End of Month View – May 2014


Due to the amount of rain and cool temperatures we have had in recent weeks the plants in the Cottage and Big Border have grown quite big and lush but the flowers are being slow to show their faces.  The Aquilegia are almost over but the Delphinium and Roses are getting ready to take over in the Cottage Border.  On both sides of the path the Geraniums are forming buds and hopefully it will just take a few days of sunshine and warmer temperatures for them to open.


The path from the other end.  I have under planted the Cotinus with white Corncockle which may or may not work, we shall see.


The staging is now home to some of the Pelargoniums, Sempervivums, some sun loving alpines and a few late flowering bulbs such as  Dichelostemma Ida-Maia.  The remaining gone over bulbs will shortly go into the greenhouse under the staging to dry out and I will move the tender succulents out to replace them.


I am pleased with how the ‘Hardy Exotic Border’ is going.  There is some filling in to do with smaller plants.  I also have a trug full of tulip bulbs from the big pots and I think I am going to plant them out in this border.  If they flower, and I know many tulips don’t do well in their second year, then they will bring a colourful splash before the hardy plants get going again.


The Damp Border is filling out with ferns and astible.  It isn’t the most photogenic border but one of those that you can appreciate more close up.


The Trough in the front garden also isn’t that photogenic but it was only planted out a month ago and I need to add some pots of tender succulents around the Trough.


For those long-suffering readers that endured last year’s End of Month Views on the front garden here it is now and finally I am enjoying it.  I think it just needed another year to bulk up.  There are gaps to be filled and some balancing to do but finally it makes me smile when I pull up on the driveway.


Finally the middle path along the top of the Big Border.  I should be including a shot of the Patio Border but I am camera-less as the camera I have been borrowing from my son has gone with him to London for the weekend and mine is at the menders.  I am very pleased with how well the Big Border has filled out.  You wouldn’t believe that this time last year it was only a month old.

All are welcome to join in with this monthly meme and use it how they wish.  All I ask is that you link to this post in your post and leave a link to your post in the comment box below so we can all come for a nose around your garden.

55 Comments Add yours

  1. I do like the iris in the last photo. Which one is it please

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Christine
      it’s Bumblebee Deelite

  2. Yvonne Ryan says:

    I think the main difference to having a cottage type garden and in a frost prone area and this one is that this garden is tropical with evergreens, palms, cycads, bromilliads, mondo grasses and NZ natives. Just about 6 deciduous trees for autumn colour. I have hostas, begonias, bulbs, a Peace Lily going berserk!! – some delicate orchids, etc etc in pots to give more colour. The bromies in particular really like it here. More structural I suppose but also quite good shelter from the strong north and ne gales we get. We are on the sunny side – north here in Southern Hemisphere – and reasonalby sheltered from cold south and south winds. Sun pours in now (late autumn) so lovely. I have been adding more colour but no roses – boo hoo! An acre in total so always something to do. Cherry keen on her veg gardens so nice and fresh to eat. Your hard work is seen and so lovely!

  3. Alison says:

    I love your stepped bench area with the terra cotta pots. I need to do something similar with all my Bromeliads. Your front garden is much improved over last year, I only came in on the tail end of those posts. My post about my Bottle Tree Bed is here: http://bonneylassie.blogspot.com/2014/05/end-of-month-view-may-2014-bottle-tree.html

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Alison
      Thanks for joining in again this month, popping over to see your bottle tree bed (never see bottle trees here)

  4. I am reading your blog for half à year now. How lush your cottage garden is growing over the last weeks! In Holland I have roses flowering all over. How different the climat is in your regio. But the best is to come! Groetjes from Holland. Hetty

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      hi Hetty
      Lovely to hear from you. I think some of my roses will be open in a week. I am in the middle of the Uk to the west towards the border with Wales so maybe cooler than you

  5. Helene says:

    Hi, this is my first End of Month View, so lovely to finally make it here – it has been a slow process for me, so much I would like to do, but I will try to post every month from now on.
    Nice to see your garden and what you are growing. I wonder about your begonias (?) in the photo from the Damp Border, what are the two called, they look gorgeous!

    My garden is an absolutely tiny, postage stamp size London garden, but I have managed to squeeze in a lot of plants.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Helene
      The Begonias are Escargot and Raspberry Swirl. I bought them from Dibleys at the Malvern Show. Lovely to have you joining in with meme, I am popping over to have a nose

  6. rusty duck says:

    Beautiful Helen. I especially like that last shot.
    Have you ever tried growing sempervivums in a vertical wall? I’ve just tried one to see how it goes but I’d be interested in your thoughts.
    My link is here: http://www.rustyduck.net/2014/05/31/and-the-azaleas-march-on/

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi RD
      No I haven’t tried semps in a vertical wall. I could try some in the wall around the new bench although it is quite shady. Be interested to see how you get on

  7. Your garden is full of lovely interesting plants – love the idea of the Exotic border. Pleased to read that your Aquilegia are almost over, having seen Monty Don last night saying they are at their best now I was beginning to wonder why mine have finished. This is my contribution to the EOMV for May – http://hurtledto60.com/2014/05/31/my-garden-at-the-end-of-may-2014/

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Ronnie
      Most of my aquilegias are over but they have been flowering for weeks. I wondered when they filmed GW!

  8. bushbernie says:

    Fabulous views. I just adore those Begonias and your front garden is looking terrific.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi BB
      The Begonias are getting a lot of attention! They are new and I am rather thrilled with them

    2. bushbernie says:

      Woops, I forgot to add a link to my post. I’m joining in your wonderful meme for the first time with a post showing some end-of-month views of my dry tropics garden: http://berniesgarden.blogspot.com.au/2014/05/trimming-and-tending-weeding-and.html

  9. Nell Jean says:

    I always like to see staging. The Begonias in the Damp Garden are so pretty. The Big Border with its grassy path is stunning; beautiful irises.

    I always think of May as a time to see what is coming back from roots and get ready for the really big show in June.

    Here’s the link to my garden in the hot and humid Coastal South, USA.


    I tried to add my link using my blogspot account. It didn’t appear to take. If I have 2 comments, please delete one. Either link should work. Thank you for hosting this meme, one of my favs.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi NellJean
      Thanks for joining in and I am glad you like the garden

  10. Pauline says:

    I too was going to ask about the iris at the end, it is gorgeous! Your front garden is looking delightful, I’m not surprised you smile when you drive in. Your hardy exotic border is looking very interesting, I look forward to seeing it develop.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Pauline
      It is a rather lovely iris, I bought it from Clare Austin when I visited her iris fields some years ago.

  11. Jennifer says:

    Hi Helen, I came here from Jessica’s blog, rusty duck. I don’t have much gardening going on but I am currently trying to educate myself about planting and maintaining annuals. I live in a desert climate so this has been challenging. I’ve been photographing and making notes on my annuals since I planted them earlier in May. I’ve decided to write a monthly post about their progress (and mine) during the growing season. I’d posted my first installment today before seeing your link-up and I’d really love to join. Thank you for the link-up. My post is here: http://www.thistlebearhome.com/2014/05/manageable-annuals-may.html

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Jennifer
      Nice to hear from you and I hope you find the meme useful. I find it makes me look at things properly through the year and I notice more

  12. Alison says:

    Your garden is looking really good. I will be interested to see how the hardy exotic border develops and I spotted some rather nice begonias I think as well.

    My EoMR is here: http://www.blackberrygarden.co.uk/2014/05/end-of-month-review-may-2014.html

    1. Nell Jean says:

      Me, too — the Hardy Exotic Border. I missed that before. I’m always interested to see what people grow that is exotic and not too tender. There’s a sprout on my Strelitzia. I had given it up for dead.

    2. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Alison
      The Begonias are new and are in pots, I bought them at Malvern as I am a little obsessed with fab foliage at the moment.

  13. jenhumm116 says:

    Hi Helen, there’s certainly plenty to see here, and so much that’s unusual. I love the plants in pots at the front of the damp border. What are they?
    My End of Month is here, thanks for hosting.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Jen
      They are begonias – Escargot and Raspberry Swirl

  14. annahig says:

    It’s amazing how just how much growth there’s been with all this rain. Your new exotic border is really beginning to fill out now Helen. Is that a veratrum near to the fatsia ‘Spider’s Web’? Are the begonias headed for ‘The Damp Border’? They both make quite dramatic statements.

    My EOMV is up now : http://www.greentapestry.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/end-of-month-view-may-2014.html

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Anna
      It is a veratrum but it is being munched lots by slugs. The begonias will live in pots as they will need winter protection and I’m not very good at remembering to dig things up

  15. Cathy says:

    Isn’t it wonderful how quickly your revamped borders are coming along, Helen – I’m sure I said it on a recent post but you must be really pleased with them and the paths through them set them off just right. Much of mine was revamped two years ago so I know how it feels. Thanks for hosting. My May contribution is at https://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/end-of-month-view-how-i-love-my-coat-of-many-colours/

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Cathy
      I am thrilled with the revamped border and how quickly they are filling out, although I have planted them closely. No doubt I will be thinning by next year!

  16. What an eye catching Iris in the last shot, thanks for naming it. I remember your front garden from following your posts last year, what a difference a bit of time has made. I remember you were unhappy about the grass (can’t remember which one) – it looks wonderful without them.
    Your whole garden is ready to explode – an exciting time isn’t it.
    Thanks for hosting Helen and here’s my link:

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      hi Angie
      you are right it was Deschampsia along the end of the lawn so glad I got rid of it and replaced with Alchemilla

  17. Hi Helen, your “Big Border” is already looking really settled and lovely, and I really like the hardy exotic border. You must be thrilled about your front garden, it is looking wonderful, enough to make anybody smile. Looking forward to watching your cottage border in its next phase, those delphiniums look amazing! My post is up, thanks again for hosting. http://plantaliscious.janetbruten.co.uk/2014/05/end-of-month-view-may-2014/

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Pauline
      I am really pleased with the delphiniums they did t do so well last year, losing some of the flower spikes to strong winds. I have been staking them very carefully this year so fingers crossed

  18. I am another fan of your Begonias, especially the Escargot – SO unusual.
    Thanks for hosting.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      hi Patricia
      I didn’t realise the Begonias were so unusual but I do love them. Thanks for joining in

  19. Sally says:

    Everything looks lovely, Helen. Don’t you just love this time of year! Thanks for hosting EOMV!
    Here’s my blog:

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Sally
      I think May along with September is one of my favourite times of year. Thanks for joining in with the meme

  20. Hi Helen! Your garden looks good! I like your Hardy Exotic border! Is it Aralia Spiderweb there?
    I am joining EOMV with my post
    Thank you for hosting!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      hi Tatyana
      It’s Fatsia Spidersweb in the hardy exotic border. Thanks for joining in this month

  21. I love this idea since we get to see the big picture instead of just plant pix. I can imagine that you feel like you are in a different world standing in the midst of your front garden. I was amazed to see street and nearby houses as your photos always make me think your garden must be isolated from neighbors. I only posted a few pix, hope to do better next time! Here’s the link: http://eachlittleworld.typepad.com/each_little_world/2014/06/end-of-the-month-view.html

    1. Nell Jean says:

      If Morgan road is where Miss Ethel and Mr. Elbert lived. That’s the Kingdom Hall of JW.

    2. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Linda
      I lived in a small housing estate on the edge of a town so I look out at the Malvern Hills and I have open spaces near me but yes my neighbours are quite close. Thanks for joining in

  22. hello Helen, your garden is looking lush and lovely, so many changes and all seem to be working well, no wonder you are enjoying it and feeling satisfied,

    thanks for hosting this meme, I have posted my eomv, Frances

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Thanks Frances, it’s good when a plan comes together.

  23. hoehoegrow says:

    Hi Helen,
    thankyou for hosting EOMV yet again. The months seem to fly by ridiculously quickly!

    Your garden is looking very lush and colourful, and the exotic border is really coming on. I bet, by the end of the season it will have filled out even more.

    My EOMV is at http://hoehoegrow.blogspot.com/2014/06/end-of-month-view-may.html

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Hoehoe
      Interestingly I have added some more to the exotic border over the weekend! Thanks for joining in with the meme

  24. I love the cottage feel of your gardens. I especially love the views of your irises and alliums this month! Here are the views in my Texas garden this month. http://rebeccastexasgarden.blogspot.com/2014/05/end-of-month-view-may-2014.html

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Rebecca
      Thank for joining in again am off to check out your Texas garden

  25. kate says:

    I’m so glad the very first question was asked (and answered). I love, love this e irises! Better late than never for me, though when I see how lovely your garden is looking, I hesitate to chip in… but my post is here: http://beangenie.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/status-updateor-an-end-of-month-view/ And thanks for hosting, Helen!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      hi Kate
      I love irises but have limited sunny sites for them. Thanks for joining in this month

  26. Helen as always what a joy to see your gardens and especially the front garden. It is looking grand. I also love the exotic border with the bench. So much growing and dare I say it but some of my flowers are right in step with yours (of course some are not given our brutal winter). Your hard work has paid off and your gardens are stunning.

    As always thanks for hosting and here is my link…..it is not an end of the month view but a middle of the month view as with my surgery I could not blog at the end of May…hope you enjoy it:


  27. Linda says:

    Your garden is looking very lush Helen! I am very inspired! Bit late, but here’s my garden at the end of May http://linda-lindasphotoblog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/my-garden-at-end-of-may.html

  28. It’s all looking good Helen. I know what you mean about lush but the flowers holding back. Let’s hope we get more sunny days soon. The front garden looks great and it’s good you are pleased with it after all that work.

    A bit late, but here’s mine: http://www.gwenfarsgarden.info/2014/06/end-of-month-view-may-2014.html

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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