greentapestry : End Of Month View ~ May 2013

Friday 31 May 2013

End Of Month View ~ May 2013

As May departs the sides of the lane leading down to our house are awash with a froth of cow parsley. I can almost convince myself albeit briefly, that I'm living in the country and not just off a busy main road in a town. It's a magical time of year which never lasts quite long enough. It will not be long before either himself or next door comes out with a strimmer and it's back to reality.

It's my favourite time of year in the garden with all the plants that I love the most making an appearance although they are slightly behind schedule this year. I'm about to launch a search party though for aquilegia 'Nora Barlow' who seems to have gone absent without permission. I'm rather sad not to see her and will have to replace as soon as possible. The main work in progress has been planting up the new border at the bottom of the gabion wall. There are still shrubs and more perennials to plant but so far the following have been planted - hellebores, cardamine quinquefolia, astrantia 'Gill Richardson', pulmonaria 'Blake's Silver', hemerocallis 'Catherine Woodbury', and an actaea (not sure which one). I would like to repeat the astrantia and the hemerocallis but will have to wait to either find duplicate plants or divide the ones I've got. The pulmonaria will be coming out and moved elsewhere as I noted scorch marks on the foliage yesterday. The border is getting more afternoon sun than I thought it would do. I should have snipped off the flowers of the hellebores so that the plants will put all their energy into rooting but I'm greedy and want the seeds. I'm also going to plant some of my special snowdrops in there but am waiting until at least next month to see which ones I've got enough of to plant in small groups in the ground. Finally bags of 2011 leaf mould are lurking somewhere which I intend to spread over the border before covering it with bark. Hopefully the remaining bags of top soil, the wheelbarrow and other work paraphernalia will soon disappear.

Progress at the allotment has been slow going and hard work. I think I could start a knitting circle with the yanks of marestail that I've been pulling out. This major weed issue seems worse than ever and I'm wondering whether its a consequence of last year's wet summer. The rabbits have been munching the green tops from the shallots and gooseberry sawfly have decimated the foliage of the goosegogs. On the plus side I've planted 'Douce Provenance' peas, 'The Sutton' broad beans and 'Speedy' French beans. The new strawberry bed has been planted with 'Cambridge Favourite' plants and a new variety called 'Albion'. I did not plant any potatoes until the beginning of May when a bed of 'Pink Fir Apple' went in. These have just started to break through in the last week. There is still much shuffling of plants from home to the allotment to be done including sweet peas, courgettes, squashes, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, sweetcorn, runner beans, more French beans, beetroot, leeks, onions and kale. The beginning of June is going to be busy.

I have been most restrained as far as plant purchases have been concerned with just three plants - a tayberry, sweet cicely and a begonia all bought at the garden club plant sale but June and a visit to a Plant Hunter's Fair is just round the corner!

Thanks to Helen over at The Patient Gardener's Weblog who came up with the excellent idea of an end of month view. Do pop over to see what she has been up to in her garden as well as visit other blogger's posts of what has been happening in their patches of earth.


  1. It's coming along nicely Anna and I do like your gabion retaining walls.

  2. Your border's going to look fabulous when it all bulks out. I do sympathise about the marestail, we don't have it at the allotment but it's in our front garden. You can even see it breaking up the tarmac on the pavements in the street, such an aggressive weed.

  3. I like your wall. I had to look up 'gabion' to see what it meant, and so I learned a new word!
    Why can't those pesky rabbits eat weeds instead of our vegetable plants? lol
    Have a wonderful day!
    Lea's Menagerie

  4. Your wall is looking fantastic and I'm sure your plants will soon bulk up and fill their space. You sound as though you have been very busy again,such a shame you have marestail on your allotment, is there anything that will get rid of it, no wonder it has been around since before the dinosaurs!

  5. I do like your new border, so much space. I have lost my Miathsella Green Dreams which is sad.

  6. Your gabions look quite different from this viewpoint - it has a vertical perspective now and forms a good background to your new border. What a nice collection of new plants you have - very exciting! Our lanes have been beautiful with cow parsley too.

  7. I reckon the horse tail definitely took advantage of the abundant water.

    I'll join you in the 'Nora Barlow' appreciation society. Some get a bit sniffy about old Nora, not me, I love it and hope you rediscover yours.

  8. Lovely to read about the progress in your garden. I had a Pulmonaria set itself in the hottest part of my garden last year and it amazed me - it did look a little thirsty at times and the flowers went over quite rapidly, but it's the largest and healthiest I've got!

  9. Oh, that border is coming together nicely, although the allotment sounds a bit like hard work. I am battling bindweed, which seems to be popping all over the place. Miserable. The cold weather means my sweetcorn is still very short though the courgettes look OK, and I despair of the chillies ever doing anything productive. Good luck with your June planting madness, hope the weather is kind to you and the cow parsley remains longer than you expect!

  10. I love the Matthiasella flowers. Your newly planted border is full of promise - and so clear of weeds. Soon it will all knit together.

  11. Love your gabions and the mathiasella, it was one of my favourites from Chelsea. It does feel quite crazy at the moment. The sudden change in weather has made everything quite frantic here. I can't believe that I need to be thinking about sowing my biennials. Can we press a pause button please? Enjoy the sunshine WW


All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at :


- Anna.