Horticultural Society

Gardening Notes for

In May, with spring in full swing, longer, warmer days, two bank holiday weekends and summer just around the corner, it’s a great time to be outside and busy in your garden.  Now that frosts are over, we can plant summer flowers and bedding plants -  geranium, petunia, lobelia, begonia, calendula, sweet william and cosmos - there’s so much choice.    Just be watchful for the first two weeks when occasionally we have experienced frosts in Fernhurst

I fill my small garden with as many pots, window boxes and hanging baskets as I can fit in.   They take a lot of watering, but it’s worth it for the colour and beauty they give.    In May I will also plant sweet peas.  I will look forward to seeing lily of the valley again, with its delicate white bells and wonderful fragrance.  
In my raised beds, I shall sow runner, dwarf and french beans and peas
(particularly for my Dad’s  - his favourites), to accompany courgette, salads and spinach.   Peas and beans thrive in a rich, well-drained soil in a sunny position.  I must remember to plant them in rows north to south, as I learnt at a recent Hort Soc talk!    

I have lots of herbs and in May I will add basil, dill and tarragon to my established collection of parsley, oregano, sage, bay, thyme, lemon balm, chive, and mint.   I love being able to just pop outside my back door and pick what I need.   I add herbs liberally when cooking.   I will also grow a good supply of pretty blue borage (ideal for Pimms!), nasturtium and calendula, so I have edible flowers for salads and cakes.
The warmer weather is not only liked by plants, but by all those pests too!   I’m an organic gardener and always go for eco and wildlife-friendly ways of warding off those unwanted visitors.  I find the biological nematode controls very good for keeping slugs at bay. 

Enjoy your gardens in May.   In the words of Rudyard Kiplings’s poem  - “the Glory of the Garden it shall never pass away’”

Penny Sydenham