May in the Spanish gardens

Spring in the air and in the flowers

What ever the type of garden you have it is likely to be colourful in May. Many types of bulbs have yet to finish their spring displays and summer lilies will start to flower by the end of the month. Many herbs enjoying dry garden conditions are in flower including collections of salvias. Subtropical varieties such as bougainvilleas and hibiscus are flowering except in areas where they were caught by last winters severe frosts. Like wise lantanas are a mass of flowers in warm sheltered gardens but only just showing signs of leaves in shady places where they were caught by frosts. During the month dedicated rose gardens will start to look their best especially inland where the May displays in places like Madrid and Granada are exceptional and Cordoba with it’s patio festival in May sets the standards for other locations and gardens in terms of mass displays of geraniums and window boxes of petunias. But there are more things to do than just look at flowers as May is the last month for serious changes in the garden before the sun starts to get hot.

Spend wisely on Spring plant purchases

Inevitably everyone is tempted to make Spring purchases to fill gaps, to progress the planting of new gardens, to brighten up apartment balconies and terraces and also the windowsills of village houses. But with tighter purses do ensure that plant purchases will make a noticeable impact and can be sensibly fitted in. Before you go off to tour the garden centres it is sensible to do two things.

Firstly wander round the garden objectively pausing for a while in each area such as the front, side and back gardens including the pool area, and other special perhaps hidden gardens such as the veggie plot or raised beds and the main fruit growing areas.

Ask yourself questions such :

  • Does this area need brightening up or be more densely planted?
  • Are the entry, exit and transition planted areas between the sub gardens subtle but stimulating?
  • Is there sufficient shade for the less drought resistant plants and for the family and pets?
  • If bothered  by scratching cats where can a number of cat repelling plants such as Coleus canina be strategically placed.


Last Vegetable plantings

Away from the flower part of the garden there is still time to plant an amazing number of vegetables for summer and autumn eating. ‘Growing Healthy Vegetables in Spain’ or ‘Apartment Gardening Mediterranean Style’ will soon set you up along practical and productive lines.

Spraying fruit trees.

From now on monthly spraying of fruit trees with a neem and propolis natural ecological spray can be of benefit.


Happy end of spring gardening.


(c) Clodagh and Dick Handscombe May 2012.