Muddy gardens: What to do in May
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…?
Roses are red…
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
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
Faster growing annuals such as marigolds and cosmos are sown indoors at the start of the month.
Cut to promote growth
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
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