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.