Valley. This helps to create room for your summer flowering plants and keeps your garden looking clean and fresh.

Any of your deciduous climbers will really start to flourish this month. Any new growth on climbers such as Clematis, Wisteria, Lonicera and Jasmine will need to be tied up to keep them nice and compact. This helps a lot if you are trying to train them up a wall or the side of your house. After the new season of Bridgerton we are all hoping to achieve the stunning wisteria look this summer.

This is also the best time of year to give evergreen topiary a good trim, after the frost has finished but before too much new growth starts. (Examples of evergreen topiary: Buxus, Cupressus, Ilex Crenata, Bay Laurel, Ligustrum, Olea Europaea) This will encourage new lush green growth with the help of plenty of watering. If you think your Buxus is looking a little dull after the winter, Topbuxus Grow and Health Mix can help to really ‘Green Up’ your box balls and topiary this summer.

If your grass is looking a little worse for wear after the winter and dogs (and kids) playing on it. Now is the perfect time of year to sow a little grass seed and cover up any patches that are a bit bare. Sowing seeds at this time of the year will also help keep weeds at bay, as they will take up much more of the nutrients.

One of the reasons why May is one of my favourite times of the year, other than my husband’s birthday of course, is that I can finally start planting in the Garden again. It’s the perfect time of year to plant Hydrangeas, one of my personal favourites along with Lupins, Delphiniums, Acanthus and Roses. This is great as planting them this early will help to give them the longest growing season possible. I would warn that because they are at the start of their season there still isn’t much foliage on the hydrangeas yet but they’ll look amazing within a couple of weeks!
My Favourite hydrangea varieties, Annabelle, Limelight, Confetti, Vanilla Fraise, Sundae Fraise and lots of the macrophylla varieties that are stunning but not quite as reliable as these paniculata ones.

Keeping on top of the garden is important at this time of year. Once the garden really begins to bloom, so will the weeds. I like to give my garden a really good weed in May, which helps to have less work to do during the summer and won’t take nutrients from your plants about to flower in the summer season. Maintenance wise, I would usually start spraying my roses at this time of year and overall giving my garden much more water as we begin into the dryer summer months.  Use a good organic seaweed feed but also something like Roseclear too.

Grasses are also great for planting at this time of year, my current favourites are Japanese Forest grass in either green or gold and the Pink Muhly grass for a really girly pinkness. I’m loving Prairie planting too at the moment so grasses planted with something like Echinacea planted through it gives a wonderful Prairie feel.

What’s in Flower now?
Delphinium
Geum
Syringa
Wisteria
Rhododendrons
Camellia
Buddleja

Garden Tips for May
Try to spray roses twice a month at this time of year to help with pests and blackspots.
Slugs, your local coffee shop will be only too delighted for you to take the Coffee Grinds from them and not only do they keep the slugs off your Delphiniums and more importantly your Hostas but they feed your garden and smell lovely too.
Watering and Feeding is imperative especially if your plants and trees are first season planted, you wouldn’t leave your dog (or children) without food and water so don’t do it to your plants.
Lupin, nepeta, salvia, cut back half of your plants by a third to get a longer flowering period, repeat when the first half have flowered, getting a good long flowering season.

Clean down your garden furniture at this time of year, depending on what they are made of as to what you can clean them with, follow those instructions.  Now pour yourself a big glass of something nice and cold, after a day in the garden you deserve it and sit back and enjoy the last of the day, if you have a fire bowl or outdoor fireplace then you can really extend the Spring days into the evening. Making the most of the now beautiful garden.

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