Kathy Brown's MAY GARDEN
The Manor House, Church Road, Stevington, Nr Bedford MK43 7QB
Tel. 01234 822064
Early May is a beautiful time here with the apple blossoms in full array softly underplanted with blue camassias. The ornamental cherries make a fantastic show. Lilacs and tree peonies are gorgoeus too, the latter all too fleeting but whilst in bloom they are exquisite.
Mid May is a wonderful time for the alliums below the arches which provide a super show along with the foxgloves, peonies, poppies and iris through May and into June. One end of the arches is fronted with laburnum with various wisterias adding to the scene. However some of the wisteria buds have already been lost due to the unseasonably hot weather in March followed by sharp frosts. Those on the walls and pergolas near the house are still fine. I think the arches will still look beautiful with the laburnum, and alliums and also the white Clematis montana grandiflora which also climbs over one of the arches.
The clematis montanas provide a wonderful show...top two being Clematis montana 'Broughton Star' with its dusky pink semi double flowers which look wonderful against the stone walls in the courtyard. While Clematis montana grandiflora in flowers over one of the wisteria arches. 'Mayleen', 'Jacqui' and 'Elizabeth' provide a beautiful show elsewhere.
Early roses flower in May including the shrub rose yellow 'Canary Bird' and the sweetheart rose Rosa 'Cecile Brunner' climbing up the gazebo, its has beautiful scroll like buds. Rosa Banksiae lutea and normalis clothe the house walls...normalis is exceptional for its soft perfume.
Rosa 'Gertrude Jekyll' will flower in the courtyard and 'Mme Isaac Pereire' will be full of blooms besides the kitchen. There are many more too, as well as the dog roses in the wild flower meadow. Early in the month cowslips make a pretty picture here as well as besdies the drive.
Other scented May flowering plants include silver leaved Eleagnus Quicksilver which is one of my favourites. Herbaceous white hesperis, geraniums, geums, poppies and aquilegias are all in full bloom. The ferns are in fresh wonderful statuesque growth while hostas in hanging baskets are again making a good display.This is such a marvellous time of year. The early growth and fresh leaves of trees, hedging and grasses are all magical.
The formal garden has responded well to its new look with lavender edging the central path and lots of herbaceous plants around the rose and clematis arbours. After all the changes I hope the formal garden and wisteria walk will become much more fluid.
The Rothko garden is looking very dramatic with its fresh dark leaves. All the grass gardens are fresh and full of promise.
Clematis montana grandiflora
Clematis montana 'Broughton Star'