THINGS YOU SHOULD BE DOING IN YOUR GARDEN IN LATE MAY?
- Scatter granular fertiliser around the base of roses, shrubs, perennials and hedges, and water in thoroughly if rain does not fall over the next week
- Thin out congested and overgrown pond plants
- Look out for aphids on lupins, they are usually bigger than the normal greenfly
- Push canes into pots of tall-growing lilies and tie their stems to them for support and put slug protection down
- Check roses regularly for signs of pests, plant marigolds to deter aphids
- Feed lawns now with a long lasting feed
- Feed fast-growing plants with a diluted liquid or powdered fertiliser
- Thin out seedlings from earlier sowings to their final spacings
- Cover strawberries with netting to keep birds off the fruit
- Sow seeds of radish, runner beans, calabrese, pak choi, mizuna, marrows, courgettes, chicory, kohl rabi, lettuce, marrows, swede, turnip and French beans
- Pinch out side shoots on tomato stems
- Train cucumbers and tomatoes to supports
- Cut back the foliage of daffodils to clear beds for summer planting
- Plant up summer baskets and containers now for summer colour
Give it a try...Adding scent to your garden. Scented climbers add impact to gardens, providing architectural value as well as heady perfume. The fragrance of many of these plants intensifies in the evenings so it's a good idea to grow them around your outdoor seating area. Scented climbers also provide interest at the edges of paths, where you can take in their aroma as you walk past them. Plant them where they can scramble over an arch or fence, or train them up a wall, where their scent can waft into your house. An old favourite of mine is the scent of honeysuckle on a midsummer evening. In the countryside it scrambles through hedgerows, so is suited to growing in partial shade. The plants are ideal for training up a wall or trellis, and can also be grown up a tree or with a climbing rose. Covering the walls of many gardens at the moment, including our own in the garden centre is the wonderful Clematis Montana. It is a vigorous climber, so is ideal for covering unsightly walls and fences. It can also be trained up pergolas and trellis. Clematis Montana flowers from late spring to early summer, providing an early dose of fragrance, which is similar to the scent of almonds. Clematis Montana is one of the easiest Clematis to grow. One of the most reliable rambling roses, 'Zephirine Drouhin' is known for its highly scented, deep rose-pink flowers, which it produces en masse. It grows well on a north-facing wall and can also be grown as a shrub. Another great climbing rose, 'New Dawn' produces sprays of fragrant, pale pink flowers from July to September. It's a lovely, repeat-flowering rose that flourishes in both the sun or in partial shade. A vigorous grower, it quickly covers a house or garden wall. Of course, we can’t talk about scent without Jasmine which produces delicately fragrant flowers from mid-summer to early autumn. A vigorous climber, it's best grown over a shed, porch or arch. It grows well with climbing roses, honeysuckle or clematis, but also looks good on its own. If you’re not looking for a perennial climber, sweet pea is excellent. Annual sweet peas are the perfect scented climbers, providing a quick burst of colour and scent in the garden. Underplant with night scented stock for a sweet smelling combination.