The Gardener's Journal is a free monthly gardening guide delivered direct to your inbox.

Each month, receive tips on the top jobs needed in your garden as well as a wealth of information on a range of gardening topics. From sowing seeds to picking fruit, each month get access to information on the care and maintenance of your flowerbeds, vegetable plot and lawn. As with your own gardening diary, the journal is split into separate sections, each covering a different area of garden care.

Tuesday 9 May 2017

Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons launches The Raymond Blanc Gardening School

Inspired by a deep joy and curiosity for the wonders of nature, this school promises to combine the passion the whole team at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons share for the love of gardening, with the desire to pass on best kept secrets to guests.

Blanc has always said that the gardens at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons are as much a part of the excellence as the two Michelin-starred food and the launch of the school is the perfect opportunity to enjoy learning more about the mystery of horticulture within a truly convivial environment.  Quite simply, it is a perfect marriage of true minds – where nature and culture co-exist.

Friday 5 May 2017

This Month in Your Garden - May

"I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden."

Ruth Stout, Author, Gardener

Many of us have been out there at the end of April tending to the tender plants as the frost bites with the cold weather front. Dahlias are tender and growing plants are best kept in the warm until the frosts pass before planting out in early June to create their dazzling displays.

If you haven’t the room or the time to grow your own bedding plants you’ll probably be eager to pop into the garden centre to pick up your half-hardy border plants. But the summer bedding, in most areas, will be best planted out at the end of the month, with the exception of areas that are still cold enough to cause damage to the plants.

The Lawn Care Guide - May

Come rain or shine the lawn will be fine

Weekly mowing of the lawn is probably called for now and the mower blade or cutting deck on the garden tractor lowered for a finer cut and neat stripes. It may be necessary to make a further application of selective weed killer this month if the weeds are persistent.

If you have a large lawn area and use a garden tractor you can use a powered spreader, or a walk- behind pedestrian type to ensure the correct quantity is applied, following the instructions on the packet. If there’s a dry spell there may be the need to water if you use a granular treatment and the same will apply if you are weed free but spreading a slow release fertiliser to feed the lawn.

Lawn Care: Questions and Answers

Q. Why should I aerate the lawn and when should it be done?

The Vegetable Plot - May

Keep on sowing

Gardening should be as much a pleasure as eating the fruits – and vegetables – of your labours. Slightly contradictory terms but May is a time to continue sowing and why not give the unusual a try with kohl rabi and salsify? If your beds are prepared, you can sow French beans, squash, runner beans and cucumbers after the frosts, or cover the sown area with horticultural fleece for protection.

The Big Glut Recipe - May

Roasted Jersey Royal Salad

Roasted Jersey Royal potatoes with spring herb, hazelnut and bacon salad and lemon brown butter dressing.


  • 1kg jersey royals or other waxy new potatoes, scrubbed, halved if large
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g (around 9-10 rashers) British free-range streaky bacon, chopped into thirds
  • 75g blanched hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 100g watercress
  • Small bunch each fresh basil, mint (leaves picked) and chives (snipped in half)
  • 150g radishes, quartered