Roses | MDB files

May has always been considered here in Mallorca as the month of flowers and this year seems to be no different. Gardens that are lucky enough to have a few Roses are just overflowing with their blooms.

Dead- heading is quite important when all the petals have finally fallen. By carefully cutting off the ‘deadhead’ if it has no other buds around it, this will encourage more flowering heads to form further down that same stem, in fact there may already be signs at the leaf joints that new growth is forming so cut back to above this and surely there will be more flowers a little later on in the season, this is a sure way to keep the Roses blooming for as much of these early summer months as possible.

Spring annuals will be almost over by now, the Nasturtiums, Larkspur, Love in the mist, just to mention a few. These will surely self seed if left to their own and will reproduce every year. Nasturtiums for example have a really large seed that is easy to collect and sow next autumn in a different plot of ground, if that is what you want and if you can remember where you have put the seed away ‘in a safe place’.

For love in the mist you will need the whole dried flower head when it has gone to seed and dried out. The perfectly round seed pod will have dozens of fine black seeds that will all germinate next year if given the chance. Just left where they are this year, if that’s what you would like, they will come up every year. Plant bulbs or whatever in between and you will find you have a garden for all seasons with little work other than keeping the weeds down.

Nasturtiums

To keep the love in the mist seed it is easier to cut off the dried flower stalk and put the seed pod end upside down in a paper bag (remember, never a plactic bag) to keep in a dry place until the autumn for sowing the next seasons flowers. At least if the seeds are in their pods they are easier to recognise as what they are as apposed to a handful of tiny black seeds that could be anything. Yes I admit I am a bit of a hit and miss gardener but there is no enjoyment in gardening if you make yourself a slave to it, so just take it as it comes and do the odd jobs as they present themselves.

So what is presenting itself?

From now on there will be a regular lawn cutting session as the sun and warmer temperatures encourage the grass to grow especially the Bermuda/ Grama grass. Now these grass cuttings are wonderful for the compost heap. Every time they are added the temperature rises underneath this newly added grass helping the compost to decompose and at the same time the kitchen leftovers can be hidden in underneath which helps them rot back.

As I have mentioned before, turn the compost from time to time and at this point you will surely find the bottom layers already formed into moist black soil with no sign what so ever that it had been a banana skin or potato peeling!

Love in the mist

If you have Olive trees or are anywhere near them you will surely find the garden full of pollen, unfortunately for some people, they may be allergic to this pollen even causing considerable distress, but that is the countryside, it effects many people in different ways.

Time to trim back!

Another little job coming up about now is to trim the vines back. Probably only one or two of the actual vines will have little bunches of flower buds forming. It is recommended that any leaves between the actual trunk and the flower be carefully snipped off, they are only taking the nutrients coming from the trunk when you want it all to go towards forming the grapes.

There will also be several branches that have no flower buds forming at all, these as well are best cut back so that in the end only the actual vine bearing fruit is the one to look after. Depending whether it is growing over a pergola or has some support along a wall then train this along it leaving all further leaves to form shade over the bunches of grapes. There are several months to go before we harvest grapes so they will need looking after. Mildews frequently creep in so keep something in hand to be ready to attack it. The garden centre will always advise what is the best preventative for ‘Fungi’ .