May is one of those months where, despite the long evenings, you wish you could squeeze in a bit more time around the garden. With the threat of night frosts waning, growth around the garden, welcome and some less so, really takes off. This is a good time to rationalise the repetitive duties of mowing and allow nature a little more room to flourish. I am pleasantly surprised at the speed of the welcome procession of colour: faded spring bulbs now topped by self seeders such as Aquilegea or Columbine; always interesting and great for attracting bees. The bird focus is strong this month: winter visitors departed but replaced by summer visitors, a chorus of bird song and nest boxes in use.
Aquilegea or Columbine: a mixed palette of colour, always a surprise! (Oran O’Sullivan)
Good too are the perennial hardy geraniums, the flowers are decorative and great for insects. Later on, the seeds are an attractive food source for birds such as Greenfinches and Bullfinches.
The nesting season is going well, so far, with two pairs of Robins in residence in nest boxes. There is a great satisfaction in seeing birds take up the offer of a home: one of the boxes is deep in a spiky Firethorn the other in a mature hedgerow, with Ivy and Holly framing the box.
Robin incubating eggs on nest (Oran O’Sullivan)