May 2021 began, locked into the weather pattern of April (which was the sunniest, driest and consistently coldest at night, on record, in Wales) with some glorious sunshine, a sharp frost on May 1st, and the garden looking spectacular in spite of these challenges. At last a few light showers in the last 3 days of April have reduced the need for morning and night watering, which had become necessary for most of last month.
Enviromesh, water filled bottles and my makeshift cold frames were all pressed into use to attempt to start some vegetables growing in such challenging conditions, and good progress was made with the newish Malus and Sorbus copse, whom to many of our daffodil, Narcissus, cultivars, which have been bulked up initially in the veg beds before moving over the last 2 autumns.
In addition, after heroic efforts from William removing much Alchemilla mollis from the bank below the Amelanchiers over the winter, planting has begun here with favourite Hydrangeas from cuttings, Persicaria and a few Skimmias and Buddlejas. A longer term project, to add flower and visual interest to an extremely difficult location on the steep shale bank.
The weather changed dramatically early on the month, (May 4th) with a low pressure system which brought 41 mm of rain in 24hours, with 60 mph winds. many daffodils were flattened. More than twice the rainfall we received in the whole of April.