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blooming pink flowers in May with green leaves

What to do in your garden in May

With May comes an intense burst of green growth and a feeling that summer is just around the corner. In most gardens there will be flowers in abundance. In an ordinary year, many people will have visited the garden centre around Easter, so most of their plants would therefore flower abundantly for a few weeks before a dip in colour in June (often barely noticed as the weather is much improved and the nights continue to draw out). 

For me, May is a time to take stock in the garden. It is a time to stand back, have a good look, see where the gaps will be in June or later and then buy plants to fill them. 

Indeed, this year is slightly different, so assuming the garden centres re-open at some point during May, it will be the perfect time to get a few new plant varieties to extend the season of colour. Just remember that the blousiest plants aren’t always the best purchase. They may have been grown on in a greenhouse to look their best and the nights can still get cold enough to check their growth once they are planted out.

If you trimmed your hedges in February they will be just starting to look straggly now. Maintenance trimming to maintain the shape of formal hedges may be undertaken but you will need to check for nesting birds – and wait until September. Luckily a little wildness around the edges can be a beautiful thing.

So that’s the advice for this month – take stock, see what needs tweaking, and let nature do its thing. Simple!