We're now definitely on the cusp between spring and summer as my favourite month of the year is fading out on a warm and sunny note. The Solomon's Seal, aquilegias, brunnera, thalictrums, umbifellers and pulmonarias are giving way slowly but surely to astrantias, geraniums, penstemons, elderflowers and roses.
The annual garden club plant sale is done and dusted for another year. The above photo shows some of the plants that I took for sale. There were very few plants in flower on the day, as several of the plants that I had lifted and divided with the plant sale in mind had rather inconsiderately already flowered. I was pleased that foliage plants attracted customers but unfortunately all the tomato plants came back home with me. They walked off the table last year and I could have sold more than I took with me. Sometimes there's no logical rhyme or reason as to what sells and what comes back home.
I'm not convinced that I've achieved much of any substance in the garden having spent most of my time weather permitting either in the greenhouse or at the allotment. The annual greenhouse shuffle is playing out its course and the contents are slowly spilling out into the garden or making their way to the allotment. Today with next spring in mind I've sown some sweet rocket, wallflowers and and lunaria 'Chedglow' which I fell for at the London RHS Show in February 2013. Avon Bulbs are now selling seeds of this stunning purple leaved lunaria.
I took my camera to the allotment this morning but fell at the first hurdle - I left the camera card out so a verbal description instead.The potatoes which were planted on Easter Monday are now reasonably sturdy plants and fingers crossed the danger of frost is behind us. Broad bean 'Witkiem' and pea 'Douce Provenance' are already forming their first pods. I've planted wigwams of 'Cobra' and 'Blauhilde' French climbing beans, whilst a purple podded mange tout peas (from my own saved seed) and 'Lingua de Fuoco 2' borlotti beans, will be making their way to the allotment in the next few days to be planted. Courgettes 'Romanesco' and the yellow fruiting 'Floridor' are already in the ground. My third courgette 'Brice' did not germinate well so I made latter sowings of 'De Nice A Fruit Ronde'. The autumn planted garlic has grown well but has developed rust whilst the shallots and 'Red Baron' onions are plumping up nicely. Beetroot and chard grown in cells at home will also soon be in transit along with a pumpkin.
In the fruit department the strawberry plants have been strawed and hopefully we will be eating them before long. The plants are now in their second year so should produce well. 'Cambridge Favourite' is most floriferous but the newer on the scene plant 'Albion' is definitely not as generous with its fruit so I doubt if it will be a keeper. The gooseberries should also be ready for picking soon and look bar any natural disaster as if they will fruit well. I picked a couple today to sample but they are still too hard. Disaster with the white currants which looked as if they were going to produce in abundance - the fruits have been more or less stripped off the bush overnight! No sign of any creatures so I can only wonder. Although I prefer the red currants and black currants the white currant has been the best performing of the currant bushes so I am rather miffed. The apples are now swelling. Despite 'Katy' being described being smothered in blossom by my plot neighbours she is not fruiting well. 'James Grieve' and 'Sunset' are doing much better.
Flowering at the allotment now are chives, sage, rosa rubignosa (sweet brier), comfrey and some self seeded cerinthe. Hopefully soon the wigwam of sweet peas will be joining in and there will be bunches to pick to bring home with me.
Plant purchases this month have included a nameless sultry bearded iris, a nameless lime green hosta and a couple of nameless hardy geraniums. I have a feeling that one of them is geranium sylvaticum album although the label said it was something else. Finally a plant with a name - alchemilla erythropoda which I believe to be a better behaved relative of alchemilla mollis.
P.S. I forgot to include the three little rhodochiton atrosanguineum plants I bought on Thursday having already sown a packet with the result of not a single seedling. I've sown these several times before so was rather disappointed. All being well I shall be able to save my own seeds this year. Have always been amazed by the price the seed companies charge for this plant.
So that was May in my garden and allotment. I'm looking forward to catching up with what has been happening on your patches of earth over at The Patient Gardener's Weblog. With thanks as always to Helen for hosting this excellent meme.