A Garden Walk at the End of May: Part One

 It was such lovely weather on Thursday, with a few clouds rushing across the blue sky in the strong breeze, but also with welcome bursts of warm sunshine in between. Perfect light for photographs in the late afternoon, and perfect for a tour of the garden.

Would you like to come?

Let’s go out onto the patio to begin…


My patio containers have a few annuals in them after being refreshed this spring… I hope to eventually find suitable perennials for them all that withstand both a freezing winter and a hot summer. A pinky red Achillea millefolium is already in flower and looks like it might be a candidate for dividing in autumn. Some Cosmos and Cleome seedlings are also in there. I hope the copper tape around the bases of the pots keep the slugs and snails at bay!

As we swing to the right we look across the bench to the top bed and small top lawn. The bench faces the morning sun when the rest of the patio is still in shade.


The small fence around the flower bed stops nosy doggies jumping after lizards etc!


There are lots of Aquilegia vulgaris here, and Veronica just starting to flower, which hides the remaining tulip foliage.

If we step forward a little we can look down the rockery…


… and see the Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber) just starting to flower. The white peony further down will soon be out too.

Back to the lawn and the top bed… the Alliums ( nigrum? and christophii) and this lovely hardy Gladiolus communis are the highlights right now.

Looking down the rockery on the west side from where the garden tap is, we can see Binocular Man keeping watch. The rusty frame bottom right supports the tall yellow Achillea that I gave up trying to move… it likes it there obviously! The grass in the middle of this photo is apparently a thug – Phalaris arundinacea, but I have been able to keep it in check so far…


Let’s step back on the other side of the lawn and look across towards the Acer – the tap near the Alchemilla mollis will help you orientate yourself.


The path down to the garden is a curved slope with wood chippings, lined on the left by Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Czakor’, Lysimachia and Golden Rod (Solidago canadensis, which seeded itself there), and on the right by the trees. There is a tiny bed just to the right (where the bell hangs, see previous picture) but it is extremely dry and hot there,so the Geranium phaeum is allowed to get the upper hand as it copes so well with those conditions.


On the way down we can look to the left across the west rockery… lots of aquilegias again!


At the bottom of the sloping path is The Professor, a little weather-beaten, with only one wing, but he has had a lot of work recently with strong winds most of this spring.


Let’s have a rest here… there’s a bench just behind us. I’ll take you on the second half of the tour tomorrow!

52 thoughts on “A Garden Walk at the End of May: Part One

    • Yes Marian! There’s a lot of sighing as I walk round my garden now and I think this really is the best time of year before the heat makes some plants wilt. 🙂

  1. Gorgeous Cathy! Don’t know about you there but it has been a perfect Spring here so everything looks just wonderful. Rain, warmth and no frosts to speak of. Regards, Lindsay

    • It has been a good spring, although since March we have had almost non-stop winds which dry up the ground so quickly. Pleasant temperatures though, and no frosts here either. June is set to be hot and sunny if the forecast is right!

  2. What a show! Your garden looks perfect and I love all the color. Also I love a nice garden tour, it always helps to have the big picture and see how things connect. I wouldn’t mind sipping my coffee on your bench any day!
    The new header looks great, the poppies are so bright, and all the colors mix so well. It looks so summery, I guess spring is fading fast.

    • It IS colourful, and I do think the poppies tend to clash a little with the pinks and purples…. but they were one of the first plants I put in before everything else. The rockery was very bare back then! I think this coming week will bring change as the weather warms up and summer could be on its way…

  3. What a treat having a virtual stroll round your garden. It all looks so lovely and now we have a sense of how it all joins up.I’m looking forward to the next part. I love your new header.

  4. Love the new header, the poppies stand out so well.
    It was lovely seeing views of your garden that I’ve never seen before, can’t wait for tomorrow!

  5. What a lovely garden, Cathy! I just love seeing all of the gorgeous spring blossoms. I’m sure the garden bench is one of your favorite places to sit and relax a bit. Can’t wait to see the rest of your garden! ♡

    • I think it is the first tour I have done Julie – way overdue! A lot of other bloggers have been doing tours recently so I jumped on the bandwagon!

  6. Pingback: A Garden Walk at the end of May: Part Two | Words and Herbs

  7. Thanks for the tour! The Red Valerian is gorgeous. So is the aguilegia, one of my favorite flowers. You have a wonderful garden, perfect for long, lazy strolls!

    • Thanks Deb – the Red Valerian was given to me by friends and neighbours and is clearly very happy here – as are the Aquilegias, which have mostly spread from just a few seeds sneaked from a nearby untended garden! 🙂

    • Do you also get Hummingbird Hawk-moths on your valerian, Amelia? I still haven’t seen one this year – unusual as they are often around quite early in the year and it has been so mild….

      • There are lots on the valerian and nepeta at this moment. That is the Macroglossum stellatarum, I get the Hemaris fuciformis that is called Hummingbird hawk moth in the States later on.

        • I occasionally see them too, but not as often as the others. We call them bee hawk-moths. I wonder where mine have got to – after such a mild winter and spring I’m surprised they haven’t made an appearance yet, especially as the Valerian is now opening….

    • Hi Sheryl. Thanks – May has been very kind to us and the garden always looks at its best before the summer heat arrives (scheduled for this coming week!) 😉

    • The first thing we did when we came was to put up a fence because of our dogs, and a public footpath is right next to us too. No deer thank goodness, but they are in the woods just outside and like to lie under the elder trees. 🙂

  8. That was great fun, Cathy. Thanks for the tour. I love Mr. Professor at the end. He seems like a fine old chap.

    Your garden is breathtaking. So much color and vibrancy and your lovely lines showing it off. Now I’m headed for part two.

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