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  • Writer's pictureThe Blooming Old Gardener

Queer things happen in the garden in May

"Queer things happen in the garden in May. Little faces forgotten appear, and plants thought to be dead suddenly wave a green hand to confound you." —W. E. Johns

There have been so many things happening this month, May seems to be a month when people celebrate. A lot seems to involve singing, dancing and processions, The Coronation, three Bank Holidays, Eurovision and a couple of Bloomers sessions. Lots of opportunities for people to meet up and enjoy the garden, especially in the sunshine. At the start of the month we decorated plants in the garden with red, white and blue pompoms made by the local WI, it made it look quite celebratory.

We’ve been doing other things too, I’ve cut back the mass of ivy by Bugingham Palace so that we can shelter under there again, from rain or sun. The butterflies and spiders have been repainted for the noughts and crosses game by the bench. I’ve been using slate from my drive for this, so it has a few bare patches now where I’ve been taking them over the last few years. It’s given me the idea to paint spiders and spiders on my drive to make it stand out.

The birds and bees are busy now too, so we have to make sure that there is plenty in the garden for them. Looking round, most of the early spring flowers have finished now, but there are so many plants about to flower. Lily of the Valley flowered early in the month, under the shade of the rose. It only lasts a couple of weeks, but apparently it presses well. So our more creative members picked the flowers for pressing.

Soon the three salvias will be flowering and the rose is covered in buds ready for June. The recently planted sunflower seeds have appeared round the garden too, look out for the canes that have been put in containers to support them. If you look carefully you can see that there are small gooseberries growing ready to be picked in July, nearby, Claire's radishes have started to grow. Luckily she really likes these as there seem to be about 100 that will be ready to eat soon.

The Bloomers Bash mid-month was fun. First there was a litter pick and garden tidy. Then we got some help with taking better flower pictures. I found this really useful as I have problems getting low enough to take ground level pictures. The answer? Turn your phone upside down so that the camera is at the bottom. Mind blowing! Why didn’t I think of that?? Then we moved to the Yard behind the new Hazlehurst Studio building for tea and cakes, and of course a good chin wag and lots of planning. We haven’t been in the Yard for some time because of the building renovation work going on there, it looks so tidy now.

The rockery plants have been taking it in turns to flower, starting in early spring. However we are planning to move the rockery to a raised area in the Yard. So we have been splitting and removing plants and planting them in troughs ready for them to be planted next spring. John also brought in a lot of bedding plants. Some were planted at the edge of the garden. Others were used to fill containers in the Yard. We are trying to make it an attractive area for people using the new Studios. The plants will also make attractive subjects to draw, paint, print and press. The Yard has become a part of Bloomers again, with hanging bloomers to prove it.

The Blooming Old Gardener

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