May <ul><li>May is one of the best months for gardening. The sun should be shining and your garden will hopefully be green and fresh. </li></ul><ul><li>In this presentation we are going to share some of our most popular gardening advice and list our top ten plants for May – hopefully giving you some inspiration to get out there and marvel at the beauty of May! </li></ul>
1. Aquilegia Aquilegia, sometimes known as ‘Columbine’ or ‘Granny’s Bonnet’, is an old cottage garden favourite. Depending on the variety these flowers will usually grow to between 60 to 90cm tall. We would recommend planting them near the front of a border so you can easily see the delicate blooms.
2. Azaleas and Rhododendrons Typically the Azaleas can tolerate more sun than the Rhodes but they both need acidic soil to grow. The flowers of both plants are beautifully scented. We would recommend visiting an open garden in your area to see some of the more stunning versions of these amazing flowers. Details of local Open Gardens can be obtained from the Open Garden Scheme or the RHS.
3. Ceanothus ‘Concha’ (AGM) Some times known as ‘California Lilac’, this fantastic garden shrub is certainly one of our all time favourites. The amazing deep blue flowers look absolutely stunning in the spring sunshine. They can grow to become fairly large (around 3m in both height and width) so you need to ensure there is enough space available before you plant them.
4. Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’(AGM) Unfortunately named the ‘Judas Tree’ as its believed to be the tree that Judas hanged himself from. In reality this tree is actually a very pretty and good looking addition to most gardens. Usually they will grow to become 10m tall. The pink flowers offer a dramatic contrast when compared with bare branches, the deep purple heart shaped leaves turn yellow in autumn.
5. Choisya ternata (AGM) <ul><li>Commonly refereed to as ‘Mexican Orange Blossom’ due to its sweetly scented white flowers. We regularly use this plant in our designs as it is easy to grow, and as an evergreen it makes for a good foil for other plants to flower off later in the season. Usually they grow to around 1.5 meters in height. There are number of different varieties some with finely divided foliage and others with lime green leaves. </li></ul>
6. Convallaria magalis <ul><li>This plant is often overlooked as it usually only manages to grow to around 25cm however it’s beautiful smell will usually travel much higher! For years it has been used to make perfume all over the world. These flowers are perfect for ground cover in woodland or shady areas. </li></ul>
7. Dicentra spectabilis (AGM) <ul><li>Named ‘the bleeding heart’ due to its pendant shaped flowers, this is another plant that prefers to grow in woodland or shady areas, although it will tolerate sun if the soil is damp enough. Also available in white the flowers usually grow about 6cm away from the branch. </li></ul>
8. Paeonia suffruticosa <ul><li>Most gardeners are aware of herbaceous peony but the ‘Tree Peony’ is less well known. They make good shrubs and usually grow about two meters in size. They are quite easy to get going – just give them a sheltered sunny area and cut down the flowers if they get too heavy. </li></ul>
9. Papaver orientale <ul><li>These big, bold, and beautiful flowers are available in colours ranging from white to deep red. In the last couple of years the ‘Petty’s Plum’ variety have become extremely popular with a lot of gardeners. The only downside to these plants is the foliage often dies down after flowering; to combat this plant some perennials around them to fill in the gaps. </li></ul>
10. Polygonatum hybridum (AGM) <ul><li>This classic old cottage plant would look good in a contemporary scheme due to its elegant form and flower. They are better suited to shadier areas of the garden and can grow to around a meter in height. We often use this plant in modern urban designs where space and light are often in short supply. </li></ul>
Some tips and advice <ul><li>As we mentioned at the beginning of the presentation May is one of the best times to enjoy your garden. Following these tips will help you make the most of your out door space this month: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From now on make sure you water everything regularly, especially during dry weather. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Formal hedges can be cut back into shape this month. If you have Leylandii be careful not to cut into the old brown wood as this plant does not regenerate. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you didn’t add mulch around your plants earlier this year, do it now to help keep moisture in the soil. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Early May really is the last chance you have to sow a new lawn. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep on the look out for garden pests like aphids and caterpillars if you spot any deal with them quickly using your preferred method. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Last month if you sowed any annuals now is the time to thin them out. On average you should leave about 10 – 15cm between them but make sure you keep the strongest looking specimens. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you haven’t already now is the time to steak herbaceous plants like delphiniums to stop the flowers breaking off. </li></ul></ul>
Floral and Hardy <ul><li>If you would like help designing a new garden get in touch: </li></ul><ul><li>www.floralandhardy.co.uk </li></ul><ul><li>0845 603 2598 </li></ul><ul><li>Floral & Hardy Gardens Ltd Garden Design & Construction The Old Barn, 8 Hayes Wood Avenue, Hayes Village, Kent, BR2 7BL </li></ul>