My Garden at the End of May 2014

It seems to be alternate months that I have contributed to the Meme run by Helen at Patient Gardener called End of Month View.  As the sun is shining (at last after a few wet and cold days) and its the weekend I have managed to get out there with the camera and make a record of how the garden is looking on the last day of May 2014.    It is looking very lush and green.

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The roses are coming out just as they should in time for June, but the Aquilegia are turning to seed and the Alliums are almost over.

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The Alliums and Ceanothus are a mass of bees which I find heart warming in the knowledge that I am doing my bit for the bee colonies.

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Rather than grow vegetables this year I decided to grow cutting flowers in the raised bed. I bought summer flowering bulbs and scattered them across the bed. The slugs have eaten their way through some, including an Agapanthus which is disappointing. The Anemones are in flower and there are some very pretty white doubles.

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The side patio is filling out and becoming a wonderful tranquil place to sit, weather permitting.   The Fuchsia is in flower, although it seemed to have been flowering throughout the winter also, such has been the mild weather.  I am also hoping that the white Agapanthus will flower as well as it has done over the last few years.  It is now quite pot bound but I am loathe to do anything with it until the summer is over.  Meanwhile I am feeding it with a mild solution of tomato feed.

Patio May 14 (1280x853)

Last year after seeing a very pretty French patio with a large white Hydrangea in a terracotta pot, I felt I wanted to replicate the scene.  After some searching I located a variety called Madame Emile Mouilliere  – it was a small plant and I bought a large pot for it.  However, within a year it has almost outgrown the pot but is looking fabulous.

Hydrangea (1280x853)

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This year I have grown Money Maker tomatoes from seed.  A couple of plants I brought out of the greenhouse several weeks ago and, out of interest, I nurtured two plants inside on the lounge windowsill.   Last week, I bought a small plastic growbag greenhouse  from Wilkinsons, the intention is to test the difference in taste between the plants grown outside to those grown within the greenhouse – this will be the first year I have grown tomatoes in greenhouse conditions.

There is a very dark shady spot at the end of the patio which is underneath the honeysuckle.   Generally I have just left this patch but this year I decided to grow orange begonias to give a little colour.  I bought some tubers (from Wilkinsons – no surprise!) and then a couple of plants from the local garden centre.   They have grown well and so far the slugs and snails have ignored them.

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I saw on television last week that the strawberry growers are a happy bunch this year due to the healthy crops and large flowers which will mean large strawberries.   Mine are doing really well also, as are the raspberries.  If I can dissuade the slugs from chomping at the strawberries, there is going to be some serious jam making.

Fruit (1280x905)

The very grand sounding “north border” – is just a border down the right side of the garden facing north.  It gets very little, or no sun, but the Astilbe, hydrangea and ferns are more than happy in their shady and damp conditions.   For the first time in two years I recently took the loppers to the Ribes when it had finished flowering.  I am pleased to see lots of new shoots.

North facing border (1280x853)

Slowly colour is arriving in the garden, the Salvia Hot Lips made it through the winter again, and the Astrantia is looking wonderful which is great because I thought I had lost last year due to a strange brown blisters on the leaves.


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Astrantia (1280x853)

I have lots of plants in pots this year and am growing sweetpeas in a Long Tom terracotta pot and rather than have the beansticks in a tepee fashion I have placed them so they grow outwards so it will be a “sort of ” cordon effect. I am not sure how well this will work but fingers crossed it will work.
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Finally, I leave you with another photo of the garden taken from a different angle.  As you can see the Ivy is very overgrown now, it belongs to my neighbour who seems loathe to cut it down and I have left it too late because the flower bed is filling out and there is little room to get to it.  I think I may try and chop some of the hanging branches back, although because the bed is south facing it is not creating any shade, just sapping some of the goodness out of the soil.
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Thank you Helen for hosting this meme, and I would recommend that you pay her blog a visit and check out all the other contributors and what is in their gardens at the end of May.  Click HERE to take you to The Patient Gardener Weblog.

23 thoughts on “My Garden at the End of May 2014

  1. Your garden is looking really pretty Ronnie, a lovely place to sit. The hydrangea looks great in its pot, even if it is going to need a new, larger one. I will be interested to see what difference ou find in greenhouse and outdoor tomatoes, I always seem to find that my greenhouse toms grow better and taste more juicy, but I think that may be because I tend to neglect the outdoor ones in comparison.

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  2. I have so enjoyed reading your blog and ‘seeing’ round your garden – which is looking very inviting and lush. Your tranquil area by the side border sounds the perfect place to sit and contemplate the garden! I’ve picked up quite a few hints and ideas from your blog and I will certainly be looking out for the white Hydrangea as it looks a lovely plant.

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    1. Hi Alison, thank you for stopping by. I am looking forward to some warm evenings to sit outside with a large glass of chilled white. I think the hydrangea may deserve a blog post all to its own!

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  3. Your efforts have not been in vain because your garden looks green, lush and very healthy Ronnie. It looks like a place to sit and relax and just savour everything around you!

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  4. What a pretty garden – Always a shock when I read about cosetting things like agapanthus which has become a weed in the north of NZ! I had it in my last garden and was good for holding up a volcanic bank and is pretty. Unfortunately it is one of those plants that people have dumped in our native bush areas and it has spread and overcome the bush. Man is a great destroyed of bush and forests around the world. Our Briticsh ancestors felled 80% of forests in NZ of magnificient huge kauris etec to turn into green fields like England! We are now trying to reverse this in small parts and in this garden we have just planted a steep slope 15m x 60m in natives to attract the native birds. We have two sancturarys nearby and many endangered birds are doing well. The other weed that is terrible that you mention is ivy! Or B… ..y Ivy as I call it. so invasive!!! Have a nice early summer – it is officially winter here with clear blue sky, lovely sun and no wind. Cooler out of sun but lovely sitting having coffee on the terrace. The pool looks very inviting but not sure if I am brave enough. My grand-daughter had two swims last week at Tawhanui up north of here and said sea warm still. A lot of people swim year round here but I find if there is a cold patch hard to get back in and I like to get out in the sun!

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    1. How strange that a treasured plant in one country is seen as a pest n another! A friend went to The Scilly Isles last year and they have plants growing all along the road side that you can’t get hold of easily here.

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  5. It’s all looking lovely Ronnie. The slugs and snails are having a really good year, unfortunately. If it carries on I will do the same as you and give up vegetables in favour of a cutting bed. Although they’ve already had many of my irises too and hostas are a distant memory. Concrete?

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    1. I’ve been using a mild solution (10:1) of household ammonia in a spray bottle and spraying the soil early morning and evenings. It is keeping the numbers down but not totally eradicating them but neither do slug pellets. It’s war out there!

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  6. It is looks very lush and well cared for. I have a hydrangea which was given to me and I was going to pass it on as I have no border space but then I decided to pop it in a pot on the patio and it looks fab although like yours I suspect it will soon out grow the pot

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  7. It all looks so lovely and lush. This really is the best bit of the year. I think you are right and that some things are earlier than usual like the aquilegias and alliums. I think my lupins are early too as they are almost past they r best (not helped by all that torrential run!!)

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    1. I am sure both the aquilegia and alliums were over quicker also, I seem to remember they usually last longer. I never have success with lupine they are gourmet food to the slugs and snails.

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  8. Your garden looks beautiful and the side patio does look very restful. I really like the white Hydrangea and am going to pinch your sweet pea idea, if thats ok, I have some that still need planting out as I did not want another wigwam and couldn’t decide, yours look just the job.

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  9. It all looks beautiful. Agapanthus took a couple of years to get going in my garden and seemed to appreciate the wet spring we had.

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    1. Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment, they are always appreciated. I was surprised to see one of the Agapanthus eaten through by snails/slugs usually they are safe. They do seem happy this year, so maybe it is the wet spring that has helped. Looking forward to showing them off when they are in bloom.

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