May has been a busy and exciting month, there has been so much going on it is hard to know where to start. Following the sunniest April on record the garden, the cutting patch and the edible flower patch have really come alive.
It has been a real mixed bag weather wise with wind and rain, sunny days followed by very cold nights. The fleece and the cloches have been on and off, a real juggling act, as well as keeping the plants watered through the dry spells, always mindful of the water bill as water in the southwest is very expensive. We lost one lot of Cosmos seedlings to an unexpected frost and also some of the climbing beans, luckily everything else is flourishing.
At the beginning of May the Cleomes, Nicotiana , Antirrhinum and two varieties of Calendula ‘Indian Prince’ and ‘Neon’ were moved from the cold frame and planted out in the cutting patch and covered with fine netting cloches to protect them from rabbits by day and frost by night. The Gypsophila seedlings were ready to be thinned out but as I hate any wastage I divided them up instead and made a second row. These were also covered with a netting cloche. The Celosia seedlings in the cold frame which has been a bit of a challenge were potted on into fibre pots and put back in the cold frame. They will be ready to plant out at the end of next week.
By the second week of May we were still getting the occasional night time frost and so were still covering the tender plants with cloches or fleece. The Calendula ‘Indian Prince’, grown from seeds planted last September had started to flower and the Cornflowers ‘Black Ball’ were close to flowering.
The Delphiniums, Lupins, Sisyrinchium and Astilbe have all grown beautifully and have lots of flower spikes growing. The Sweet William grown from seed last May is nearly there and the Wallflowers are still flowering and have given us a glorious splash of colour for weeks now. The Nigella sees had already grown into seedlings, everything was growing like mad.
At the end of the second week we had heavy rain and wind and we were out frantically staking up the Sunflowers, Lupins and Cornflowers , which resulted in two broken Sunflower plants before we could get them staked and some of the very tiny beetroot seedlings were also washed away in the veggie patch.
This was followed by sunny spells but still windy and then more heavy rain in the third week, all really good growing weather and by the end of the third week the wind dropped at last and we had some lovely sunny weather.
The Calendula and Cornflowers burst into flower and by the fourth week of May we were able to pick from the cutting patch and have flowers in the house! And that’s what it’s all about, all good fun!