My Garden in May by Plant Area Manager, Jayne.
As a plant fanatic, you might be surprised to learn that I have a very small courtyard garden which unfortunately doesn’t get much sun in the winter so I am particularly excited by the arrival of May and the sun it will bring to the garden.
With limited space to play with, all the plants in my garden have to be a star performer and earn their space! I have chosen plants that provide year-round interest whether that be through colour, scent or texture. I have a lot of climbing plants such as roses and clematis, these take up very little space on the ground but provide a great show of colour and scent vertically.
Limited space in the garden means limited work for me so I’m lucky to get my plant-fix at work where I am constantly on the look out for the very best plants. About 80% of our plants are British grown and most come from within a 50 mile radius of Fosseway. This is great as not only does it reduce transportation, it also means that the plants are hardy to the British climate.
I call it work, but for me it is a way of life, I am constantly checking the weather and planning ahead, thinking about what will go where in the plant area. I love talking to customers and advising them on what plants would work in their garden, I really enjoyed this past year as we’ve seen so many new gardeners coming in and wanting to discover how to unlock their garden’s potential.
Having said that I have a small garden, I can always find something to do, here’s a quick list of what I have been up to:
- Deadheading the bulbs as most of my Daffodils have gone over now.
- I feed the bulbs with Tomarite to encourage good performance next year.
- I’ve done a bit of weeding but it’s not easy as the ground is so hard due to the dry weather we have had. I’ll continue to do this throughout the spring and summer to stop the weeds taking hold.
- I’ve staked out any perennials that need will need support, I have lots of Peonies and I find that if I stake them now before they get too lush the plant will grow around the stakes covering them up so they can’t be seen.
- I have pinched out my sweet peas to ensure they don’t become leggy later, but they are still in the greenhouse until the frosts have passed.
- I’m helping my new Clematis find their way by guiding them to the trellis or fence.
- Most importantly, I sat down with friends to enjoy a socially distanced BBQ. We treated ourselves to a new firepit so that we can make the most of the garden all summer long!
I also have an allotment which we use for growing lots of veg. As we’re not quite clear of the frosts, most of my tender plants are still in the greenhouse – I’m growing leeks, peas, sweetcorn and broad beans.
Last weekend we earthed up a few spuds and had our first pick of rhubarb which made a delicious crumble (even if I do say so myself!) There’s nothing quite like enjoying home-grown produce.
If you’re wondering what you should be doing in your garden over the next couple of weeks, I would suggest the following:
- Start regularly cutting your lawn; don’t go too short on the first few cuts – you don’t want to give your lawn too much of a shock!
- Keep on top of weeding – this will save you time and effort later in the season.
- Plant herbaceous perennials to fill the gaps where your bulbs were – you can leave the bulbs there and plant on the top of them as they’ll always find their way.
- I view bedding plants as the ‘finishing touch’ in my garden. It may only last the summer but it’s not expensive and it makes a real difference injecting some beautiful colour. You can plant your pots and hanging baskets now but just keep an eye out for Mr Frost and protect them if the temperature is due to fall below zero.
- Clean out ponds and ensure there are enough oxygenating plants in there for any wildlife who may visit.
- Start planting out tomato plants – if they are traditional varieties, ensure they have stakes to grow up. If you’re short on space you might want to try a variety such as Tumbling Tom which can be grown in pots or hanging baskets.
- If you’re growing strawberries, put straw around the base of the plants to keep the slugs off.
Most importantly – enjoy your garden!
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