Flowers for May; Cammassias & Gaura

The tulips have been blown to bits by the recent high winds but the spring bulb bonanza has not bottomed out in my garden yet. Camassias are opening and are about to set their spot in the garden alight with their star studded spikes. This plant is from the damp mountainous regions of the USA. It is this fondness for damp soil that makes the camassia a great edition to Irish gardens. I bought my bulbs online in the autumn and planted them out as soon as they arrived. This is important as the skin of the bulb is quite thin and is easily damaged. I‘ll be allowing them set seed at the end of the summer so that they will spread themselves about.

Camassias also look lovely in a wild flower meadow. If this is your choosen site for them, do not cut grass until seeds have set in late July or early August. Leave the cut grass on the ground for a day or too before collecting it, this will give the seed pods a chance to release seeds for next year.

Gaura is another native American flowering plant.

This is commonly called beeblossom. It is a bushy clump forming perennial which flowers from late spring to early autumn. Some gaura will over crowd other plants and can be regarded as a nuisance weed if it is allowed to take hold. But White Gaura (also known as’the bride’) fits with my cottage garden style. Each morning loose panicles of long pinkish white buds open at dawn to reveal white flowers that later fade to pink. It is fresh, pretty and will add something new to your border. I just picked up a few plants from Sandy McCarthy of Perennials Plants in Ballymaloe at the recent plant fair at Fota.


Things to do this week…

–      Check strawberry plants for signs of green fly. A heavy infestation can stunt and even kill plants.

–      Purchase and plant out herbal plants. Choose a spot with plenty of sunshine.

–      Seeds of French beans, climbing French beans and runner beans can be sown in the open ground this month when the soil has warmed up.

–      Carrot seeds sown last month may need to be thinned. Do this on a cool day when rain is due, as this reduces the distance the scent will travel, which attracts the attention of the carrot root fly.




Written by

I am passionate about gardening and creating outdoor spaces that are gorgeous, adventurous, productive and fun. I have been advising and designing gardens for many years starting with friends and family as well as developing my own garden design in Cork near Crosshaven. I have been doing this whilst bearing and rearing our four children, who also garden with me and share my interest and passion, especially in the vegetable and fruit garden. I am the Gardening columnist for the Cork Independent free newspaper. I take all my own photographs for my articles on gardening and will also customise cards for clients using photographs taken in their home and garden.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.