Gardening tips for May

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Roll up your sleeves…May is the month when the garden really starts to get going, and there’s plenty to do. This is such a wonderful time of year, when there’s warmth in the air and soil and the garden is hinting at the promise of summer.

Looking good this month (and all available at The Big Plant Nursery):

  • Agapanthus africanus ‘Albus’
  • Armeria pseudarmeria ‘Ballerina Red’
  • Bergenia ‘Fire and Ice’
  • Erysium ‘Bowles Mauve’
  • Peonies
  • Salvia
Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’


  • Ceanothus
  • Clematis Montana (we like ‘Warwick Rose’ and ‘Early Sensation’)
  • Exochorda macrantha ‘The Bride’
  • Wisteria


  • Cornus kousa
  • Philadelphus virginalis
  • Rhododendrons and Azaleas
  • Syringa vulgaris
  • Viburnum plicatum tomentosum
Philadelphus virginalis (Mock orange)
Syringa vulgaris (Common lilac)

Quick guide:

1. Lawns – cut weekly to keep on top of the growth at this time of year.

2. Check for nesting birds before clipping hedges.

3. Regularly hoe off weeds.

4. Stay alert for pests, especially aphids and lily beetles which start to build up now and pick them off immediately.

5. Open greenhouse vents and doors on warm days.

6. Collect rainwater and investigate ways to recycle water for irrigation.

7. Watch out for late frosts. Protect tender plants.

8. Put supports in place for tall perennials. Now is also a good time to plant out perennials.

9. Plant out summer bedding at the end of the month (except in cold areas).

Open greenhouse vents and doors on warm days

If you are having difficulty keeping on top of things, don’t forget we offer a garden maintenance service <find out more>