Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer's lease hath all too short a date – William Shakespeare
Ok, so this quote actually refers to the Hawthorn flower, rather than the month, but I’ve been watching re-runs of the Darling Buds of May so had it in my mind. It’s a very positive quote, referring to the young buds opening for the summer. And that’s what’s happening in the garden now. The spring plants are over and now we have the colours of summer showing. It was good to see the forget-me-nots flowering in time for dementia awareness week (16-22nd May.)
May is the month of the ‘Green Man’ the spirit of summer. Also known as Puck, Jack-in-the-Green, or even Robin Hood in May celebrations in Helson, Cornwall. Leading some people to believe that this legendary character was based on a green spirit. This king of the greenwood became the subject of ballads and plays. These plays gradually evolved into Morris dances. Though Robin disappeared from these, Maid Marion is still represented in some.
We are supporting No Mow May this month. So the grass is longer than usual. If you look closely you will see some of the wild flowers that we have left to grow. Some people call them weeds, but we don’t as they are plants that we still want. The grass will be cut at the end of May, as part of a volunteer session tidying up the garden before the Platinum Jubilee.
The Christmas tree didn’t survive the strong winds earlier in the year. So volunteers Pauline and Alan cut it down and took it to the tip to be turned into compost. We get asked what we normally do with the garden waste, such as weeds and pruning. We cant have our own compost bin for health and safety reasons. So we collect our unwanted garden waste and put it together in an area under the ivy. It becomes a temporary home for creepy crawlies, something that our local blackbirds have noticed. I often see them tossing things about to unearth what’s there to eat. This is collected each month by Tim who usually cuts our grass. All this gets taken for composting.
I sometimes take home leaves and weeds to feed to my worms. If you’ve been following the blog you may know that I have a worm composter at home, full of tiger worms. They munch their way through cardboard and greenery from my kitchen, producing rich compost. I mix this with the soil in the garden to make it richer. I also put my surplus worms in the garden. Darwin referred to worms as ‘natures ploughs’ as they mix, aerate, improve drainage in soils and really help plants grow. You can make your garden worm friendly by having compost heaps, growing veg and leaving areas untidy. They love all this.
Lots of creative things are happening in the garden now. The felters, Phoebe, Chris and Cos, have produced bags planted up with alpines and hung them round the garden.
And on the 14th, Claire held Old Town Bloom Jubilee preparation workshops. People could decorate bloomers, make polymer butterflies and flowers and try tie dying. This is leading up to the Platinum Jubilee event in the Bloomers garden on Sat 4th June.
Thank you so much to everyone that had come along and contributed to our project so far! Also big thank you to All Saint’s Church for allowing us to hold our workshops in such a beautiful and welcoming setting All Saints with Holy Trinity, Runcorn
Thanks to #NationalLottery players for making this possible!
Everyone is being invited to picnic in the garden, make things to decorate it and there’s also a plant sale. Hopefully it will be dry and sunny. So put the date in your diary and look out on the website for more information.
The Blooming Old Gardener