The Green Scene

‘Spring is sooner recognised by plants than by men.’ – Chinese proverb. (Stock Image)

‘Spring is sooner recognised by plants than by men.’ – Chinese proverb.
(Stock Image)

Two of the greatest gardening months are awaiting us and nature is reawakening after what seems like a long winter. Warmer days, brighter evenings, beautiful colours, flowers and trees – indeed all the pomp and pageantry of nature is visible at this time of year.

The old adage – leaf again, love again – springs to mind (excuse the pun!) The birds are in great voice. From now on, each day will be a time of expectation as the business of creation resumes.

It’s a visible pageant – look out for the flowering cherries, flowering crabs, the beautiful rhododendrons and azaleas, the delicious waxy blossoms of the magnolias rising from a sea of bluebells. I have always felt that this time of year makes life more bearable. There is a sense of being able to deal with what life throws at you.

There are plenty of tasks to keep us busy during these months of sunshine and showers. So let me highlight a few things to keep you busy in the garden.

In the vegetable garden plant onion sets and parsley and salad crops. Sow white Lisbon onion seed and runner beans. Proceed with the planting of main crop and late potatoes. Plant asparagus and globe artichokes early in the month. Prepare the ground for celery, plant cauliflowers and Brussel sprouts. Lift and divide and replant herbs and sow beetroot, carrots and turnips. Remember successional sowings of all vegetables is recommended.

Sow, plant and keep the hoe going – make that the order of the day. Plant sweet pea and prune forsythia and jasminum after flowering. Continue to plant gladioli and sow hardy annuals such as cornflower clarkia, calendula, nasturtium, godetias, larkspur and Virginian stock. Plant hardy ferns and border carnations.

It’s a good time for sowing grass seed and renovating lawns. Give grass a good spring feed and start cutting on a regular basis. Plant evergreen shrubs and container roses. Continue to plant heathers. Water lilies and all other aquatics should be planted or divided.

From now until autumn, water all house plants liberally and give a small feed and repot if necessary. It’s a good idea to out all house plants during mid-June and July.

Towards the end of May prepare all flower beds for your summer bedding. We live in a changing world; the economy is changing, people’s lifestyles are changing, social lives are changing, so the garden can be a great escape. It’s a great place to unwind after a busy and stressful day. Enjoy your garden.

So let’s finish with the words of someone who appreciated the world around him and saw the beauty in all things.

And the spring arose on the garden fair
Like the spirit of love felt everywhere
And each flower and herb on earth’s dark breast
Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.

Enjoy Springtime!

By James O’Doherty