1Hardening off – we all know the old saying about ‘ne’er cast a clout till May be out.’ This does not refer to the month of May but to the may blossom, more commonly known as hawthorn. This wise old plant does not usually open its flowers until the weather has properly warmed up and we can finally take off our thermal underwear, scarves, gloves and other vestiges of winter. For plants that have been nurtured in a glasshouse or other protective environment, it is not wise to rush the hardening off process as one cold, wet night outdoors could ruin months of loving care indoors. You have been warned – summer bedding plants on sale now have been grown in very sheltered conditions under glass and should not be planted out until early June.
2 Divide and conquer – now that many spring plants have given us a wonderful display, it is time to thing about lifting, dividing and replanting them – Pulmonarias and Primulas are two that really respond to this treatment