May, the month gardeners eagerly anticipate… May is filled with hopefulness for a long growing season and gardening success! Gardeners often have devised a Personal Planting Plan for each section of their landscape, siting sun lovers in areas that will receive more than six hours of sunshine per day, while shade lovers will thrive in areas where shadows prevail.
Garden centers and nurseries should be well stocked with your favorites as well as newer cultivars and specialty plants, so let’s GO! The transition month of May in Wisconsin usually provides enough sunny, warm days so we can enjoy the process of outdoor shopping, selecting the perfect specimens for those garden spaces and containers.
Garden design can be done well by both professionals and novice gardeners. Following basic principles of “the right plant in the right place” will ensure success. Considering how tall and wide each plant will grow in a single season is key to correct placement in a garden space. Garden design isn’t based only on overall appearance; functionality of a plant in its space is also crucial. (If you purchase a lovely flowering shrub but it completely hangs over the walkway, it will become annoying quickly when you are tripping over the branches— result: you may not appreciate its true beauty!) If you place the shrub far enough from the walkway, you might add an attractive groundcover along the edge; groundcovers are available for both sun and shade.May is also about acclimation… plants that were wintered over indoors must adjust gradually to their new outdoor spaces. Some gardeners may use a greenhouse or garage for this purpose; it is an important step to allow plants to become accustomed to cool nights and sunny days. Just as humans can easily become sunburned on sunny early spring days, those plants need to acclimate gradually as well. A few years ago my husband and I (mostly my husband!) built a sun room in one section of our garage; we included three south-facing windows to set potted plants in MAY and OCTOBER. This works well for those transition months and the plants adjust nicely.
If you are ready to watch plants GROW, then let’s GO… to your favorite plant provider!
TIP: My Design Instructor suggested making a list of plants you intend to purchase, along with appropriate quantities. Sometimes when you visit your favorite greenhouse/garden center, the choices can be overwhelming so a list will help you focus on your Personal Planting Plan. (The list should serve as a guideline only—you are encouraged to purchase a few impulsive specimens for extra pop in your space!) Let’s GROW!
Schmid, Master Gardener