Garden monthly: May


Dear garden aficionado,

An inspiring idea for choosing plants, shrubs and trees that are suitable for you might just be a look over the fence: what is doing well in your neighbours’ garden? In case there is not much to look at/to admire there, 27 gardens in Burgundy have joined/are now members of ‘Jardins & Santé’. See for the agenda. Also at the beginning of June many gardens in France open their gates.

It’s springtime! Time for garden outings!

Saturday May 13th

  • Foire aux Plantes in Bezouotte (21) 25 km east of Dijon:

Sunday May 14th

  • Foire aux Plantes in Bezouotte (21) 25 km east of Dijon: Can be combined with a visit to ‘Le Jardin du Petit Lavoir’ in Bèze (21) from 13 – 18h. See
  • La Faites des Fleurs in Billy sur Oisy (58) near Clamecy. We will be participating. You can easily recognize us by our orange market stall. We have ‘Sweet Peas’ on offer: pink, red, violet and ‘Almost Black’. 2 euros each and 6 for 10 euros.
  • Sunday morning: Plant exchange market in ‘Chatillon en Bazois’ (58).

Friday May 19th to Sunday May 21st

  • Journées des Plantes de Chantilly, north of Paris (formerly in Courson) with 200 exhibitors:

Saturday June 3rd and Sunday June 4th

  • ‘Rendez-vous aux Jardins’ (Ministry of Culture and Communication) organizes open garden-days all over France. For more information, see: Many garden associations such as ‘Jardin & Santé’ ( will be joining this event.

You will find more gardens on:

Garden jobs in May:

  • Deadhead spent tulips and daffodils immediately below the flower and let the stem and leaves wither. This way the energy of the plant will be directed into the bulb, and next year’s bloom will be guaranteed.
  • Cut back perennials such as Phlox, Helenium, Coreopsis, Helianthus, Veronicastrum, Veronica, Rudbeckia, etc. This way they will grow firmer, with more side shoots, so you don’t need to support them. Be aware that this will make them bloom later.


  • Once the frost is over plant out summer bulbs like dahlias. Use organic pellets to protect the young shoots against slugs. Or catch slugs with a hollowed out melon or orange next to the plants. Slugs love them!
  • Annuals can also be planted in the garden if they are big enough (keep some in reserve).
  • Direct sow Zinnias and Cosmos in open ground.
  • Sow biennuals, e.g. Wallflowers, Sweet Williams and Foxgloves.

Kitchengarden mid-May:

  • Sow dill between the broad beans. Black louse prefers dill to broad beans.
  • Plant Marigolds between the tomatoes.
  • Pinch out side shoots from tomatoes when it’s dry weather to prevent diseases.
  • Cut out flower stems from the rhubarb to get a more bountiful harvest (flowering costs a lot of energy).
  • Plant out courgettes, pumpkins, peppers, sweet peppers and tomatoes in open ground at the end of this month.

See you next month!


Lucia Latenstein

Your garden friend

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