Wind swept gardens in May

Two days of gales have brought down trees, fence panels, branches, trellis….

Not to mention all the blossom destroyed, broken stems, climbing plants damaged… Grrrr!

I love a wild windy day by the coast, but, not when you are trying to work in it and especially at this time of year! The plants don’t like it, bees, birds in general don’t…. Fruit trees in flower and not protected might mean a poor crop later. Those not in flower will be fine.

Rant over almost. Just need to tidy up and have a close inspection of the garden, plants, structures, trees, roofs of sheds, loose climbing plants…..

As you can see the wind makes me irritable! We wait so long for plants to flower and within two days the flowers are gone. This also happened to the daffodils and narcissus a few weeks ago with the high temperatures.



What to do

A close inspection of the garden first. Cut out broken stems or damaged plant material. Tie in stems of climbers. If they break cut back to above the nearest pair of leaves or leaf. Put in stakes and ties to secure loose trees and shrubs. Firm around with the heel of a boot. Check also for stems/ branches rubbing against walls, trellis, stakes and fence panels.

Did you see the Countryfile Spring Special last sunday 3rd of May BBC1? It was really enjoyable. Talking about using the senses to enable you to enjoy spring. Smell, sight ,sound, touch and taste. Watch it on iPlayer or catch up if you can.

  • I Heard Nightingale, Swallow, Wrens, Wood Pigeons…
  • I Saw Spotted Flycatcher, Swifts,Whitethroat, courting Hedgehogs!…..
  • I Smelt Lilacs, Viburnums, Bluebells and fresh cut grass…
  • I Touched fresh herbs, Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley, Chives and Lavender…
  • I Tasted food with herbs from the garden!
White Lilac

White Lilac


I dare you to tickle your senses!

Last week was International Dawn Chorus Day but don’t think you might have missed out the peak is still to come. Have a listen in the morning holding a cup of tea with the back door open, or go for a walk….

The usual from me. Stop, Look,Listen and Smell….

Back to gardening

Empty pots and containers for the new bedding plants. Replace with fresh compost with John Innes mixed in, so you have no vine weevil grubs. Feed and water all plants growing in containers. The wind dries out plants quickly through the leaves and draws out moisture from terracotta pots.

Pest and Disease advice

Bugs and diseases to watch out for from Guy Barter, Head of Advisory Department at RHS Wisley.

  • Apple blossom weevil damaging flowers.
  • Black fly (Aphids) on Viburnum, Euonymous, Ivy, Broad Beans….
  • Downy Mildew on Aquilegia, Hellebores, Foxgloves. Pick off affected leaves and discard or destroy.
  • Capsid bug – distorted leaves and flowers. Treat with pyrethrum or spray day.
  • Blind bulbs. Keep Fed and watered until foliage dies down. Do Not cut back or tie up foliage.
  • Black spot. Spray with a fungicide to prevent rather than spray when you have the problem.

Happy Gardening!


Regards Peter


p.s. Don’t forget to visit NGS gardens to glean ideas and knowledge.

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Peter has spent his life gardening, working in garden centres and advising in all aspects of gardening, wildlife, and bio-diversity in horticulture.He managed Clandon Park Garden Centre in Surrey at the age of 23 and was a gardening radio presenter with the BBC. This continued for 15 years, running live broadcasts from Chelsea & Hampton Court Flower shows, South of England & Surrey County shows.Now self-employed, Peter works on a wide variety of gardens from private to large estates and also concentrating on consultancy and advisory work to fellow gardeners. He works with the RHS Gardening Advice team at Chelsea, Hampton Court, Wisley Flower shows and is an RHS External Gardening Advisor

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