greentapestry : End Of Month View - May 2018

Saturday, 2 June 2018

End Of Month View - May 2018

If I could press a pause button on one month of the year it would have to be May with its always unfailing freshness and promise. This May has been exceptionally sweet albeit a challenge at times. The greenhouse and new plantings have both needed extra in the way of watering and some seedlings were scorched which is unheard of in my shady greenhouse. It's also been too hot for me to work out there at times. It looks as if May 2018 will be going down in the record books both for sunshine hours and for its temperatures. This Met Office snippet goes into more detail. It seemed to me that we almost bypassed spring this year and shot straight through to summer.

In the garden the usual suspects and amongst my favourites - aquilegias, Solomon's Seal, lamprocapnus spectablis 'Alba', lunaria annua variegata, lamium orvala, lily of the valley, anthriscus sylvestris, chaerophyllum hirsutum 'Rosea', and geranium phaeums of various hues have provided their usual joy. The biggest disappointment was the failure of the Pacific Coast iris to flower. This is a plant that I've had for over twenty years and it has never sulked before. Perhaps it was a combination of the winter and being perhaps too congested that led to it not showing. The iris has now been earmarked for division as soon as possible.

My favourite new plant of the month just had to be lunaria rediviva which is a perennial honesty. I grew this from seed last year when it produced a huge sturdy plant bearing-heart shaped leaves. It was moved in late March/ early April as it was in the wrong place. Come May it was a mass of deliciously scented pale lilac flowers. The flowers have nearly all gone over now and the elliptical seed heads are appearing. It was an absolute treat when it flowered but sadly didn't like its photo being taken so I will have to wait another year. Close behind in second place was the foliage of athyrium 'Ghost'.

As for the allotment the least said the better. Like many of my other fellow plot holders I'm well behind the game. Until this month the main path leading to my plot has been like a quagmire so not in the least bit inviting. I normally try to give all the raised beds a spring clean before planting them up but I'm still catching up with that now. Still there is some stuff on the move including a bed of 'Charlotte' potatoes.The French climbing beans are in along with courgettes and patty pan squash. I've planted one bed with new strawberry plants. The cut flower bed is now planted up with geum 'Mrs Bradshaw', nasturtiums, rudbeckia 'Sahara', zinnias, dahlias, calendula 'Shades Of Red', cornflowers, scabiosa 'Tall Double Mixed' and just the one wigwam of sweet peas. I normally have two but sweet pea germination was abysmal. Tomorrow it's the turn of beetroot and mange tout peas to be planted.

In the second week of May we visited the Malvern Spring Show. I intended to blog about it at the time but the best laid plans of mice and men and all that. It had been a few years since we had visited the spring show and we had a thoroughly enjoyable couple of days away. As always the highlight for me was the floral marquee. The weather was even warm enough for us to eat outside the camper van on the second evening of our stay.

New plant purchases this month include my show purchases of a long wanted lamium orvala 'Album', geranium phaeum' Album', epimedium 'Hakubai', geum 'Eden Valley Angel' and thalictrum 'Black Stockings'. A couple of plants namely thalictrum delavayi 'Spendide White' and actaea 'Queen of Sheba' have been purchased from our local nursery at 'Bluebell Cottage Gardens'.

Sadly the last few days of May always coincides with the end of my love affair with the month, when the large willow tree (just outside our garden boundary) starts its inconsiderate and unsightly annual shedding of its innocent looking fluffy catkins all over the show. Appearances are deceptive and these catkins are bad news! Some days it's almost like it's snowing out there so we are careful to keep our mouths firmly shut when we venture out.  Everywhere is covered with a layer of fluff. Opening windows at this time is fatal and we are convinced that our television reception is compromised. Himself hosed down the satellite dish today to see if things would improve. Oh well May was fabulous until then.

Thanks to the lovely Helen over at 'A Patient Gardeners' Weblog' for hosting. It seems an age since I've done an end of month view so it's good to be back.


  1. May is my favourite month too. It marks the point when usually the young green growth is at its freshest. I’m biased as it is also my birthday month.

  2. Our neighbour snows red bottlebrush flowers. Buckets of them!

  3. That is a wonderful list of purchases. I haven't been to Malvern for about six years and I used to be a regular. It's just too far for a day trip these days.. it involves getting up before 5.00 in the morning which takes some of the pleasure out of it!

  4. Sounds like you had a good day at Malvern and were lucky with your purchases. May is the best month here this year; sometimes it's April.

  5. Hello again, Anna what a lovely read. May is a fav month of mine too although this year I'm enjoying June so far. That was an impressive list of plant purchases - enjoy them all! Malvern always looks a good spring show. Hoping the catkin mess is gone now. Enjoy June now :-)

  6. I know what you mean about the allotment - I help on a plot nearby but the bad weather in spring limited what I could do and things got out of hand. Ironically, now the weather's settled, I could clear the plot in a couple of days but the old lady whose plot it is has decided to give it up. My Edith Wolford irises were also disappointing - only two flower stems where there should be many. I wondered if the winter cold had affected them. I missed Malvern this year but my niece went and had a fabulous time. Didn't bloggers used to meet up there, and do they still do that?

  7. We had a willow that did that, but fortunately on the north side of the house away from the patio and I could suck up all the fluff in the lawnmower! Sadly it was sick and had to come down, as it was near to the public footpath that runs past our garden. I miss the bees and early green, but not those fluffy catkins! ;-)

  8. Thanks for the Met Office link, Anna, which confirms what we found from our solar panels, and more besides. Good to read about what's given you pleasure - and what isn't! Those catkins!! Lots of lovely new purchases too ��


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.