Deep pink peony blooms

Six flowers to pick in May

There's an abundance of flowers to pick in your garden in May - here are six of the best.

May is an interesting month in the garden, as the last of the spring bulbs are on show, and the first of the summer-flowering perennials are starting to bloom. There’s plenty to cut for indoor spring displays, including alliums, peonies and tulips.

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By growing more May-flowering plants you will not only have a more colourful garden but also a greater range of flowers to pick for the vase, making your spring floral displays even more vibrant.

When cutting flowers for indoor cut flower arrangements, make sure you cut the flowers early in the morning, when their stems are turgid (full of water). This will ensure they last longer. Plunge them into a bucket of water straight away.

Here are six beautiful flowers to pick in May, including perennials such as peonies and biennials such as stocks and wallflowers.


1

Peonies

Deep pink peony blooms
Deep pink peony blooms

Peonies are some of the most sumptuous flowers you can grow and make excellent cut flowers. They’re expensive to buy in the shops, so it pays to grow a plant or two in your garden own garden to enjoy indoors.

2

Tulip

Tulip 'Flaming Spring Green'
Red and green striped, cream flowers of tulip “Flaming Spring Green’

Late tulips such as the double, peony shapes or the striking ‘Flaming Spring Green’ (pictured) make brilliant cut flowers. For the best blooms, plant fresh bulbs every autumn.

3

Honesty

Mauve honesty flowers
Mauve honesty flowers

The pink or mauve flowers of honesty (Lunaria annua) bring welcome colour to borders in May and look great in a vase. Make sure you leave some to go to seed, and you can add the translucent, disc-like seedheads to winter arrangements.

4

Wallflower

Golden wallflowers
Golden wallflowers

Wallflowers (Erysimum) are a useful spring bedding plant and pair beautifully with tulips. They come in a range of colours and many are delightfully scented – bring some into the house to enjoy their colour and fragrance.

5

Euphorbia

Lime green euphorbia flowers and foliage
Lime green euphorbia flowers and foliage

The acid greens and yellows of the flowers and foliage of euphorbias contrast beautifully with vibrant spring flowers such as tulips and make fabulous fillers in a vase. Make sure you wear gloves when picking, as the milky sap can irritate the skin and eyes.

6

Stocks

Night-scented stock
Night-scented stock
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Stocks (Matthiola) are biennials, which means they need to be sown in July for flowers the following spring. Available in a range of pastel colours, they have very strong, clove-like scent that can fill a room. Night-scented stock (Matthiola longipetala) gives off its heady fragrance in the evening, making for an exciting cut flower display.