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  • Writer's pictureSofias Country Gardens

A week in the garden in May

Flowering Cherry at Stensund

At Stensund we have two glorious flowering cherries that my mother and father planted for my sister and me when we were little, and each May they erupt in the most insane clouds of white flowers. I love the idea of planting trees for loved ones, and so last week I planted three cherries for my own children at Humlegård. It will take a few decenniums for these trees to become as big as the other ones, but it is such joy to see them grow just as it is with my children.

Newly planted cherries at Humlegård

I also continued with planting more shrubs and small trees in the tall grass and making new wild garden style herbaceous borders along the entrance drive at Humlegård. The surrounding wilderness always invades with weeds spread through seeds in the soil or root runners popping up unwanted plants and grass, so I take care to plant the new flowers through a weed suppressing fabric.

Cutting holes in the fabric

Making a new border

It is a bit fiddly to start with, making all the little holes and planting the flowers and seeing to it that there are no air pockets where slugs can hide, but totally worth it in the long run! Afterwards I laid a layer of wood chips on top as a decorative feature, and also to keep the weed suppressing fabric in place. The bed has a very limited mix of plants: pale blue catnip (Nepeta x faasseni), pink Masterworth (Astrantia major Primadonna) and white Japanese anemones (Anemone x hybrida Honorine Jobert).

Catnip Nepeta x faasseni

In the kitchen garden we are having a major project under way: redoing all the beds! The old beds were also lined with wood, but as it is some 15 years since they were made it had rotten away in many places. Also, my appetite for growing vegetables was never satisfied with what I had so now we doubled up the beds. As you can see, it is still work in progress!

The new kitchen garden

While I'm waiting for it to be finished, I already planted potatoes in the bed furthest away. Since they grow underground this was possible, as the deer will come and eat anything that is grown in the beds before the fence is in place! Readers from last summer will remember how brazen the deer are, happily walking straight past me trying to find a new way in to the vegetable patch. The variety of potato I am growing this year is the purple Salad Blue potato from Patch Potatoes. I ordered them in April and they came by mail just a few weeks later.

Salad Blue seed potatoes sprouting in egg cartons

My beetroots, purple kale and little gem squash are all waiting in the wings to be re-potted before being planted out in some three weeks time. Of course I was clumsy this year again and dropped too many seeds per plug, but also the beetroot seeds come bundled together and invariably grow more than one plant if they germinate.

Beetroot babies

Meanwhile, I am enjoying the uncharacteristically hot weather we are having this week. The warmth (20 °C at 9 pm!!) has been blissful and we have been sitting outside enjoying the beauty of early summer long into the evening. I hope you too get out there and enjoy the garden this weekend!

Early summer evenings

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