Late spring is the perfect time of year for delicate flowers that contrast with fresh new foliage.
In the garden you can look forward to the delicate blooms of Aquilegia or Granny’s Bonnet. This loves sun or a slightly shady area and has small rounded, ferny leaves with tall stems of elegant flowers in white, pinks to deep blue. They will self seed easily if you leave the seeds heads on and pop up in unexpected places.
For a change to the native Elderflower shrub there are other varieties about some with golden leaves and others with dark plum coloured foliage. My favourite is Sambucus nigra Black Beauty with dark leaves and pink flowerheads. Sambucus racemosa Plumosa Aurea is a golden cut leaved elderflower with white flowers. They will grow in sun and almost any soil but don’t like light sandy soils.
Foliage is at its best in spring so how about a climber with what looks like paint splashed leaves – the Actinidia kolomikta. You may have never heard of it but it’s a lovely climber with green leaves splashed with pink and white. If you have a sunny sheltered place then it will give a splash of colour.
May is the time to finish planting out tender vegetables like tomatoes and beans grown indoors. You can also plant beans, courgettes and more salad seeds outdoors. Cabbages and broccoli for winter can be sow in modules or seed trays then grown on and planted out ready for winter and spring next year. Potatoes should be earthed up by raking the soil up around the shoots to prevent potatoes from going green.
If you would like to visit gardens for ideas, I suggest you look out for gardens open under the National Gardens Scheme where all proceeds go to charities including Marie Cure Cancer Care and Macmillan Cancer Support. On 2nd & 3rd May, Hannets Cottage near Malpas is open with a half acre cottage garden with water features, unusual plants and cosy seating areas. Tattenhall Hall, Tattenhall is open on 17th May with 4.5 acres of gardens including a walled garden, pond and stream.