End of Month Review May 2022

May has been quite sunny and warm when it has not been quite chilly, breezy and rainy.  We seemed to get a lot of weather in May.
The garden has responded by getting lush and green and also quite colourful, though not colourful enough in my opinion.  I have been thinking for a while that the garden needs more colour and I have been working to introduce more.  It is too early yet though to see any impact.
In the front garden the side-lawn is still waiting to be mowed.  This is not for #nomowmay reasons though I will claim it is if you like.  This is because it has lots of spring flowering bulbs planted in it whose foliage needs to gather as much energy as it can ready for next year's flowers.  I would have mown it on the day I took these photographs but it was quite damp from recent rain.  I am not in any hurry.
I have planted up a hanging basket to go by the front door.  I have become a big fan of hanging baskets.  I even remember to water them sometimes.
In the Conservatory Border one of the limiters to adding colour is the now enormous Euphorbia mellifera.  I planted four of these grown from seed in the garden a few years ago.  It is a fantastic shrub and the scent of honey it is currently spreading through the garden is very very much loved...... but..... it has got a bit big..... too big..... it will be cut back next Spring to give the other plants around it some breathing space.
There is a big one in the Coal Bunker Border as well, this too will be cut back in the Spring, though it does not seem quite as over large as the other one.  You can see to the left/front of this photo the purple clematis, I do not have its name as it was given to me as a gift and it flowers early and wonderfully every year.
I saw there is not enough colour but there are moments I love like this dark foliage antirrhinum which is fitting in wonderfully with the annual 'bunny tails' grass, Lagurus ovatus.  I say annual, but this one has over-wintered this year.
This is a current favourite view (and scent opportunity) of part of the Pond Border.  The white standard wisteria, bought ten years ago on a trip to Devon  and I have to say a successful adventure into growing it as a tree.  This year I worried I had lost it as it got hit hard by a late frost, but it has rebudded and is flowering possibly the best it has ever been.  I was asked the other day how long I had to wait for it to flower.  I bought it already in flower so I knew it was capable of doing it.  It can take many years for some varieties to mature enough to flower, so buy one in flower.  The Abutilon vitifolium, with its wonderful mauve flowers, is also growing well.  I grew several from seed and they dot around the garden.
Just stepping back a bit, I am quite enjoying the Pond Garden in general at the moment.  The stachys are providing some rhythm and the roses and peonies are giving colour.
Joyfully, the hollyhocks are on their way up.  I am such a fan of hollyhocks.  I need to add more to this border as I am fairly sure it is planting happiness.  Don't mutter 'rust' at me, with enough other plants growing around them it is hardly noticeable (or I just ignore it - the result is the same).
I always like this view along the Long Shoot.  I can see more colour than I think there is, but I still want more (more, I tell you, more!!!)
Moving around to the Exotic Border, the tree ferns are now unfurling into action.  These plants are compulsive, there is something so wonderful and fascinating and just compelling about them.
Not much is more exciting than this moment in the garden.  When the fronds start to pinwheel out of their furry sleeping place (not a euphemism).  
Actually the Courtyard Garden is as exciting.  The house is now repainted and this bright bistro set has been purchased.  It makes me happier than is reasonable.  Best of all, the new side door actually opens (the old one didn't - never did for as long as I have lived here); suddenly having a new way out to the garden has made a huge difference.  I wondered if I would sit here much, but I do, I sit and drink tea or eat lunch and it is just the best thing.

I know I need to get back to the garden, but whilst I am on the subject of best things, 
I was sent this Rollmix Composter to try by the lovely people at Little Fields Farm, I need to be transparent I did not pay for this but I also do not have to say nice things about either.  I have found it to be incredibly useful.  I do have big compost heaps in the garden, but this one sits close to the back door and I use it for the contents of my kitchen compost bin.  So it is filling up with tea leaves and veg choppings etc.  I can move it around if I need to move it which also helps it all mix inside.  Best of all, it is close to the back door so I nip out and empty the kitchen caddy into it often.   I am just so lazy, the closer things are to the back door the more likely I am to use them!  It is also robust, it has been in situ for a few weeks, I have spilled things on it and moved it back and forth and it still looks fine.
The new butterfly border planted up a few weeks ago is settling in well.  You can see Esme having a nibble at the catmint but I have noticed that she only tends to do this when I am looking at this border.  She also has an equal opportunities policy in place for the catmint, nibbling and rolling on one plant for a while, then moving to another, meaning that they all have time to recover between nibbles.  So far this seems to be working as I have not lost one plant yet.
The Dancing Lawn has not had its first move yet of the year so is quite floofy.  The Wild Edric rose scrambling up the remains of the eating apple tree is looking magnificent and the scent spreads through this part of the garden.
Esme continues to follow me through the garden, with the Woodland Border to the left and the Wild Garden to the left.  This part of the garden feels lush and is full of insect life.  The recent rains have made it grow very quickly.
There are lots of wild roses in the boundary hedge.  They are all self-seeded and make me very happy.
and for balance, not all makes me happy.  The brambles and cuckoo-spit (sticky weed) is also growing apace.  Some areas of the garden are feeling a little out of control and so I am hoping to get back on top of things over the long Jubilee weekend.
Did I say out of control?  The veg borders are pretty much abandoned at the moment.  I know I want to change them but it just has not happened yet.  It will happen, promise.  I need to spend some proper time on them.
The Pond has also looked better, it is a bit low of water and bit too full of weed.  I will get this sorted soon.  The yellow flag iris are looking good, so focus on them please.

Next month will see us half way through the year, where does the time go?  Until then....

Take care and be kind

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