Garden in Spring

Gardening advice for May

By Paul Hervey-Brookes, May 16

Gardening advice for May

lavender plantingSummer is just around the corner and in the garden the spring flowering plants are beginning to fade, so now is the time to inject colour into the garden with hardy and half hardy plants. This is probably best done towards the latter half of the month to avoid late frosts.

The wallflowers can be cleared and put onto the compost heap and daffodils,tulips and hyacinth bulbs can be lifted after the leaves have died down. Put them in the greenhouse to dry off, cleaning off any soil and then store for replanting in the autumn. Primulas and polyanthus can be lifted and divided after they have finished flowering and now is the best time to plant lavender.

Window boxes, hanging baskets and planters can all be filled with bright, colourful plants and flowers to add instant interest in the garden. Herbaceous plants that grow to over 1ft high can have supports placed around them. This can be done with bought supports or twiggy pea sticks.

As the weather becomes warmer and drier continue to water seedlings and liquid feed established plants.


Weeds will be only too happy to take advantage of warmer weather, so hand weed between newly growing flower and vegetable seedlings.

Ensure that water butts are clean and ready for water storage and open greenhouse doors and vents to make the most of warmer days. Blinds or paint will protect young plants from damage if the temperature rises.

Now is the time to get the lawn looking fresh for the summer months ahead. Cut regularly, feed with fertiliser and apply weed killer to ensure it is nice and healthy. Hedges can be trimmed to get them looking neat and tidy but check for nesting birds before you start and also remove moss and weeds from paths and terraces.


Paul has his own highly successful landscape design business, and has also designed a range of gardening gifts for Marks and Spencers.

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