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May Inspiration - build up to Chelsea
News and Gardening Tips
In the lead up to the Chelsea Flower Show later in the month there is much planning and preparation to do. Which plants will actually be in flower for the show in this late season, what needs to be held back in the coldstore and what needs to be forced on in the heat of the show tunnel?
Deciduous azaleas are at their finest in May and bridge the gap between the wonders of the woodland garden in spring and the start of the herbaceous borders and roses to come. Azalea pontica (Rhododendron luteum) planted in a solid group will produce exquisite scents. Azalea ‘Daviesii’ is just as scented.
Candelabra primulas are the highlight of any wet or boggy areas and we always have a Chelsea offer on a collection of these.
The scented rhododendrons also come into their own in May. The best ‘smellies’ to try are Rhododendron crassum in a woodland context or Rhododendron fragrantissimum or Rhododendron formosum in the greenhouse or containers if you live in a colder part of the country.
While on the subject of scent May has its fair share of beautifully scented magnolias to enjoy as well. Magnolia sieboldii and Magnolia wilsonii regularly feature on our Chelsea stands but, if you want to try something new, Magnolia ‘Summer Solstice’ is a revelation in terms of colour and fragrance.
Beware slugs eating the new leaves on your magnolias. Beware the slugs and snails on your hostas, lupins and delphiniums and get your Harrod Horticultural plant supports in place now ready for the emerging growth in your herbaceous borders.