End of month view: My garden in May 2015

Surveying the garden from the oak bench, a sunny spot in the morning and a good place to perch with a cup of tea and plans in my head. In the pot is a Magnolia stellata that I plan to release into the garden when I can work out the best place for it.
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.
I almost forgot to add this long shot of the garden 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 it's 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 flowers starting with Daphne aureomarginata, followed by Wisteria, then Philadelphus 'Belle Etoile', Rosa New Dawn and finally Trachelospermum Jasminoides. All delicious.
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. 

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Another 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.
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 dragon flies. The nymphs climb out of the water onto the sword-shaped leaves and slowly over the course of a day emerge as the most amazingly beautiful creature. I live watching them zoom around the garden. They get so close to you but never touch and they bring the garden to life, just beautiful.
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 to the garage bed, currently resting. The garage bed is one of my hardest working areas. It is the one I see in close up from the kitchen window and one I pass as I go from kitchen to garden, to garage thousands of times a year. It starts with snowdrops and sarcococca against a framework of Cornus Midwinter Fire followed by Bergenia 'Silberlicht' and Narcissi Thalia and a purple freckled creamy white hellebore. Now it is resting but soon the blue geraniums (mother's garden) will be in flower and in July the White Japanese anemone will start flowering and continue until Nivember. The Virginia creeper growing up the brick wall makes for a good backdrop, some years more successfully than others.
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.
The old wooden folding deck chair, one of a pair from my parents' garden.
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.
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 Diablo, Euphorbia mellifera (I know this gets huge, this one is the third generation, but I remove and re-plant with a seedling when that happens and I do love the colour 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 plant is one of those plants that conjures up waves of memories), Allium Christophii, to honour Christo of course, possibly my favourite garden writer, and 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.
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.

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7 thoughts on “End of month view: My garden in May 2015

  1. It’s all looking lovely. I do like the deck overhanging the pond, that must be a fabulous place to sit out. I bought Iris ‘Jane Phillips’ earlier in the month and it’s just about to bloom!

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  2. Beautiful, so many lovely plants. I have some seed grown Jane Philips babies which I am excited about. I don’ t know who the father was as I didn’ t arrange the marriage, tthe bees saw to it. I hope they have will have their mother’ s scent.

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  3. We obviously have plant tastes in common! You have many that we had in our previous garden and plan to plant here. Thanks so much for the tour of your gorgeous plants and garden – all looking pristine. (Am also of a huge fan of Christopher Lloyd’s writing and Great Dixter 🙂 )

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  4. Another Wisteria, I am beginning to feel left out and may just have to go and get one. I love your deck so clever and it looks such a wonderful place to sit of an evening

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  5. You have a lovely garden Sarah, and obviously well thought out with all those fragrant plants next to seats. I love the decking over the pond – it must be wonderful to sit there and enjoy the dragonflies flittering about. I know the wisteria is work, but the fragrance is worth it.

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  6. Your garden is absolutely beautiful! You really have an eye for plants and flowers. I love your deck and pond, what a clever addition to a garden. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an arrangement like that in a home garden before and it’s a wonderful idea!

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