Your Garden In May
This is often the month when you can start to make the very best use of your garden, whatever its size or style. There may be a lot of enjoyment to be had from relaxing in it, enjoying your first few al fresco meals or even a glass of wine, but there is also a lot you can do now to make it even lovelier as the summer progresses. Think of your garden’s walls, fences or other vertical surface as a planting opportunity and ensure that every single vertical surface is decorated as well as could be with climbers or wall shrubs. If necessary, attach trellis or a system of galvanised wires and vine eyes to the surface so that you can cover it with climbing plants. There are plenty to choose from, including a wide range of climbing or rambling roses and clematis (which between them should produce flowers throughout the entire summer and indeed well into autumn) and, of course, jasmines and other plants which will really bring your garden to life often adding perfume as well as pretty foliage and gorgeous blooms.
As the weather starts to warm up, you’ll probably be in your garden more and more, so this is also a good time to take a long, hard look at your flower beds and see if there are any gaps you could fill. What you choose will be influenced by the space you have to offer, how much sun the spot gets and of course, your personal preferences. There are many superb perennial plants from hebes to heucheras (with just about everything in between!) which will bring flowers, foliage and a lot more to your garden so take a look and see what is available, then treat yourself and your garden. Make sure that anything you plant is given the space it needs (just check the label) and that you improve the soil before you get planting, incorporating plenty of planting compost or well-rotted garden compost or manure and then water them in well. This will get the plants off to a good start and mean they give you pleasure for even longer.
It is also a good time to create some attractive tubs, pots, hanging baskets or other containers so that you can have plenty of summer colour in all areas of your garden. There is an unbelievable array of seasonal colour to choose from including some of my favourites Osteospermum ‘Purple Sun’ (possibly the most richly and unusually coloured Osteospermums I’ve ever seen) and Petunia ‘Beautical’ (perfect if you like the idea of petunias in delightfully muted colours and with a distinct, sweet scent). You could also consider planting up a few containers with edible crops such as carrots, rocket, salad leaves or brightly coloured rainbow chard (all of which you can grow by sowing the seed directly into the compost now) or buy some plants of tomatoes, chillies or peppers and these can help to add to the dinner table as well as looking great.
If your passion is more for fruit, then how about creating an attractive and productive strawberry planter? Pots and containers not only look good, but if strategically positioned, will help to detract from eyesores or could even be placed over an ugly manhole covers or badly damaged or stained paving slabs. A trip to your local garden centre or nursery will give you plenty of inspiration for both planters and plants!
If you have children, why not provide them with a small patch of ground or perhaps a good-sized pot and let them get creative? It is a great way for them to start to enjoy gardening, get some fresh air, learn a bit about plants, have fun. By allowing them to create their own piece of gardening space they can do whatever they want. Maybe make a mini veg plot, grow some strawberries, cram in some stunning summer colour, do their bit for bees by planting bee friendly plants... and who knows they may even catch the gardening bug!
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