The Fortnight Garden at the end of May

The Fortnight Garden at the end of May – it is hard to believe we are nearly at the end of the fifth month of the year. In another four weeks we will be half way through 2020, a year which I don’t think anyone will ever forget. The wind has swirled around the garden this week, preventing me from doing very much and so I have been slowly finding my feet again after a diagnosis of IBS and a week of constant pain.

I am looking out of the window this morning, past the piles of sewing, and it is pretty, a real cottage garden.

1.The Paeony buds are still swelling and one or two are going to open this week. I think these are the white ones. Nearby is ‘Bowl of Beauty’ but that is far behind and in another part of the garden ‘Karl Rosenfield’ is being swamped by the geraniums. I will have to move the plants, but that will have to wait until the autumn.

Paeony in The Fortnight Garden at the end of May

2.An anonymous white rose is draping gracefully over the side gate. It is cut back hard every year because of limited space, but it forgives me and here it is again!

White rose
White rose
White rose
White rose

3.My roses are not looking good. ‘William Shakespeare’, a David Austin rose, has only got one flower and there are very few buds. The bushes are not putting out new growth – what am I doing wrong? In The Fortnight Garden at the end of May it should be looking bushy and green, with lots of buds…

William Shakespeare
‘William Shakespeare’

4.’Graham Thomas’ is another David Austin rose which is not looking ‘right’. On the company website this is listed as a climbing rose, but I planted it as a bush. Is that my problem? Am I pruning incorrectly?

Graham Thomas
‘Graham Thomas’

5.I love scented petunias! And so I have replaced the bulbs with petunias, bright geraniums, and white lobelias, thanks to the local nursery which has opened again. The scent in the evenings is wonderful!

6.And finally, a wild flower. This beautiful gladiolus communis subsp. byzantinus – what a mouthful! – appeared about three years ago as a single flower spike. This year there are four beautiful flower heads. They aren’t in an ideal spot but I am grateful they are visiting, and lingering, and leave well alone.

And that is The Fortnight Garden at the end of May. It is better organised than this time a year ago, and I am enjoying the variety and profusion. I am grateful that it gives me the chance to relax, relate to something beautiful, and communicate with myself on a different level. That sounds a bit odd, but how do you describe the good feeling of looking after plants? Thank you Mr Propagator and I apologise for posting on Sunday!


    • Thank you! And I love your white climber. It reminds me a little of a climber which my mother grew when I was a child, something called a ‘Cup of Gold’ creeper. You live in a very beautiful part of the world, and add to that an eminently sensible PM – what more could you want? Scotland to New Zealand is quite a journey! I went in the other direction – South Africa to England.

  1. My ’Graham Thomas’ hasn’t even got a single bud yet so yours is doing somewhat better than mine! And your ‘Whistling Jacks’ (gladioli) are splendid. I have some but mine are paler although they were advertised as the true deal! How lovely to have them arrive for free!

    • ‘Graham Thomas’ is very generous because I have obviously made a mess of the pruning. ‘Whistling Jack’ – I like that! They are lovely – all five heads of flowers – but they are already starting to go over. They don’t hang around!

      • Yes they are short-lived. But lovely when they bulk up, which mine don’t appear to be doing.

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