On the 6th of May 2023, Charles III will be crowned King of the UK and 14 Commonwealth Realms at Westminster Abbey in London; a hugely significant event for the country. To celebrate the occasion, many UK residents will host street parties and back-garden get-togethers. If you’re a homeowner with a substantial outdoor space, and you want to host your own garden party to mark the coronation, this article is for you.
In this piece, we’ll give you practical tips on how to hold a successful garden party, with a particular focus on the sorts of fruits and vegetables you can get into the ground at this time of year in the UK, as well as covering the essential garden tools you’ll need for sowing and planting. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener, or are just starting out, this article provides all the information required to put-on an unforgettable garden party that will more than do justice to Charles III’s Coronation.
Fruits and vegetables for May planting
May is the ideal time to start planting, wherever you are in the UK. If you want fresh vegetables for your Coronation garden party, here are some suggestions as to what you might like to grow.
Tomatoes are a British garden staple, and when homegrown, they’re hard to beat in terms of flavour. It’s best to plant seedlings rather than seeds, as they’ll start to fruit more quickly. Tomatoes require lots of light and water, so be sure to water them regularly, and to place them in a sunny spot, such as against a south-facing wall.
Strawberries are an excellent option for a May garden party. They grow particularly well in southern-English gardens, and can also be planted from seedlings or seeds. Strawberries prefer nutrient-rich soils, and, like tomatoes, they’ll need frequent watering.
Peas are also a great choice. They grow quickly, and are easy to cultivate. Peas thrive in well-composted soils, and – you guessed it – they require plenty of water. You can plant them from seed, sowing them directly into the soil, preferably at the base of a vertical structure that will allow the plant to climb.
Potatoes are another easy-to-grow vegetable at this time of year. You can plant them from seedlings, or from already-sprouted chitting potatoes. You can dig them a few weeks after flowering, when the leaves start to discolour and wilt. Be careful not to chop through them with your spade or fork when harvesting!
Tips for choosing the right seeds based on climate and region
Before choosing the seeds for your Coronation garden party grow, it’s important to consider the micro-climate of your region of the UK, as some varieties of fruits and vegetables are better suited to certain areas than others.
It’s important to select seeds that will thrive under the weather conditions of your particular locality. For example, if your region has a cool, rainy climate, it’s preferable to choose seeds that are more resistant to that environment.
It’s also important to consider the quality of the soil where you live. Some plant-types require soil that’s richer in nutrients, while others excel in less fertile soil.
Examples of fruits and veg varieties suited to the UK garden:
Strawberries are a popular fruit to grow across the country. They’ll need regular thinning to encourage new growth, and they’ll happily fruit in typically British late-spring/early summer weather.
Cabbages are a popular vegetable across the British Isles, and have been since their introduction to the country in the 14th century. Hardy beasts, cabbages – and other brassicas – will take cold, wind and rain in their stride. If the traditional white cabbage doesn’t inspire you, why not try kale, cavolo nero, red cabbage, Swiss chard or sweetheart cabbage.
Leeks are perfect for late-April planting in the UK. They need to be set a decent distance apart to ensure they’ll achieve the requisite thickness; and they’ll need plenty of fertiliser, with chicken manure coming highly recommended.
By choosing the right varieties of fruits and vegetables for your region of the UK, you can ensure a healthy and bountiful harvest for your Coronation garden party!
Get hold of the right tools for the job!
To succeed horticulturally, it’s essential you have the right tools to hand. Here are some of the key garden tools you’ll need for sowing and planting during the growing-season.
A quality spade is a must-have, enabling you to dig trenches, and to turnover and ready the earth for seeds and seedlings.
Once you’ve dug-over the soil, you’ll need a rake to create a smooth, even surface.
A hosepipe is good for rapid large-area watering, but for delicate, damage-susceptible plants, it’s best to use a watering can.
A good pair of gloves is vital to keep yourself safe and comfortable when handling earth, plants and tools.
transplanters allow you to start seedlings in ideal conditions, such as in a greenhouse or on a sunny windowsill, and then, once they’re robust enough, to move them to your intended planting area.
Tips for the maintenance and storage of garden tools
It’s important to take care of your tools in order to make them last longer, and to ensure they remain effective over time. Here are some tips:
Clean your tools after each use, removing all plant debris and caked-on soil.
Store your tools in a dry, well-ventilated place, preferably wall-mounted.
After use, grease the metal parts of your tools to protect them from corrosion.
By following these tips, you’ll keep your horticultural helpers in tiptop condition all year round!
1) Tips for organising a successful Coronation garden party
Putting-on a garden party to mark the Coronation of King Charles is a unique opportunity to spend time with friends and family whilst celebrating a keystone event in the country’s history. Here are some tips for organising a successful outdoor shebang:
Send invitations: to allow your guests to prepare, and to give them plenty of time to get back to you regarding their availability, send invitations at least two weeks in advance. Specify the date, time, and the dress code (if there is one).
Establish a theme: a well-defined theme can add a touch of fun and coherence to your garden party. You could choose a theme related to the Coronation, such as a royal dress; or maybe create a table decoration inspired by the colours of the monarchy.
Prepare the location: Give your guests a warm welcome by making sure your garden is neat and tidy. Provide comfortable shaded areas, and enough tables and chairs for all. If there’s a chill in the air, a firepit will take the edge off.
Plan an activity: to add a touch of originality to your gathering, plan an activity or game that will entertain. For example, you could organise a royalty-based quiz, or maybe a treasure hunt for hidden monarchy-themed prizes.
Offer a meal: if the beer and wine are flowing, your guests are going to need a feed – lay-on the usual suspects; crisps, nuts, pretzels and other salty snacks.
2. Provide your guests with some seasonal culinary delights!
Here are some seasonal recipes with which to impress your guests:
Strawberry and cucumber salad: mix fresh, quartered strawberries, sliced cucumber, chopped red onion and some fresh mint. Drizzle with a light balsamic dressing and sprinkle on some black pepper.
Rhubarb and strawberry tart: spread thinly rolled shortcrust pastry across a tart pan. Mix chopped rhubarb cut strawberry quarters. Add a tablespoon of sugar and a pinch of cinnamon, then pour the mixture over the pastry and bake in a medium-hot oven for about 30 minutes.
Fruit punch: mix orange juice, apple juice, pineapple juice and cranberry juice in a large carafe. Add slices of lemon, orange and kiwi fruit. Serve chilled with ice cubes.
Any – or all – of these dishes are bound to go down a treat!
In summary, this guide describes the various seasonal fruits and vegetables for May planting, and discusses all the necessary tools you’ll need to get them into the ground.
We also shared tips for organising a successful coronation garden party, with decoration and entertainment ideas, as well as recipes based on what’s in season.
We hope this article has inspired you to start get out gardening and enjoy the beauty of nature. We also encourage our readers to host their own garden party to celebrate the event, and to share a great time with their friends and loved ones.
Remember that growing your own fruits and vegetables can be a rewarding activity that’s beneficial not only for your health, but also for the wider environment.
So why not start now and plant your own food crops for a bountiful harvest this summer?
We wish you good luck in your gardening, and in staging a successful garden party to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III!