Garden Blog | May 2020
May sees the most extraordinary change in our gardens. The month starts as spring and ends as summer. Gardens go through a remarkably rapid metamorphosis, as tulips, forget-me-nots, and honesty, give way to alliums, Iris, and roses. Winter bedding in our pots and urns will be replaced with summer garb towards the end of the month… yet another great change in the feel and appearance of our outdoor spaces.
The newly emergent seedlings featured in last month’s blog have been pricked out and are now growing at a good pace of knots in the shelter of the polytunnel. Young plants taken as cuttings last September and grown on in our glasshouse overwinter, have been transferred into cold frames, acclimatising to the cooler surroundings of the great outdoors. However, it’s worth noting that damaging frosts are still a risk at this time of year, so, if forecast, we ensure that plants in frames are covered with horticultural fleece overnight to prevent damage. Before the month is out, these legions of young plants will be doing their bit in the grounds here at Deene Park for the beautification of the garden.
A beautiful sight right now, are the fruit trees flowering their hearts out in our Old Kitchen Garden orchard. The orchard is only a few years old, and still in the process of developing, but nonetheless is coming along wonderfully. We have been blessed with masses of apple, pear, cherry, and quince blossom, and are keeping our fingers crossed for a bumper crop of fruit in the autumn.
The wild gardens here at Deene Park are another treat for the senses at this time of year. Masses of Queen Anne’s lace, bird cherry, hawthorn, and horse chestnut, each blessed with voluminous clouds of frothy, pure white flowers, fill the air with their deep and heady scent, and dusk takes on a ghostly feel. Set against a carpet of forget-me-nots, the whole scene is quite beguiling.
I think it’s worth saying that although our gardens, along with all the others usually open to the public, may be closed just now, the great outdoors is definitely still open.
We are blessed with wonderful countryside here in Northamptonshire, so why not bicycle to one of the many bluebell woods that look so exquisite right now? You might just get to see early purple orchids too if you are lucky. Our towns have their floral charms, there are plenty of well tended gardens to admire during your daily walk. Also, Corby and Kettering councils are pioneering a scheme whereby they reduce the frequency of mowing on some grass verges, allowing wildflowers such as daisies and dandelions to flower, providing food for pollinating insects. The result is a glorious sight indeed, and eventually will lead to greater biodiversity.
Until next month’s garden blog, happy gardening!