Green fingers at the ready for a blooming lovely month

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May is a blooming lovely month - plants are beginning to flower and show their true colours and inspire us to get out into the garden a little more.

But it’s not just the May sunshine that is inspirational.

Not only is there possibly the best flower and gardening celebration in the world taking place next month, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show (May 19 to May 23), but Cultivation Street is up and running and looking for community gardening projects to enter their annual competition. Visit

Cultivation Street is helping to bring back front gardens and revitalise our streets while at the same time encouraging people to take up gardening and grow their green skills.

The front garden is often overlooked as a growing area - with a solitary tree planted and not a flower in sight.

Gardening myth of the month is that you can’t plant flowers under trees - a myth that’s not founded in fact at all as flower beds can actually help keep trees healthy.

They are also more sustainable than grass in the long run because flower beds require less water.

Choose perennials to minimise soil disturbance, and choose the smallest plants possible for the same reason.

Carefully work them into the soil that’s there, rather than adding more soil or compost for planting and choose colours that tone well with your tree foliage.

Early colour comes this month from the popular pelargonium, commonly known as geranium.

Pelargoniums flower from spring right through to late autumn.

If you protect them from frost during the winter months, they will continue to thrive for many years and so long as they have a bit of sun, they can be grown pretty much anywhere.

Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE said: “When I see pelargonium my heart sings with joy. Their scents fill the air with hints of rose, lemon, mint, fruit, nut and spice”.

There are seven different types of pelargonium – angel, decorative, ivy-leaved, regal, species, scented leaf and unique.

May is the month when everything gets busy in the garden and even the most relaxed of gardeners gets going.

Watering and weeding are both key, as is sowing and planting out, depending on regional weather.

It’s also time to get back into the swing of mowing the lawn.

Here are some top jobs for next month from the Royal Horticultural Society and National Garden Gift Vouchers.

Watch out for late frosts and protect tender plants.

Liquid feed containers every two to four weeks.

Plant out summer bedding.

Collect rainwater and look at ways to recycle water for irrigation.

Open greenhouse vents and doors on warm days.

Sweet peas need training and tying in to their supports.

Watch out for greenfly and black spot on roses.

Plant hanging baskets.