May has to be one of the best months of the year for garden beauty. The leaves on the trees are fresh and lush green, and many shrubs are covered in blossom, including the native Hawthorn. Grass lawns are in great condition and alpine plants in rockeries are full of colour. The Horse Chestnut tree, best known for it's conkers in autumn, has fantastic candles of quite exotic pink/white flowers this month. Most people overlook this, but if you live near a conker tree, go and take a look and you'll see them amongst the distinctive leaves.
The following plants are traditionally found in English cottage gardens. So, if you are planning on creating a cottage garden border this month, choose these and you can be sure of a beautiful display this summer.
ROW 1. FOXGLOVE / HONEYSUCKLE / OPIUM POPPY / GLADIOLUS / CHRISTMAS ROSE
ROW 2. LAVENDER / NASTURTIUM / SCABIOUS / ASTER / GUELDER ROSE
ROW 3. AUBRETIA / FORGET-ME-NOT / MIGNONETTE / COMMON BROOM / BORAGE
ROW 4. PERRENIAL PHLOX / WHITE JAPANESE WINDFLOWER / FLOWERING SAGE / PINK
If you are looking for a small tree that flowers in spring, then a Magnolia is a great choice, as they just get better with each year, and are easy to manage. Watch the short video above, with some beautiful examples of them in compact city terrace gardens.
Forsythia is a yellow flowering shrub that is also known as Easter Tree, to reflect the time when it is in flower. It is native to China, and was brought to Britain in the 19th century. It is common in many residential gardens, and can be planted as an informal hedge. It is the perfect backdrop to a border filled with spring bulbs, such as daffodils and tulips.
A classic feature of an old English country garden. If you are thinking of growing a hedge, Yew is a great plant to choose. Here is a fine example;
Enjoy the Daffodils whilst they last, as they are not around for long, and once they are gone, it's another whole year before you can see them again.
When the sanctions were announced, the media and politicians talked about some of the commodities that might be effected such as oil, gas, sunflower oil, potash for fertiliser, to name a few. However, there was no mention of one important commodity, timber.
At the time I did think about this, as I knew Russia grows a lot of the world's timber, and checked it out at the time, and found that 20% of timber is from Russia, so I thought soon enough prices would start rising.
Today I got an email from the shed manufacturer to say shed prices will be rising very soon, as the timber they get from Sweden, is grown in Russia, and just processed there. The demand on timber from outside of Russia, is pushing the price up. So, if you are interested in getting a wooden storage unit, wooden greenhouse, wooden shed, or garden arch, order ASAP, as the prices will all be going up this month. Unfortunately, the timber products were already a lot more expensive than before the pandemic began in 2020.
Happy Mother's Day, especially to all those with 9 or more ducklings to look after!
Winter was quite mild overall, but for some reason seems to have lasted forever, so it's so nice to feel some warmth from the sun, and see so many colourful spring bulbs in flower and blossom on trees.
Here is 6 native trees, of the British Isles, that are suitable for smaller gardens. As well as being great for wildlife, they also look beautiful and can transform a garden, that is currently treeless.