May Notebook

Garden tasks for May 

  • Don’t get caught out by late and unexpected frosts! Keep some garden fleece handy and cover tender plants when temperatures drop.
  • Check emerging lily foliage for signs of the lily beetle which will strip leaves from the tip to the stem. These beetles may be small but they are also bright red making them really easy to spot. At this time of year they start looking for somewhere to lay their eggs, often settling on the underside of leaves. The resulting larvae remain on the plant for several months afterwards. Remove by hand and monitor frequently.
  • Once daffodils have ceased to flower overcrowded clumps can be lifted and divided to allow for healthier and more vigorous plants in the future.
  • This is the perfect month to take the first softwood cuttings of the year. Look for soft new growth about 10cm in length. Cut below a node and remove all of the foliage barring that at the very tip before inserting into an open and free draining compost. Buddleja, Hydrangea, Fuchsia and Penstemon all propagate extremely successfully using this method.
  • Start to skim duckweed from the surface of your pond with a small net. Regular attention will prevent the weed from growing to unmanageable levels. Leave the contents of your net on the poolside overnight to allow pond dwelling creatures to return to the water unharmed.

Blowing Hot and Cold #2

In April’s Blowing Hot and Cold we explored the newly restored Gilbert Orchid House and revealed it’s intriguing former use…

Gilbert Orchid House, Winterbourne House and Garden, Digging for Dirt, photograph by Haarkon
Gilbert Orchid House, photograph by Haarkon
Gilbert Orchid House, Winterbourne House and Garden photograph by Haarkon
Gilbert Orchid House, photograph by Haarkon
Gilbert Orchid House, photograph by Haarkon
Gilbert Orchid House, photograph by Haarkon

These brilliant photographs of the Gilbert Orchid House were taken by India and Magnus who scour the country looking for beautiful greenhouses, landscapes and interiors to snap. Head over to Haarkon to see more of their Winterbourne pictures and plenty more from elsewhere!

Looking good this month:

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12 thoughts on “May Notebook

  1. Fantastic images of the Orchid house. I am off to a garden with emerging Gunnera tomorrow, they are one of my favourite plants to photograph. I really will make a visit to Winterbourne this year. Sally.


    1. Hello Sally, we look forward to seeing you! Our Gunnera is really taking off now. We also grow a much smaller species, Gunnera magellanica, which is only a couple of inches tall and thrives in much the same conditions.Definitely a solid recommendation for those of us who don’t have enormous gardens!

      Liked by 1 person

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