The growing season is well and truly upon us...
As a nation it’s our meteorological destiny (and our duty come to think of it) to complain about the weather. The blazing glory of Easter weekend was actually just an excuse to lament the woes of water metering, sauna-like greenhouses, panting pansies and wilting seedlings. On the other hand, May’s mediocre forecast and the last cool soggy days of April at least mean we can revert to type and grumble about sludgy skies, rain (not enough/too much) and the feeble temperatures apparently in store.
HOWEVER, these are, as you know, nigh on ideal conditions for gardeners. The soil is properly warming, those tropical, desiccating temperatures have fled and the growing season is well and truly upon us...
Apple and Cherry Trees

It’s fabulous stuff, all that apple and cherry blossom, painting gardens and the countryside with outrageously pretty puffs of pink and white. This year the blossom has been outstanding and the good news is you don’t need to go to Japan to recreate the magic.

Sign in and start planning your wish list of fruit trees to plant in November for a spectacular display next spring. We reckon A E Housman knew a thing or two when he wrote, 'Loveliest of trees, the cherry now, is hung with bloom along the bough'. Quite so.

Prunus Kanzan Cherry Trees
Beauty of Bath Apple Trees
Deadheading bears dividends
And talking of spring spectaculars, there’s no getting away from the fact that deadheading early-flowering bulbs bears dividends. Before your daffs and tulips even think about forming seed pods, nip off the faded blooms. Not only does it help on the vanity front (a dead daff is not a thing of beauty after all, nor a terminal tulip) but valuable energy goes back into the bulb for next season’s show. Not much fun, but important.
Planting climbers...
They’re brilliant winding through trees, scrambling through shrubs and climbing roses, up trellises, over arches and anywhere else you can think of. They’re also great for covering shabby sheds, grotty garages and all things unsightly. Our container-grown clematis come in all shapes and sizes – some small enough to grow in a planter, others destined for greatness on a grand scale. We particularly love the elegant white Clematis ‘Marie Boisselot’, whilst Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’ surely deserves a spot for its starry pale pink and carmine blooms and truly magnificent name!
And although hardly a new kid on the block, for intense scented glamour our favourite Hollywood A-lister is definitely Trachelospermum jasminoides (star jasmine) – heavenly planted under a bedroom window on a sunny south-facing wall.
Do remember also that soil conditions at the base of walls are notoriously poor, so give your climbers the best start by planting them at least 45cm away, digging in plenty of organic matter, watering generously and mulching well. 
Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’
Clematis ‘Marie Boisselot’
View our full range of climbers ▷
Sweet peas...
Plant the little darlings out now…and for more spring jobs please click here.
Order your Sweet Peas now ▷
With wildfires in UK already at a record high according to Radio 4, ‘bone dry Britain’ needs water (it’s coming if the forecast is to be believed!). We recommended installing a water butt last month but we’re also great fans of automatic watering systems – they’ll save you time, tedium and huge amounts of water too. It’s a statement of the blindingly obvious, but in hot weather give your plants a through soaking twice a week and newly planted plants are thirsty creatures…

The Chelsea Flower Show

A microcosm of what’s hot and what’s cool in the horti world. The Duchess of Cambridge has co-designed the RHS Back to Nature garden whilst the Savills and David Harber Garden by Andrew Duff will focus on the environmental benefits of trees in urban spaces – hear hear.
We’ll be fascinated by the lavender displays in the show gardens too – the RHS has banned early-flowering lavender imports from abroad due to the risk of Xylella virus. Rest assured our lovely lavender is grown here in Somerset – it’s bee, butterfly and pollinator friendly and we firmly believe every garden should have as much as possible!
And finally – the hottest tip from the gold medal-winning Seedlip Garden at Chelsea last year. Sugar snap peas are the new lemon. Snap one into your G and T for an achingly cool take on an old classic. It’ll have you right up to date with the movers and shakers apparently. 

Monthly Advice - May Jobs in the Garden

Well - April showers bring on May flowers. It's nearly time to enjoy the miracle that is a British garden in late spring and early summer. But, of course, there are jobs to do. Aren't there always? So here is the list of jobs for those moments when you can tear yourself away from just admiring... 

Ashridge Nurseries Cold Store  |  Bring on the blossom  |  Hurray for herbs...  |  Easter  |  
Over the garden gate

Hedging Plants
Garden Trees
Gardening Gifts
Fruit trees
Sweet Peas
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