“The world’s favourite season is the spring.
All things seem possible in May.”
– Edwin Way Teale
I doubt I’m the only person pleased to see the back of April 2017. What a month! Some welcome sunshine but also freezing cold nights with snow, hail and heavy frost in many parts of the country. Our poor seedlings and young plants didn’t know what to do! Even my tortoises decided to go back into hibernation and how I wished I could have joined them.
But May has finally arrived, the wonderful month of warmth, growth and promise of the summer ahead. Those darling buds of May are swelling and summer is almost here. But not quite so don’t go getting giddy!
Our top ten recommended tasks this month include:
- Check your bedding plant seedlings and pinch out the growing tips to encourage strong bushy growth.
- Dependant on where you live, from the middle of the month the soil will be warm enough for planting veg and bedding plants out but do harden them off first.
- Our final despatch of bedding plants will be at the end of this month so if you are still missing favourites such as cosmos, aster, geranium, sweet peas, etc then this is your last chance. You’d better be quick!
- Plan your summer patio containers. Our long-stemmed clematis collection will look stunning growing through and up an obelisk or how about a standard bay or olive tree to offset the rest of your display?
- Keep the hoe handy and stay on top of the weeds. Otherwise they may well get on top of you!
- Our grafted veg plants must be ordered by mid-May so do make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. Grafted plants produce up to 75% more fruit!
- May is the perfect time to spray roses, protecting them against magnesium deficiency and bugs (or you could remove the bugs by hand and leave the birds to take the rest).
- Any newly planted trees must be watered at least once a week.
- Plants kept in containers will appreciate having the top few centimetres of soil replaced with fresh compost. Top with a mulch to aid moisture retention.
- Speaking of containers, have you checked out our new 2 litre premier perennial range? These mature plants will fill your garden with an almost instant display of colour. And they’ll return next year to do the same.
We’ve done it again, we’ve sourced yet another wonderful new product to grace your gardens! Edelweiss Blossom of Snow (leontopodium alpinum) is long-stemmed and so perfect for cutting and bringing indoors. Fully hardy and low-maintenance this little beauty will begin to flower in early summer and then again in the autumn.
A UK exclusive to Suttons this newly introduced alpine is larger than the original Edelweiss and perfect for a mixed or perennial border or for an alpine garden or container. And when cut it will certainly give your floral arrangements an extra something.
And if you want a reminder of Christopher Plummer’s tribute to Edelweiss then here it is. I wonder how many of you are word perfect?
Butterflies Need Help
Quite rightly much is spoken of the need to help bees but butterflies also need our support. A report published in Ecological Indicators has shown a 69% decline in urban butterflies compared to a 45% fall in their rural cousins. So, not great news for any butterflies but urban ones are taking the biggest hit. Ensuring that we grow plenty of nectar rich plants, from March until first frosts will certainly help, as will providing cover and shelter. Visit www.butterfly-conservation for ideas.
Our 64-page Summer/Autumn Catalogue should have reached you by now. Packed with both flower and vegetable plants to enjoy this summer plus a first look at autumn and spring flowering bulbs. You haven’t received a copy? Let us know and we’ll rush one to you.