The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Surrey Edition

Muddy gardens: What to do in May

2 May 2016

Did you know it is World Naked Gardening Day this Saturday? And while I won’t personally be pulling weeds in the buff, if you’re planning to tend your flowers as nature intended then you’ll need to remember suncream as the sun is scheduled to shine this weekend!

This month our gardening tips come from Richard Burnip, or Burney as we like to call him, the head gardener at the stunning Loseley Park, near Guildford. Richard has been been working at Loseley for more than 20 years, and lives within the grounds. He oversees Loseley’s five gardens – the beautiful Walled Garden, which covers 2.5 acres; the Rose Garden with its 1000 Old English rose bushes; the Flower Garden, with its bold and fiery display of perennials, annuals, mixed shrubs and bulbs; the classic White Garden; and the Organic Vegetable Garden. There is much to be inspired by here. *Deep sigh* If I follow Burney’s advice, is it possible that one day I hope my own garden will anything at all like this…?

Herb Garden Views - Alliums, Digitalis and Hesperis

The Herb Garden – Alliums, Digitalis and Hesperis. Photo: Jason Ingram, Country Living

Roses are red…

Rosa Wilhelm

The Rose Garden – Rosa Wilhelm. Photo: Jason Ingram, Country Living

Due to the cold weather we have delayed feeding the box hedges and roses.  The start of May is not too late and we use Blood, Fish & Bone on the box and a general rose fertiliser in the rose garden.

Always the wallflower

Cheiranthus cheiri (Wallflower)

The Flower Garden – Cheiranthus cheiri (Wallflower). Photo: Jason Ingram, Country Living

At the end of the month, once the frosts have gone, it is time to plant out annuals and tender perennials.  At this time of the year we are ripping out the spring bedding such as forget-me-nots and wallflowers and, after preparing the soil, planting the annuals.

The best marigold

Marigolds Tall Scotch Prize in the Flower Garden

The Flower Garden: Marigolds Tall Scotch Prize. Photo: Jason Ingram, Country Living

Faster growing annuals such as marigolds and cosmos are sown indoors at the start of the month.

Cut to promote growth

GardenCampanula

Campanulas

Some perennials such as penstemons, veronicas and campanulas can be cut back by ½ to 2/3 to promote later flowering and create a more sturdy plant.

The real savoy

Savoy Cabbage In The Vegetable Garden

The Organic Vegetable Garden – Savoy Cabbage. Photo: Jason Ingram, Country Living

In the vegetable garden make sure you protect your brassicas from pigeons and also use collars around base to prevent cabbage root fly maggots getting in to the roots.

Loseley Park, Guildford GU3 1HS. Tel: 01483 304440. loseleypark.co.uk

2 comments on “Muddy gardens: What to do in May”
  • Paul May 4, 2016

    World Naked Gardening Day (WNGD) is an annual international event celebrated on the first Saturday of May by gardeners and non-gardeners alike, the Twelfth Annual WNGD will take place on Saturday, May 7, 2016 (first Saturday of May).

    Reply
    • amberevans May 4, 2016

      Thanks Paul… Don’t forget the suncream!

      Reply

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Surrey Edition