Kathy Brown's MAY GARDEN
The Manor House,
Church Road, Stevington,
Nr Bedford MK43 7QB
Tel. 01234 822064
Open to pre-arranged Groups
see Group Visit button above
Monday BH Ist May and all Tuesdays 1-5pm
£5 Adults Children are free
no need to book
teas are available
Edible Flower Extravaganza May 29th (BH) morning or afternoon must pre-book for either morning or afternoon session £26 please see Edible Flower Garden page
May is a beautiful time here with tulips in the borders and pots and orchard blossoms under planted with blue camassias. The ornamental cherries make a fantastic show.
Tree peonies are gorgeous too, the latter all to fleeting but when in bloom they are exquisite. We have several maturing specimens beneath the white stemmed Himalayan birch with thinned black bamboo to reinforce the Chinese flora. A brilliant recent adventure taking in the famous Tree Peony Festival at Luoyang has increased our enthusiam even more and in 2015 we created a dedicated bed of tree peonies and herbaceous peonies besides the drive with red, pink and white flowers all with the dark maroon blotch. We have just gone one step further and created yet another peony border close by planting intersectional peonies sometimes known as Itohs.
May is also 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 pink and white wisterias adding to the scene. White Clematis montana grandiflora also climbs over one of the arches.
Other clematis montanas provide a wonderful show...tops being Clematis Willie, Blue Eclipse, and Francis Rivis plus C. montana 'Broughton Star' with its dusky pink semi double flowers which look wonderful against the stone walls in the courtyard. Clematis montana 'Mayleen', 'Jacqui' and 'Elizabeth' provide a beautiful show elsewhere.
Early Chinese roses flower in May including the shrub rose yellow 'Canary Bird'. But the stars are Rosa Banksiae lutea and white normalis which clothe the house walls...normalis is exceptional for its soft perfume.
By the very end of May Rosa 'Gertrude Jekyll' flowers on the courtyard walls and 'Mme Isaac' is full of blooms besides the kitchen...both good for my rose petal cakes. 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 besides the drive.
Other scented May flowering plants include silver leaved Eleagnus Quicksilver which is one of my favourites and an array of lilacs. Herbaceous perennial honesty, Lunaria rediviva ,hesperis, geraniums, geums, poppies and aquilegias will all be in full bloom. The ferns will be in fresh wonderful statuesque growth while hostas in hanging baskets will again making a good display.
This is such a marvellous time of year. The early growth and fresh leaves of trees, hedging and grasses will all be magical.The formal garden always looks exciting at this time of year with the hornbeam in new leaf and lavender in fresh growth together a symphony of greens.
The Rothko garden will look dramatic with its glossy dark leaves.
Clematis montana 'Broughton Star'
Chinese Rosa Banksiae lutea