By Sarah Milne
May is a marvellous month … the garden is blooming, plants are beginning to flower and show their true colours – and it’s Chelsea Flower Show, May 20-24.
All of us may not have award-winning gardens, but our outside space is beginning to come into its own again – to be enjoyed and experienced by friends and family.
Beds and borders are beginning to fill out and have definition again, and early colour comes from the popular pelargonium, commonly known as geranium. As long as they have a bit of sun, they can be grown almost anywhere, as pelargonium fan Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE said: “When I see pelargonium, my heart sings with joy.
“They are one of my favourite plants and they are such an easy patio plant to grow. They look great in flower beds and window boxes and are very versatile.
“I love the vibrant flower colours: they look stunning against their dark green foliage. Their scents are irresistible and fill the air with hints of rose, lemon, mint, fruit, nut, and spice.
“When they are in full flower, they are spectacular and amazingly beautiful. Every year I can’t wait for summer to arrive and my patio is full of large tubs overflowing with dozens of pretty pelargoniums.”
They flower from spring right through to late autumn. Protect them from frost during the winter months and they will continue to thrive for many years. The seven different types – Angel, Decorative, Ivy-Leaved, Regal, Species, Scented Leaf and Unique, also come in different varieties such as upright, trailing, climbing, ivy-leaf, ‘balcon’, rosebud and dwarf.
Great to grow in pots – pelargoniums are very easy and simple to look after so ideal for novice gardeners. Go down to your local garden centre or nursery and they can give you planting tips as part of the nationwide ‘It Starts with a Pot’ campaign, running through the Summer to encourage everyone to give gardening a go.
May is one of the most exciting months in the gardening year. Growth is well under way and watering and weeding are both key, as is sowing and planting out, depending on regional weather.
It’s also the month to get back into the swing of mowing the lawn.