By the end of May, all the bedding plants were put in the borders and watered in for a few nights. Last weekend after some heavy rain I went around them all with a small 2 pronged claw and loosened the soil. This will let air in around the roots and create dry soil mulch, trapping some of the moisture below as well as enhancing the visual appearance of the borders.

My hanging baskets are safely hanging outside and the containers are grouped together to create an attractive patio display.

hanging basket

My perennial borders have really filled out and I already have lupins, foxgloves and hardy geraniums in flower. The buds on the peony plants are exceptionally huge this year so I am looking forward to an impressive display later this month.

My hostas have certainly enjoyed the cooler spring they have never looked so good, with only a few holes in the foliage, not from slugs but from the hailstorm we had recently.


The cold frames have been put away and the greenhouses are starting to look bare! In one I have potted up all my large flowered begonias into 20cm (8in) clay pots. These will grow all summer in the shaded glasshouse and are grown for my enjoyment and maybe an entry in the local show if good enough, plus begonias are my wife’s favourite flower.

My tomatoes this year are being grown up the allotment, but not on the plot – they are in the communal polytunnel. I rent a small plot within the tunnel and I have already planted my tomatoes – they are climbing the string supports and have reached about 90cm (3ft) and started to produce the first trusses of flowers. I am also going to grow my cucumbers in this space, as this year I am growing Cucino, a baby cucumber, and Bella, a longer fruited variety. Outdoors in a few weeks I will be planting ‘Burpless’ ridge cucumbers into large pots and maybe a few on the plot for cropping later in year.

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