Everything you need to grow...
Hot off the trowel
Gardens to gander
We are now into May and the time for Cherry trees, bluebells, azaleas and rhododendrons, which are really in full flow now, especially the tulips.
West Dean Gardens open Mon -Sun 10.30am - 4.30pm.
Petworth House. Gardens open Mon-Sun 10.00am - 4.00pm.
Woolbeding Gardens opens again on Thursday 28 April. Check nearer the time for how to book tickets. www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Easebourne Garden and Allotment Society have their plant sale on 21 May 10am to midday in front of Easebourne Priory. GU29 0AJ.
Bramshott Open Gardens are back on 11-12 June. Over 25 gardens to gander. Contact. www.bramshottopengardens.org.uk.
On 14 May from 11.30-3.30pm Philip Jackson’s garden at Casters Brook, Cocking, Midhurst will be open raising money for the Murray Downland Trust. His garden is full of his iconic sculptures so this is always worth a visit and in aid of a worthy charity. Tickets are available on the day at the garden.
Bugs that are good for your garden!
Lacewings These beautiful and common insects in British gardens are easy to recognise by their transparent lace-like wings, which are nearly twice as long as the abdomen. Both the adult and larvae are voracious consumers of aphids and insect eggs.
These wasps do not sting. They lay their eggs on or in other insects. Although their life cycle is gruesome - after the egg hatches, the parasitoid eats the host alive before emerging as an adult - these insects have an important role to play. They kill enormous numbers of garden pests, from brassica munching caterpillars to sawflies, ants and aphids.
Learn to identify, treat and prevent plant pests and diseases with the help of the experts at the RHS. A detailed A-Z plant listing explains common plant problems so you know what to look out for in your garden. Explore more than 300 close-up photos showing symptoms and causes of ailments, helping you to identify and treat problems fast. Includes suggestions for organic, biological and chemical controls to keep you one step ahead of pests and diseases.
Keep your plants in perfect condition all year round.
Top gardening jobs for May
Summer’s on it’s way, as bulbs fade and herbaceous borders grow in leaps and bounds, it is now clear that summer is
approaching. Sowing and planting out bedding can begin, depending on regional weather variations and you can take softwood cuttings. It is also time to get back into the lawn mowing regime, as the lawn will be loving the warmer temperatures this month brings.
1. Watch out for late frosts. Protect tender plants.
2. Earth up potatoes and promptly plant any remaining.
3. Plant out summer bedding at the end of the month (except in cold areas)
4. Water early and late to get the most from your water, recycle when you can
5. Regularly hoe off weeks
6. Open greenhouse vents and doors on warm days.
7. Mow lawns weekly - but consider leaving some areas uncut for wildlife.
8. Check for nesting birds before clipping hedges.
9. Lift and divide overcrowded clumps of daffodils and other spring bulbs
10. Watch out for vibernum beetle and lily beetle grubs
‘It was the month of May, the month when the foliage of herbs and trees is mostly freshly green, when buds ripened and blossoms appear in their fragrance and loveliness’
La Morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory
‘Oh, that lone flower recalled to me
My happy childhood’s hours
When bluebells seems like fairy gifts
A prize among the flowers’
‘You have to remember to be thankful. But in May, one simply can’t help being thankful that they are alive, if for nothing else’
Lucy Maud Montgomery
‘It is now May. It is the month wherein nature hath her fill of mirth and the senses are filled with delights. I conclude it is from the Heavens, a grace,and to the Earth, a gladness’
‘The bluebells made such a pool that the earth had become like water, and all the trees and bushes seemed to have grown out of the water. And this sky above seemed to have fallen down onto the earth’s floor; and I didn’t know if the sky was the earth or the earth water. I had been turned upside down.’
‘In every gardener, there is a child who believes in the seed fairy’