May 2013 compared to May 2011

29 May 2013

We all know it’s a “late Spring”, but gardeners are probably one of the groups most particularly aware of it. I keep a small section of the garden for annual plants, to give me a different display every year, and some of them could be killed if I put them out and then we have an overnight frost. I usually reckon, being near the south coast, that after the second week of May I can chance it, but this Spring is so reluctant to turn up properly that I’m not risking the tender plants going out until 1 June. This means a balancing act between protecting those young plants that need it, but also getting them used to the outdoor conditions they will have to face, as well as trying to keep those hardier youngsters who are still in their boxes happy, when they badly need to get their feet into some deep soil. Aaaaaggghhhh!

The photo below is the garden on 21 May this year: the majority of colour comes from violas, with a purple splodge in the middle being bugle (good for bees) and the bright pink spots being the wild flower red rose campion and the dusting of pale blue coming from forget-me-nots.

View of garden 21 May 2013

View of garden 21 May 2013

The photo below, taken on 25 May 2011, is of the same bit of the garden, but looking in the opposite direction. The bright pink in the front is valerian (great for butterflies and bees), which is nowhere near blooming this year. The blue spikes are delphiums, which are well up but without much bud visible yet, which also applies to the one splodge of orangey-red in the middle near the top, which is an oriental poppy. The clouds of white are sweet rocket, which is still so small this year that I’m not always sure that it really is sweet rocket and not something else.

View of garden 25 May 2011

View of garden 25 May 2011

How the wildlife cope with the different timing of the season remains to be seen, but the more of us that try to make our gardens wildlife-friendly, the more chance they all have of finding food and shelter when they need them. So – plant something for wildlife today!

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