End of Month View – May 2013


I have to say, and I never thought I would say this, but I am rather pleased with the front garden.  I actually like being in it.  You can see in the photo above that we have filled in the top corner; my son’s turf laying skills are not quite up to the standards of his turf lifting skills so we shall see how it settles in.  The Ballerina tulips have been wonderful, flowering for weeks and only just starting to go over now.  They are being followed by a mix of Alliums that I have been planting in this side border for a few years now.  You can’t really appreciate it but I have added a Cotinus to this border which is just unfurling its leaves and the deep burgundy works very  well with the orange tulips and purple alliums.


Rather too much grass in this photo but it was raining so they were taken quickly.  I think the border at the end of the lawn is filling out and it seems more cohesive now I have added the shrubs.  There are peonies in this border and red flowering shrub salvias.  There were meant to be some deep red irises but unfortunately the ones I bought last year mail order haven’t taken at all.  I wanted to buy some replacements at Malvern Spring Show but the late spring meant that irises were absent so I will have to keep an eye out in my travels.  I have lined the sides of the lawn with Alchemilla mollis  which hopefully in a few weeks will add a lime yellow froth to the scene.


As I am so chuffed with my garden at the moment I thought I would show you some views of the back garden.  Above is the view from my patio of the back/front of the Big Border.  The border is edged by three step-over apples which are growing along the top of the retaining wall. This is their second year and there is blossom on two of them which is very pleasing.  The blossom is echoed, unwittingly, by the erodium planted underneath.


Above is a view of the woodland border which runs off the Big Border.  This view is also from the patio – I did say it was raining.  I am really pleased with how this border has filled out, it was planted two years ago and now needs a little thinning and rearranging. I marked out a path through it back in the winter and now everything has appeared it is obvious that I will have to rejig the line of the path and also move some plants this Autumn.  I also need to remove the flower heads of the hellebores.

So this gives you a little bit of an idea of my garden at the end of May.  If you would like to join in this meme you are very welcome.  There are no rules just post a link to your blog post in the comments box and include a link to this post in your post.

33 Comments on “End of Month View – May 2013

  1. So pleased to hear you say that, Helen! And your garden looks very lush too, so the rain’s been good for something 😉 Enjoy!

    • Hi Jason and janneke
      Step-over apples are grown to about 3ft tall and the top one or two branches are trained horizontally to form a sort of low fence/barrier.

  2. Your garden looks greener than green, just beautiful. Step-over apples? Appletrees against a wall I understand of course but step-over, I wonder what it means.

  3. It’s hard to believe that the woodland border in the last photo was only planted two years ago, since it looks so lush and full already. Mine seem to grow so much slower; I guess because of the shorter growing season and less moisture. It would be so much more satisfying to see things mature quickly.

    • Hi My hellebores self-seed. I think hellebore seeds need some real cold to help them germinate.

    • Hi Alison
      My woodland border is based on clay soil with lots of compost added over the last two years – maybe that has helped

    • Hi Frances
      I think giving up the allotment has allowed me far more time to devote in the garden and also my mind is more focussed

  4. Lovely, the repetitive plantings give it a strong structure, with feature trees and shrubs to focus attention. The back garden is looking very full and lush too.

    • Hi Sara
      I agree I am going for the repetitive planting in the front garden and trying to have a different feel there to the more wild and lush back garden

  5. I love the way your cat sneaks into your photos Helen – she is almost camouflaged but has not quite got away with it. Your front garden is looking splendid – the alchemilla will make a great soft edging. How rewarding it is when unplanned plantings compliment each other like the erodium and the apple blossom. I noticed my first iris is showing colour this morning. My end of month view is up now : http://www.greentapestry.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/end-of-month-view-may-2013.html

    • Hi Anna
      Maisie likes it when we are in the garden she gets very antimated, just prior to that photo she was leaping in the air but I missed it with the camera.

  6. It’s looking super, Helen. And it’s so lovely to see a cared-for front garden. I love the stepover apples too. I’ve been wondering about trying these. Did you train them yourself?

    • Hi Helen
      Yes I have trained them myself its much much cheaper. I bought mine from a specialist grower and told them what I intended to do so they helped me choose the varieties and also advised on training.

  7. That has come together so well Helen, no wonder you enjoy your front garden, which must make a lovely change! The back garden is looking great too, testimony to your renewed passion and focus. Can’t wait to see the alchemilla flowering in the front, they will make a lovely contrast to the cotinus even though it is on the other side of the grass. My End of Month View post is up too, thanks for hosting, I really enjoy this meme, more than any other.

  8. You can be very pleased with yourself, your front garden is looking super. Love your step over apples, they look really good and I think you will get quite a good crop from them.

  9. Helen I always enjoy visiting…the front garden has really grown into its lovely shape and form…and the back gardens are really lush as well…I’ll be linking in tomorrow.

  10. I like the idea of taking stock on a monthly basis, but I tend to do it at the beginning of the month. I like the crisp lines of your front garden, especially as contrasted to the mad, wonderful jumble out back.

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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