Gardening jobs in May

Oh the joy of Spring. It makes my heart leap when I hear the song thrush singing in our walnut tree and wake up to a bright sunny day. Unfortunately it is still punishingly cold but if it’s bright I can almost live with it.

garden design Oakham

We have been out  in the garden doing a really thorough Spring clean. It’s so important to get on top of things now as it will save lots of work later in the season so here are my thoughts on jobs to complete this month.



  • Do a final tidy through of borders cutting back all the herbaceous plants you left with foliage on last winter. Weed where soil is light and crumbly.
  • Support taller herbaceous plants especially delphiniums and paeonie’s.
  • Prune flowering shrubs which have finished flowering. Walled trained shrubs and climbers like Jasmin, Akebia, Garrya and Lonicera which have got a bit out of hand can also be pruned now.

garden design Uppingham


  • Mulch, mulch and add more mulch – add well rotted horse manure together with the contents of my compost bin if you have it. Add a sprinkling of bone meal to established hedges – rake up any leaves and sprinkle on the soil at the base.
  • Hedges are hungry feeders so fertilising is really important to keep them healthy.
  • Keep turning the compost heap and adding fresh material. If you have access to manure (chicken or horse) add this in layers and it will help to get the composting process going.

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  • Your lawn should have had its first few cuts so you can start to set the blades a little lower – but go easy.
  • Renovate grass as neededDSCN4714 garden design rutland


  • Clear ponds and begin to plant marginal pond plants. Leave cleared plants on the waters edge overnight to allow any creatures lurking in them to find their way back to the water.
  • No is a good time to plant up your pond including establishing water hyacinths and Pistia stratoites (water lettuce)

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Think ahead

  • Plant up containers for summer and keep under cover until all frosts have gone
  • Sow annual flower and herb seeds.
  • Plant scented leaf pelargoniums (you will find some of my favourites at The Herb Nursery at Tistleton)
  • Plant out pot grown pumpkins, courgettes and cucumbers once frosts have passed. You can also sow Sun flowers now.

garden design Oakham

Don’t beat yourself up if the garden isn’t perfect – you have time yet.  I believe that every space can be comfortable, relaxed and beautiful without you feeling pressured to be perfect.  I would love to help you achieve your beautiful home and garden. If I can help with a home or garden project please give me a call. Alison: 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland, Leicester, Nottingham and Northampton as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.