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If only May were eight weeks long. If whoever’s in charge could just lop a fortnight off November and another from February wouldn’t that be lovely?

Mind you, some days this May have felt more like November, with cold temperatures, lashing rain and gusty winds. When I bumped into old friends and colleagues from Gardeners’ World at the Chelsea Flower Show earlier this week it was coats and scarves at the ready! I really felt for the Singaporeans who brought an orchid and palm-laden garden to the show – they even had to put up frost protection on Sunday night!

Singaporean garden

In spite of the odd warm sunny spell (like when I nipped out of the Great Pavilion to grab this photo) it’s a timely reminder not to put all your frost tender plants out just yet – give it another week or two, especially if you live in a cold area. Or be prepared to get the fleece out if frost is forecast. I’m hoping that the sweetcorn I sowed outdoors last week won’t resent the cold temperatures too much – the ones in the greenhouse are raring to go but the rest haven’t poked their heads up yet – despite my alchemist-style pre-sowing treatment .

Putting down roots

I’ve intelligently decided that the busiest month in the gardening calendar would be the ideal time to buy my first home – so watch this space for future blog posts on how to design and create a beautiful garden in a tiny, east-facing back yard. Also coming up in the blog, edible flowers, roses, more on birds and bees (not in that way!), designing a hay fever-friendly garden and planting in dry shade.

In the meanwhile, here are some of my photo highlights of this year’s Chelsea Flower Show:

The Dark Matter Garden  won a Gold Medal and Best Fresh Garden. ‘Fresh Gardens’ are smaller than ‘Show Gardens’ and are more contemporary and conceptually-led.

This garden uses rust colours in both the materials and planting – with concrete reinforcing bars making innovative seating and paving to complement plants including verbascums and grasses.

Chris Beardshaw’s Healthy Cities Garden  demonstrates the classic design principle of combining flower shapes and colours to maximise their impact. Spires of lupins and verbascum work really well with the chunky flowers of bearded irises.

The Home: Personal Universe Garden features a beautiful green wall and an amazing waterfall – it’s a lush, contemporary private garden by Japanese designer Fuminari Tokada. What an inviting space for a hot summer’s day (now there’s a thought!).

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