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Gardening Tips - May

Gardening Tips - May

Be water-wise. April showers have watered the garden but follow our tips to help keep your outdoor space looking fresh right through the summer.

  • Install a water butt wherever you have a gutter downpipe. You can even have one next to a garden shed.
  • Re-use clean house water for patio plants close to the kitchen.
  • Water later in the evening, so it's absorbed before evaporating in daytime heat.
  • Get mulching and add a thick layer of bark chippings around your plants to keep moisture in the soil for longer. 
  • Move container plants to a shady spot during hot spells and water them daily.

Ideal plants for dry weather:

  • English lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Hebe
  • Eucalyptus
  • Geranium/Pelargonium (our Plant of the Month)
  • Lilac
  • Ornamental allium
  • Petunia

While the above plants tolerate a lack of water, all young plants need to be kept watered to encourage good root growth.

Top of the list is lavender, a favourite of butterflies and bees. Being Mediterranean, it’s hardy and tolerates drought and difficult conditions. Favoured for its aromatic foliage and displays of flowers, it suits most situations. Two of the best loved and hardiest lavender varieties are Hidcote and Munstead. They produce fragrant flowers and are at home in garden borders or containers. They prefer a sunny position and in a cold winter would benefit from being in a sheltered spot.

It’s nearly rose season. Climbing roses are lovely for summer colour and perfume, with colours, shapes and sizes to suit all tastes and gardens. They look stunning trained over an arch or pergola and can also be trained up a garden fence or wall.

It doesn’t take much to improve the quality and lifespan of flowering on your roses. Give them a liquid rose feed early this month, then another one in July. Just follow the instructions for the type you have chosen, or ask for advice in Garsons.