WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR GARDEN IN LATE MAY
  • Clip box hedging and topiary.
  • Check plants regularly for signs of pests and disease.
  • Plant vegetable plants outdoors now.
  • Fill in any gaps in your herbaceous border.
  • Add plants of interest to your garden, it’s a good time to choose when they are looking their best.

Plants of Interest

Bedding plants

Now is the time to plant your summer colour. It is so easy to transform your outdoor living space with a minimum of effort. When choosing your plants keep in mind that all bedding plants, even though they may look the same, there can be quite a difference. Choose sturdy, healthy plants and avoid small plants with a small root system and if you can, buy Irish.  They are in my opinion, much superior to imported stock which may cost slightly less, but are cheaper in the long run. When choosing your bedding consider your location, your soil and whether it’s sunny or shaded, which is very important. For example, busy Lizzies are perfect in shade, whereas geraniums prefer full sun. Marigolds are nearly indestructible and will succeed where most other summer bedding plants will under-perform.  Cosmos and alyssum will flourish on poor, light soil but in general, you will be rewarded for a little preparation. Dig the soil and break down any large lumps to a workable consistency. Incorporate some compost and spread a small amount of good fertilizer. I find the long term slow release forms very effective as they will feed your plants as required for the whole summer. After planting, it is very important to give your plants a good watering and take care that newly planted flowers are not devoured by slugs. That’s really all you have to do and you will have colour all summer long. Nothing brightens up your home more than a couple of pots of colour.

My top 5 for success are:

Begonias = reliable.
Busy Lizzie's = enjoy our weather.
Cosmos = interest and height. 
Nemesia = vibrant colours.
Cape Daisy = interesting flower shades.

How to start growing your lunch (Rosemary)

Rosemary: For greatest success, set the plant in a sunny area. The ground must be well drained and not too rich; in a pot, a mixture of two parts sterilised potting soil to one part of coarse sand or perlite works well. Ensure good drainage and avoid overwatering; soggy roots will kill the plant. In monastic gardens of the Middle Ages, rosemary was tended as a medicinal herb. Valued for its tranquilizing effects, this aromatic evergreen was believed to cure headaches, strengthen hair, and aid memory and powers of concentration. These days, cooks celebrate rosemary's ability to create memorable dishes: a little is best, as it can be very strong. In its own right rosemary is an attractive evergreen shrub, with dainty blue flowers. The prostrate form makes an excellent ground cover plant which will also cascade over a wall.