Gardening by Month - May


Be water-wise:

As spring turns to early summer, we must start to think about watering and irrigation in our gardens. Despite a wet winter season, the past couple of months have been very dry, and more recent winds have further dried the topsoil.

Follow our top tips below, to keep your outdoor space looking fresh now through to 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 the 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

 Plants for dry weather:

  • English lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Hebe
  • Cistus
  • Geranium/Pelargonium (our Plant of the Month)
  • Lilac
  • Agapanthus
  • 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.


Currently, we've many rose plants in stock, including new varieties. 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.

You might also be interested in:

Planting pollinator-friendly flowers

By planting pollinator-friendly flowers, you can create a beautiful and beneficial garden

How to improve drainage in your lawn

If you wonder how to improve drainage in your lawn, you’ll be pleased to know there are some ways that you can help the squelchy yard under your feet!

A beginner’s guide to growing vegetables

If you’re new to vegetable growing, here are some tips to get you started.

Best flowers to grow in a hanging basket

We have picked our top ten flowers to succeed in hanging baskets with a few surprises. Discover them now!