May garden plant maintenance in Wokingham and Maidenhead

May garden plant maintenance in Wokingham and Maidenhead

Berkshire and surrounding areas

Clematis Montana Rubens

May in the garden offers masses to do and enjoy – plants seem to grow in front of your eyes although one should always beware of late frosts!

So many shrubs flower in May: Japanese quince, choisya and ribes, penstemon, caryopteris and fuchsia for instance. And once they have flowered they can be pruned, as can Clematis montana after blooming.

Other shrubs to consider: Viburnum x burkwoodii takes some beating for its striking pink, opening white flowers which are borne in open globes – they have superb fragrance as well. If you like something a little more unusual and dramatic, try the tree called Paeonia. Paeonia lutea ludlowii has large single buttercup yellow flowers which can measure up to 10cms (4”) across, their leaves are very architectural and the plants can grow as high as 1.8m (6’). Wisterias are a dramatic sight – they are long-lived, vigorous climbers and can get out of hand if not pruned correctly – that needs to be done in June after they have flowered, and again if required in mid-winter. Wisterias prefer a south or west facing aspect where they get plenty of sun to promote flowering. Everybody is familiar with the common form, Wisteria sinensis, which has mauve/purplish trusses of hanging flowers, but there are other varieties such as Wisteria sinensis venusta which has large white trusses of flowers, or Wisteria sinensis “Caroline” which is a deep violet blue.

In the event that we have a really hot summer and you are looking for new drought-tolerant plants, those that have silver or hairy leaves, or “rolled” glossy or thin leaves, are all signs of plants that have evolved to grow in more arid climates. Ornamental grasses are good such as Festuca glauca “Elijah Blue”, Carex “Evergold” or Miscanthus sinensis “Morning Light”. Shrubs such as Lavenders, Caryopteris, Convolvulus cneorum, Perovskia “Blue Spire”, Artemesia arborescens “Powis Castle” or Cistus to name a few are all drought tolerant.

The grass will shoot up in May so, if possible, needs to be mowed every week. If not, there’s a chance a jungle will appear where the lawn used to be! In which case, raise the height of the cut on the lawnmower as far as possible – ideally you shouldn’t cut more than a third of the grass blade at once. After that, gradually bring the cut down to normal.

May is also the month to weed and apply feed to the lawn. As it grows so well in May, the grass should fill in any gaps left by weeds that are killed off.

As ever, Gardeneer is here to help with all your gardening needs: design, mowing, planting, pruning, patio/deck building and/or cleaning, fence repair or new fences, regular tidy-ups and any advice you need.

Jobs for May

  • Flower borders would definitely benefit from a top dressing with a good fertiliser.
  • This is a good time to sow a wild flower patch or meadow. Just make sure any seed mix you get is right for your soil and conditions.
  • Climbers can make wonderful patio displays in the right pots. Make sure any pots you use for this have a diameter of at least 35cm to give the climber roots enough space.
  • Do not forget to water any newly planted shrubs regularly while they are establishing.
  • There are many robotic lawnmowers available now from companies including Flymo and Bosch. They’re safe to use and help to keep the lawn looking good.

We hope this has given you some great ideas for your garden in May.