May blossom and cow parsley
Chelsea Chop – Later in the month cut back some summer flowering perennials by half. This will lessen the need for staking as the plants grow more bushy, and will also delay flowering time. This is handy if you away in August and want to enjoy your garden in September. Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ is a particularly good subject, but anthemis, echinacea, phlox, rudbeckia and asters all do well under this regime.
Red Menace – Squash lily beetles without mercy. If the beetle is bright red with no spots, squash it, it will decimate lilies and fritilaries. Slugs and snails will be active, be beady eyed.
Go Potty – Frosts should be an unlikely occurrence after the middle of the month, so throw caution to the winds, and plant out bedding plants in containers, for a summer show to dazzle and delight.
Mind the Birds – Prune shrubs after flowering lilac, philadelphus, forsythia osmanthus ceanothus. Feed and mulch for strong growth. But please don’t cut hedges or trees as birds will be nesting.
Fill the Can – Water trees and shrubs that have been planted this winter. Their roots are not yet robust and they need extra attention as they come into leaf and flower.