May gardening jobs for UK gardens

This May, bring decorating ideas into your garden, and transform it into an oasis of beauty that stimulates all the senses

Photo courtesy of iVerde Perennial Power

The interior of your home isn’t the only place you can add a little decorative flourish. The beauty of filling your garden with with plants and flowers, as well as with garden art, is that they give you different delights to look forward to through the shifting seasons.

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Here, we break down five gardening jobs to get your garden’s decor scheme looking top-notch. Keep busy with this to-do list, which includes trying your hand at growing a new type of veg, and planting deliciously scented flowers.

The sun will hopefully be shining this month too(!), so why not make the most of the great outdoors with a stylish outdoor rug, and new garden furniture too?

For garden tasks to keep you busy all year round, check out all our monthly gardening jobs lists!

Things to do in the garden in May

Plant annual and perennial flowers

Ceanothus
A Ceanothus shrub will put on an impressive show from late spring to early or late summer in a well-lit spot

Invest in a selection of show-stopping plants such as tree peonies, Ceanothus or bearded irises to give your garden a sequence of wow factors. While their appearance may be fleeting, their intense beauty will become a highlight each year. Surround these ethereal beauties with hardworking plants that flower again and again. Penstemons, hardy Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and Erigeron karvinskianus (Mexican fleabane) all put on a display over a long period.

Make a scented garden

Night flying moth
Attract nocturnal pollinators, such as moths, into your garden with night-scented blooms

Position a pretty selection of scented plants close to exit doors, paths or seating areas to further enhance time spent outside. Include a few night-scented varieties such as Nicotiana sylvestris and Oenothera (evening primrose) to attract night-flying moths, which are great pollinators.

Container gardening

Photo courtesy of iVerde Perennial Power
Plants featured: Gaillardia Kobold, Pennisetum African Breeze, Lupinus Mini Gallery White, Astilbe japonica Deutschland, Clematis Boulevard Esme, Campanula Adansa Blue & Ligularia przewalskii. Photo courtesy of iVerde/ Perennial Power

If space is tight, grow perennials in containers. Plant perennials in a variety of vibrant pots and containers for a laidback look – arrange them at different heights and depths for extra interest. For best results use a 50/50 mix of multi-purpose peat-free compost with John Innes No. 2 and ensure there are holes in the base of each container to allow excess water to drain.

The nutrients in any compost have a limited shelf life, so in order to keep plants healthy during the whole of the growing season administer a fortnightly dose of liquid fertiliser.

Grow something new

Cucamelon James Wong
These cute, easy to grow cucamelons are more or less ignored by pests and are drought-tolerant. £4.99 for three super plugs, Suttons. Picture James Wong/ Suttons

Step out of your comfort zone and make 2021 the year you grow something new. Suttons is offering super plug plants of Luffa cylindrica, which will need to be grown on in the warmth of a greenhouse or well-ventilated conservatory. These unusual vegetables can be cooked and eaten in a similar manner to courgettes while young and tender, or let them grow on to become an eco-friendly homegrown pan scourer or bath loofah.

Garden art

Sentosa Corten steel water feature, Primose
Sentosa Corten steel water feature, £329.99, Primrose

Any garden, whatever its size, can be truly enhanced with some decorative features. They will add colour, form and interest to the setting and stimulate the senses. Don’t be afraid to go large in a small space. One generously proportioned item may have more impact and presence in a compact space than a riot of smaller objects. Wherever possible, invest in pieces that are well crafted, as flimsier items won’t stand the test of time against the elements.

Check out our guide here to the best garden art online, and get decorating outdoors!

Words by Louise Midgley

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This is a digital version of a feature that originally appeared in Your Home magazine. For more inspirational home ideas, why not subscribe today?