Plants looking good in May. During the month of May as the weather warms and the days lengthen, it is great to consider what’s looking good in the garden right now. Looking at one of our on going projects, I have been watching one of the large borders and studying its progress each week. Back in May 2018 we planted up this West facing border. As we move into season two, I notice how (with garden irrigation and regular maintenance, including a hefty dose of mulch), it is establishing and gently maturing as we had envisaged.
There are many to choose from. These top three plants are looking particularly good now, and are three of my personal favourites. They are all very individual in their habit, form and colour yet work wonderfully well in this large border. Plant in groups for maximum impact.
Camassia cusickii (Cusick’s Camass) is a bulbous perennial with long racemes of thirty to one hundred star shaped sky blue flowers. Held by stout yet willowy stems and open sequentially from bottom to top. Blooming in late spring/early summer, they appear above wavy margined foliage. Camassia are a striking feature in the garden when the summer perennials have not yet hit their stride. They grow 60-75cm tall and will naturalise easily in full sun or part shade with moisture retentive soil. However they like to be drier through their dormancy. They really look spectacular planted in drifts and they mix beautifully with other late spring flowering bulbs.
Geum “Totally Tangerine” (Avens) is a clump forming herbaceous perennial noted for its long flowering season. They have an abundance of upward and outward facing peachy-orange flowers from late spring to early autumn. If you keep dead heading them, they really will last that long! They have branched sprays which rise above the lush mound of deep green, fuzzy leaved foliage. Totally Tangerine is sterile and will not self seed. It will grow up to 75cm tall and enjoys full sun or part shade in well drained soil. A beautiful, adaptable plant that will add a wonderful splash of colour as well as be a real magnet for bees and butterflies.
Angelica achangelica is a tall, aromatic, perennial herb with attractive rounded umbels up to 10-15cm across. White or greenish tiny flowers appear in early summer and are borne on hollow, bright green stems which are sometimes tinged purple. Angelica has a liquorice taste and it has long been used for both culinary and medicinal purposes. The leaves are great in salads, the stalks may be crystallised in sugar for cake decorating as well as the seeds being used for flavouring liqueurs. The root was thought to protect against the plague, hence its name “Angelica” due to its angelical virtues. It will bloom from early to mid summer reaching up to 180cm tall and needing full sun or part shade in rich medium to wet soil.
A striking variety that provides incredible plant “sculpture”
For more top May flowering perennials check out