Category Archives: jobs for May

In the garden this week









Apple trees have been blossoming for a while now, however these trees are the latest, maybe even last to flower. This is a pic of the recently pruned Apple tree.  A little stark – but I know, deep down, it is going to be happier.

Finally this week I am planting all my Dahlias.  I have kept them in pots, outside,  hopefully long enough to toughen up the foliage before offering them up to the wilds and the local slug and snail population





Looking good Dahlias, I hope I have given you the best chance this year.


I have to end on a buttercup ‘high’.  Last month and on going we are loving the daisies in the garden, the park and the verges,  but give it up now for the humble Buttercup.

This week in the garden, in the container and in the vase

With the sun and rain this week the borders have doubled in volume of plantage (not a real word but should be!).  It is that week of the year when I go from ‘I am in control, I am in control, I am in control’ to ‘oh my word, this is truly beyond me, I need 10 helpers at least to sort this out’ and then to ‘okay, it doesn’t have to be pristine, let’s enjoy the sheer glory of plant growth and wowee!..’

Two jobs made me feel better.

1) Edging…







So I didn’t get right into all the borders, but creating a visible delineation between lawn and flower bed, at least gave an impression of being on top of it..haha!

2) Tying- in climbers





It is imperative to tie – in the new shoots of climbing roses now as they grow.  The stems are fragile yet  flexible at this stage in their growth. They will often get broken off in strong winds, so additional support in the form of attaching them to wires with garden twine will prevent the worst damage. They can also be manipulated easily to increase the framework and shape of the rose to your own design.

It will also prevent them taking your eye out as you pass by or under later on in the year…

Clematis can also become an unruly mass if left to their own devices., twining their leaves around each other to gain support. They very quickly become inseparable and you are left with a big clump that won’t neatly cover the beautiful structure you may have provided it to climb or the ugly one you are trying to disguise…

Sweet peas need stakes to climb and the beautiful golden hop quite often needs some direction rather than straight up, as is its wont. Passion flowers, honeysuckles, vines are all  forging ahead with massive growth right now so try to keep an eye on them…

Most Narcissi are over now and we have to put up with their foliage for a little while longer so they can feed the bulbs for next year.  We must resist the urge to cut them down.  However, these little bulbocodiums are still going strong in their container and are just so cute.




On the edge of the woodland garden, the wild garlic is in flower this month with its ever so pretty star-like  blooms



I treated myself to an armful of Spring to put in a vase this weekend as a reward for a really frantic week in the gardens…


In the vase is Lilac, Peony, Zantedeschia, Tulips, Camassia, Cow parsley and weeping pear.

Phewee, it’s a hottie!

It’s days like these that we, as gardeners, love and turn to our shady borders.

At this time of year we usually start our working day watering all the pots, anything in the greenhouse (if there is one) and anything newly planted or recently divided and re-planted. Quite often the plants won’t get another watering for a week, so we try and soak them thoroughly – a whole can full in one container and perhaps go through the process again at the end of the day before we leave and that can usually see them through.

Emma found a lovely cool spot and cut back all the old hellebore flowers to leave the glossy new green foliage.

Today she was also planting a ‘golden Carex’ and some Astilbe in the bog garden next to the pond. I noticed some delicate Iris that I planted 2 years ago are now flowering there. Some Camassia quamash I had also planted 2 years ago but completely given up on, have also come into flower so they are now fighting it out with a hedge of self-sown fennel which I rather like. I think the Fennel will win as it’s a bit like that.


It does look like Emma is doing all the work while I swan around with the camera…. surely not?!