The sunshine has finally arrived after an unseasonably chilly April, and with it summer begins to bloom. Whilst I love all the spring flowers and signs of new life March and April bring, my garden really comes into itself in May, filling with a multitude of colourful flowers and greenery.
Tulips are in full force, their delicate petals opening widely to the sun in every different colour. I even have some variegated ones this year, adding a bit of glamour to my pots and beds! The dainty white flowers on the choysia at the bottom of the garden are also abundant, the gentle, honey like scent a delicious attraction to the local bees. The wisteria trails her dainty lilac petals along the fence, like dozens of dancers twirling in the breeze. The ruffles of the ranunculi add more colour and there are still plenty of violets, primroses and pansies about. I even found one growing out of the garden wall!
My herb bed is a glorious sight, spilling over with tasty green leaves of marjoram, oregano, sage, lemon balm and mint, while the bronze fennel stands tall in the middle, its delicate leaves like fluffy brushes. On the windowsill it has even been warm enough to plant out basil. This year I have Greek, which has small leaves and a very similar taste to classic sweet basil (which I’ve also grown from seed, but have kept inside), and African purple basil which I’ve found is much hardier and will survive all summer on my windowsill. The leaves are a little tougher so it’s better in cooking and pesto than salads.
On the vegetable front, the cold April delayed everything a little but most things I’d planted outside seemed to survive. The root vegetables are growing into strong plants in my raised bed and I have a large selection of different lettuces and salad leaves as well as baby spinach. I planted a large clump of wild garlic from my parents’ garden in a shady corner (after using a load to make some very yummy pesto) and it seems to be taking okay despite the neighbours cats constantly trampling over it! I planted onions and leeks straight into the ground from seed early in the year and they are finally starting to appear. Although a slow process doing it this way, the final produce will be long lasting. Still in doors, I have cherry tomato plants, a courgette and finally a cucumber which took a few attempts to grow from seed! And finally my potatoes which are looking glorious! I plant in potato bags, which always seem to work well and don’t take up much space in my little garden.
If you didn’t plant from seed but want to give a few things a go, now is the time to buy small plants from the garden centre and put into large pots of grow bags. Tomatoes are a great place to start!