Welcome to Seasonal Gardening
Seasonal Gardening provides a month by month account of tasks that need to be done in the garden. Our free online guide is packed with hints, tips, helpful projects and useful gardening ideas for every season.
Covering the whole of the UK (Great Britain, England, Scotland & Wales) - Hardiness Zones 7, 8 & 9.
Lots of Great Ideas for the Garden
See our section on hints, tips and great gardening ideas sent in by our readers.
May Gardening Tasks
You will need to work hard this month to keep weeds at bay, especially with the wet weather sweeping the country. Keep pulling them out and hoeing off the bare ground until the borders fill-out with emerging perennials and bedding plants. Whilst weeding check for self-sown annuals, biennials and perennials that can be potted-up or transplanted for use in other areas of the garden.
Plant container grown plants, shrubs and roses now, taking advantage of the cool weather and plentiful spring showers to enable plants to become well established before the hot and dry summer months arrive.
Grow Drought Tolerant Container Plants
If you have a water shortage your area and still want to plant containers, then why not plant-up some tender succulents such as aeoniums, crassulas, echeverias, haworthias or mesembryanthemums. These tough little plants will virtually look after themselves all summer - without the need for much watering once established. However, as they are all tender they cannot be put outside until all risk of frost in your area has passed. Be sure to use a free draining compost, such as cactus compost, and top off with gravel, small stones or slate chippings to ensure that the succulent leaves and rosettes do not sit in damp soil.
Why Not Try a Little Topiary?
Evergreen shrubs and trees with fine leaves such as boxwood (buxus), lonicera nitida (shrubby honeysuckle) and yew are very hardy and quite drought tolerant, so can provide much needed interest in the garden during drought conditions when other plants are suffering. Many of these small-leaved evergreens can be easily trained into fanciful shapes and most can be cut back hard, sending out new growth, even from the woody base.
If you are starting topiary from scratch, buy compact, well-branched shrubs, making sure that they also branch out from the base. Simple balls, cubes, cones and pyramids, are ideal shapes to start with. However, if you have your heart set on a bird or a more fanciful shape, then select a young bush and use stout wires to bend the young stems in the desired direction or buy a preshaped wire-frame and grow the plant through it. Topiary is an ancient art that requires many years of patience, so don't expect to achieve instant results.
Plant of the Month
The ever delightful clematis montana will be displaying its white, rosy-pink or lilac flowers this month, covering walls, pergolas or intertwining with shrubs; providing a glorious extravaganza of spring colour.
Garden of the Month
Nymans - Sussex
The masses of azaleas, rhododendrons and magnolias in full bloom make Nymans a delight to visit at this time of year. This lovely enchanting garden is just full of atmosphere, with sweeping lawns, romantic ruins, Italianate statues, clipped topiary and gracefully cedar trees.
Gardens open: Feb~Oct, Wed-Sun & BH, 11 to 4pm