I am away down to Oxford for a couple of days tomorrow to help older daughter get ready for a trip to Japan with her six month old baby and to see younger daughter's progress with unpacking after her big move out of London into the country. So here is a slightly early end of month view.
Here is the side garden, now awash with geraniums, aquilegia, verbascum and peonies. I am going to show you some close ups too, just because I love them so much.
These paeonies will be over so soon but there foliage is a meaty contribution even when the flowers are gone and the flowers themselves are so luscious I would have them if they flowered only for a day.
The aquilegia by contrast have been going for a while and will keep flowering for a few more weeks yet. I love the way they self seed and the different colours and shapes they throw up. This pinkish one is a gentler softer colour than I would usually like but it is just perfect.
This is looking down through the new little orchard. The apple blossom has faded and the daffodils are gone but this is the area where I am planting wild flowers. For weeks I have had trays full of oxeye daisies, honesty, teasels and field scabious in the greenhouse and coldframes. I know that visitors have raised the occasional eyebrow at my pots full of weeds. This weekend has seen the end of the huge task of planting them out. They don't look much yet.
This I promise you will be a patch of oxeye daisies next summer. It has been hard work planting out in the lush grass but here and there the visiting badgers have been of help.
Here is where they have been digging, looking for chafer grubs I think.
Producing a perfect little hole into which to slip a teasel.
But already there are patches of beauty: buttercups under the apple trees.
Sweet rocket around the silver birch.
And grasses which are themselves beautiful.
Here is the cutting garden, the sweetpeas beginning to twine up the mesh, the lavender stripes filling out, the irises and the echinacea looking healthy and solid. Not many flowers yet. I have been planting out cosmos and zinnia grown from seed and it will be the annuals which fill this with colour, scent too from the sweetpeas, and scent from the lavender. Globe artichokes are here too. We will eat them until we get bored with the whole palaver, but some will go to flower and the flowers are as beautiful as any.
And here is the kitchen garden. It would look better if the raised beds didn't need to be netted against the chickens but I couldn't bear not to let them roam so protecting the crops is a necessity.
The chickens are even in the side garden, the closest this place gets to formality (still pretty much a sprawl, but a thoughtful sprawl I hope).
Oh I love May. I wish I could hold it in my hand and keep it for a little longer.