Flower power in May
What a wonderful month May is; one of my favourite things about it is gazing at all those new, fresh green leaves on our trees – it’s really heartlifting isn’t it? And another delight is seeing the beautiful displays of brilliant, joyful colour provided by rhododendrons and azaleas, tulips, pansies, violas and camassias, wisteria, camellias and peonies to name but a few!
This issue, we bring you ideas on getting out to enjoy May outside – and celebrating the Coronation of course, with its extra bank holiday.
And we also consider how we can care for our environment, including a look at some plants for your garden – and places – that encourage pollinating insects like bees and butterflies. We focus on Alpine gardens as well. Why do I mention these? Well there are many drought-resistant alpines which will flower in dry summers and don’t rely on being watered to flourish – and, if you choose well, you can enjoy bright, colourful blooms year-round.
If you’d like to make your garden better – fit for a King (or Queen) even, then do get in touch as we’re always here to help.
Chris & all the Bushy team
Delphinium days ahead
Towering delphiniums (larkspur) of sapphire blue, mauve, pink, white and occasionally red, are found in many cottage gardens and borders in the warmer months. They are King Charles’ favourite flower – and bees love ‘em too!
A plan for an Alpine season
Something that will catch the eye and can be planted out in spring or autumn, is an Alpine garden. You can choose a variety of small plants to provide vibrant flowers that will bloom at various times of the year with differing shapes and textures. If you combine different types of foliage and evergreens with deciduous plants, there will be interest year-round. Hardy succulents work well between rocks.
The size of your Alpine garden is up to you. Plants need to be in free-draining soil but can be planted in containers if required. Have a chat to us about the best way to design your Alpine garden and positioning, to ensure it thrives and looks as authentically ‘Alpine’ as possible.
Celebrate the Coronation at Polesden Lacey
On 6 – 8 May Polesden Lacey opens its doors for a free royal party! Take a deckchair and picnic, enjoy the vintage-style live music from The Polka Dots and The Candy Girls. A century ago Bertie and Elizabeth (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth) began their honeymoon at Polesden Lacey and enjoyed a game of golf in the gardens. Over the weekend, you can retrace their steps at a pop-up mini-golf course (small fee applies). Inside the mansion, there are more royal artefacts to discover. Details here.
Here come the butterflies!
There are over 40 species of butterfly in Surrey and you may have noticed some of them making an appearance again after over-wintering as eggs, caterpillars or chrysalises or hibernating. Look out for the brimstone, peacock, small tortoiseshell, red admiral and comma. They’re attracted to campanula, ceanothus, marigold, honeysuckle, rose, buddleia, lavender, verbena and perennial wallflower amongst other plants.
If you fancy a wander, Surrey Wildlife Trust says top sites to spot butterflies are: Norbury Park, Quarry Hangers & Park Ham and Sheepleas.
The King’s Coronation gives us all a chance to raise a glass of something on 6 May. Apparently, our late Queen enjoyed gin – and also Pimms, stacked up with no less than strawberries, cherries, sliced lemons, oranges, mint, cucumber and borage! Is that a drink or a fruit salad? I’ll have to try one to decide …
Until next time!
Our gardens are like a stage, a plaform to show off the beauty of nature and the flowers are star performers. We love planting in all its forms – from bedding to billowing herbaceous borders, we do it. And we work with poor soil conditions, bad access, tricky sloping sites, large specimen plants and turn tired and unloved areas into places of beauty and interest.
For help making your garden your crowning glory take a look at our planting services on our website and get in touch.