It’s that time of year when traditionally we all head out to the garden centres but even in lockdown there are still plenty of ways to start creating that space that you’ve always wanted. With the sun out it’s a good time to give the patios a wash down, get on top of the weeding and generally take stock, what is starting to shoot up, what didn’t survive the winter and where would benefit from a few extra plants to fill the gaps.
In smaller spaces adding height will give additional interest and one of the easiest ways to do this is with climbers, the first clematis are starting to flower from the bluish purples of Clematis alpinato the double flowered Clematis macropetala ‘Markham’s Pink’. To add scent as well as colour some of the honeysuckles start flowering in April and will carry on until August, Lonicera japonica ‘Hall’s Prolific’ or ‘Halliana’ come with white flowers that gradually fade to yellow. To extend the flowering season add in some scented roses, the colour combinations you can play with are almost endless.
In larger gardens right now the bright white dots of Anemone nemorosa or the purple-lilac of Viola odorataare peaking out from underneath over hanging trees or around deciduous shrubs, they are great plants for covering patches of bare soil in shady areas. For any gaps in the borders some of my favourite plants start flowering in May, just time to squeeze a few in from the blousy peonies in white, pinks and reds to irises in just about any colour. Along with geraniums such as the delicate lilac-blue of Geranium x johnsonii ‘Johnson’s Blue’ or the deep red of Geranium phaeum.
As the days are getting warmer and longer it’s also a good time to tidy up indoor spaces, if you have a greenhouse start opening the windows during the day to allow good ventilation, check on and prick out any seedlings you are growing. Houseplants also need a quick inspection to see if they could do with a top up of compost or are looking root bound and could do with a new pot. There is always room for one more plant to add to the collection, perhaps an orchid, a succulent Echeveria or the larger Monstera deliciosa (Swiss cheese plant).
Sowing a few seeds
Whether you only have a window sill, a pot on a balcony or patch of soil that needs covering, seeds are ideal, many of which can be sown now and enjoyed this summer. Some of the quickest and easiest to grow are salad crops, some rocket or mizuna leaves to add a peppery hit to a salad or a few pots of herbs whether choosing the ones you use every day to cook with or the chance to try a new variety. Annuals are also fairly easy to grow from seed and perfect for a filling a few gaps in the borders or providing a few cut flowers for the house, from cosmos to zinnias or a packet of mixed wildflower seeds that the bees will love.
A big thank you to our Guest Blogger, Camilla Grayley, Garden & Landscape Designer in York.
About the Author
Camilla Grayley is a garden designer mainly working in and around Yorkshire but has travelled up and down the UK to design gardens and is always happy to travel to help clients with their gardens. I love creating gardens with strong architectural outlines softened by voluminous planting that draws on year round interest, ensuring there is something to capture the eye whatever the season. Gardens should always evoke all the senses from the colour palette on the eye, to the rustling of plants swaying in the wind to the amazing perfumes that can be inhaled, whether on a summer’s evening or the depth of winter.
If you’d like to get in touch details are on my website https://www.camillagrayleydesign.com/contact/