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May in the Garden

“May is a fantastic month for flowering plants as they now settle into vigorous growth in the warm weather, producing beautiful blooms. The conditions that our beloved plants enjoy are also perfect for weeds. Before you attack however, remember that “weeds” are often British wildflowers, which are perfectly adapted to our climate, are successful growers and more often than not, very valuable to our native wildlife. Some can be incredibly decorative, so it is worth taking some time to ID “weeds” and see if you can accommodate a small number of decorative species. Examples of decorative wildflowers include Cow Parsley, Campion, Common Poppy, Wild Pansy, Teasel, Lesser Celandine amongst many others. Just remember they self-seed readily so will need some attention to stop them running riot. I always advocate mulching and now is the last time to do it before plants get too big to work around. Mulching helps retain water in the soil, improves soil fertility and structure and reduces germination of unwanted weeds. Now is also a good time to stake your taller herbaceous perennials before they become too big and top heavy. As well as your plants and weeds, the grass is growing vigorously. You should now be well into your mowing regime, keeping the grass at the desired height. If you suffer from moss in the lawn then leaving your grass slightly longer can help it to outcompete the moss. Keep an eye on the weather forecast too, because prolonged periods of dry weather, will be testing for the lawn. If dry spells are imminent, let the grass grow slightly longer,  to help it to cope with the stresses of less moisture.
A plant of interest this month is the Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale) is a very hardy, medium sized herbaceous perennial, with rough, hairy, divided, green leaves, bearing brilliant red, showy flowers with prominent, dark stamens in the centre. It will grow in any well-drained soil in a sheltered position, with full sun. Enjoy this weekend’s sunshine” ~ Ollie Ryan-Moore, Creative Landscapes