End of Month View: May (gardening in action)

It’s been half term here this week and David and I have taken time off to catch up with each other and the garden and to be around for the revising teenagers. This has involved much chivvying, chatting, encouraging, shopping for mountains of food, cooking, clearing up after they’ve individually made various lunches (why they can’t cook together and make one lot of mess, I don’t know!), making copious pots of tea, listening to grumbles and exam anxiety and generally supporting from a short distance, i.e., the garden.

May is the month when it all really kicks off out there and it’s impossible to keep on top of the weeds, the planting, the pruning, the clearing. We’ve made a couple of trips to the tip, the car bulging with builders sacks full of perennial weeds and garden material too bulky to compost. We’re waging a war against bindweed and brambles here and, no, we don’t have the time or energy to clear whole beds, dig out every last scrap of root out and start again, so we constantly chip away. In between the ‘trying to get on top of it’, David has also been laying a new path to connect the bottom of some steps to the end of another path where there was a gap, using up bits of old paving. Crazy paving is hot. You read it here first.

Floriferous highlights for May that have been and gone were the apple blossom (delicious) and lilac (lovely but fleeting). My absolute favourite part of the garden for the past couple of weeks has been where the new fruit trees were planted last spring (first photo and below). These are underplanted with a grass and wildflower mix, plus many self-seeders, and to my eye it is perfection. Wild with a little cultivation. I recently described our garden as organised chaos – it’s definitely more chaos than organised at the moment but I love the abundance and tapestry that nature creates on its own. Whenever I’ve needed a break from my desk or fraught teenagers, I’ve wandered down to this spot with a mug of something and stood and gazed at it for a while. Five minutes is all I need to recalibrate.

Anyway, here’s how the back garden is looking:

The raspberries in front of the greenhouse are shooting up and out and along in all directions!
Open shed door, piles of stuff, this is how our garden looks most of the time.
Plants in trays waiting patiently to be planted. I have all the guilt associated with this scene!
Gladioli (I think they’re ‘byzantinus’) – we didn’t plant these, they appeared gradually from a load of topsoil we bought to fill these beds, but I’m very happy they’re there.
Gladioli close-up
I’m not convinced about this colour combo but I love both the Euphorbia oblongata and Nigella individually.
Rose ‘The Generous Gardener’, finally planted by the back wall and now covered with 18 (yes 18!) fat flower buds.

And here’s the front, sea-facing, terraced part of the garden (complete with gardener):

From the balcony looking down, front left.
Looking down, front right. (The trampoline is slowly being dismantled…) You can see the strip of hedge we planted last year on the boundary on the far right starting to bulk out.
Yellow flag iris in the pond (this was taken last week, by yesterday they’d gone over).

The bees, butterflies and other insects are abundant and I can spend a large amount of time watching all the goings on. We’ve more seeds to sow and plants to plant, all wildlife-friendly. This garden may be rather a jumble but it’s full of life. So, that’s our garden at the end of May (beginning of June!). I’m joining Helen at The Patient Gardener where you’ll find her EOMV and those of other garden bloggers.

Right, I’m off to the garden centre (I have a voucher burning a hole in my pocket) – wishing you a lovely weekend. More anon.

21 thoughts on “End of Month View: May (gardening in action)

  1. The garden centres are devils with their vouchers aren’t they, I’m always getting sucked in. Your garden is looking glorious. The back wall is a thing of beauty, I always think I’m looking at a posh open garden somewhere when I see it. You’ve both been working hard I think. I tackled the weeding and a rampaging grape vine this afternoon. I’m all scratched and worn out now. As you say, it’s impossible to quite get on top of things at this time of year. When my partner got home, I said, ‘I know it doesn’t look as if anything has been done, but I’ve been working hard all afternoon.’ Middle child has a week of exams next week. He has taken the opportunity of the half term week to do NO REVISION AT ALL. I honestly don’t know how I’ll ever get them to study. How is it done??? I live in fear of GCSEs. Mightily impressed that yours make their own lunches. I suppose mine might have a stab at it if I stopped feeding them. Enjoy the rest of the weekend. CJ xx

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    1. Don’t worry about the revision. They’ll probably get into the swing of it as they near important exams. (And it’s not the end of the world if they don’t!) My boys love to make big lunches involving saucepans whereas I’ll only make them a quick sandwich.

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  2. Glorious. Organised chaos is what I strive for although here too the emphasis is more on the latter. On the slopes I never try to dig the brambles out for fear of causing a landslide. So I just keep cutting them back as they resprout in a war of attrition. It does work. Eventually!

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    1. There is something quite satisfying about pulling out a bramble after wrestling with it for a while but a good idea not to pull out on your bank for fear of accidents and you harming yourself!

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  3. Absolutely ‘full of life’! The things that disturb you when you look at the photos (seed trays, garden shed contents etc) make it come alive and I much prefer that sort of look to absolute perfection. It’s a wonderful ‘jumble’ and there are some gorgeous views. Those grasses and your californian poppies catch my eye. And the Gladioli are lovely too. Happy gardening…. I wonder what you spent your gift voucher on… 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Cathy. There were special offers at the garden centre so I got quite a lot – geums, scabious, rudbeckias and some bedding for pots (which I must plant!).

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  4. Thanks for the lovely tour through your garden! It looks to be bursting with color and life! And best of luck with your teenagers, we occasionally have swarms of them raiding our larder as well 🙂
    Cheers, Ben

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  5. Yes, that photo of your fruit tree meadow is indeed lovely – and I am glad you are finding the occasional 5 minutes to take stock. Good to see what’s what in your May garden which I feel we are beginning to get to know better. I keep meaning to get some of these gladioli, which certainly demonstrate their toughness here. Thanks for sharing – and I’m sure thise teenagers of yours appreciated you being there ☺

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