Surveying the garden from the oak bench, a sunny spot in the morning and a good place to perch with a cup of tea in my hand and a plan in my head. In the pot is Magnolia stellata that I plan to release into the garden when I can work out the best place. Iris ‘Jane Phillips’ smells divine. She also lives in the front garden and has recently moved onto the allotment too. Later on I will be able to smell the roses and honeysuckle from this seat. In the winter sarcococca scents the air.
A long shot showing the star of the May garden: Wisteria Japonica Floribunda. Actually I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this climber. I love its winter framework, the scented flowers and how it screens the deck to create a leafy bower, but I loathe pruning it and of course you can guess where most of the leaves end up. But in May all its faults are forgiven. Around the deck I have a succession of scented plants starting with Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’, followed by Wisteria, Peony ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ (still in tight bud), then Philadelphus ‘Belle Etoile’, Rosa New Dawn and finally Trachelospermum Jasminoides.
A view of the garage bed with a fabulous hosta, variety unknown. All my hostas came originally from my mother’s garden. The challenge is to keep it looking as good as this all summer.
The flag Iris make a great launching pad for dragonflies. The nymphs climb out of the water clinging onto the sword-shaped leaves and slowly over the course of a day emerge as iridescent flying creatures. Wonderful to observe. I love watching dragonflies zoom around the garden. They get so close to you but never touch and along with birds and butterflies and damselflies they bring the garden to life.
Looking along the back of the house past Hydrangea petiolaris, at its best now, to the garage bed. This border is one of my hardest working areas and is the one I see in close up from the kitchen window. It starts with snowdrops and sarcococca against a framework of Cornus Midwinter Fire, which I cut back very hard in April every year, followed by Bergenia ‘Silberlicht’ and Narcissus Thalia and a purple-freckled creamy-white hellebore. Now the border is resting but soon the blue geraniums will be in flower and in July the white Japanese anemone will start flowering and continue until November. The Virginia creeper growing up the brick wall makes for a good backdrop, some years more successfully than others.
A favourite place to sit, especially on a hot sunny day with my afternoon cup of tea. The wooden folding deck chair came from my parents’ garden and is supposedly made from old ship timbers. The Geranium maccrorhizum which self-seeds with gay abandon and is adored by bees also seems to be deterring the slugs from eating the hosta. I do not use slug pellets in my garden but I crunch and squish snails and slugs, check my few pots almost every day and most importantly I have resident toads and visiting hedgehogs. The red camellia in the corner has had a severe pruning and a very good wash with warm soapy water as she was afflicted by sooty mould. She is feeling and looking much better. This is my woodland garden and is now scented by Syringa microphylla and, so exciting for me, one pair of leaves and one flower of lily of the valley. I have been trying on and off for decades to introduce lily of the valley into my garden. At present it is hard to see as it is hidden under a clump of Geranium sylvaticum ‘Album’ but next year, next year ….
I love this view from under the pear tree, a good place to hide and observe. The Primula Bulleyana is just coming out and complements Bowles golden carex.
Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diabolo’, Euphorbia mellifera (I know this gets huge, this one is the third generation, but I remove and re-plant with a seedling or off- shoot when that happens and I love the colour and form of the leaves and the honey-scented flowers), Geum Mrs Bradshaw (bought from Owl Cottage on the Isle of Wight. Owl Cottage was one of Geoff Hamilton’s favourite cottage gardens and this is one of those plants that conjures up waves of memories), Allium Christophii, to honour Christo of course, possibly my favourite garden writer, good old Alchemilla mollis, the lime green flowers just coming out and the leaves doing a sterling job of hiding the slug-chewed allium foliage and Stipa tennuissima to add texture and movement. Hiding behind the leaves of Japanese anemone is Rosa Rosamundi so I must thin out some of the leaves in order to allow Rosamund her moment in the spotlight.
So that is my garden at the end of May. I’m already looking forward to June, my favourite month in the garden. I’m joining in with Helen of The Patient Gardener with this post. Do go over to
https://patientgardener.wordpress.com to see her End of Month View and links to many other lovely gardens.