May seasonal events and outdoor activities

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May

The month of May is the pleasant time; its face is beautiful; the blackbird sings his full song, the living wood is his holding, the cuckoos are singing and ever singing; there is a welcome before the brightness of the summer.

Lady Gregory of Coole
Meadow in May spring sunshine

May is the month of lime green leaves, the sweet smell of blossom, the busy buzz of bees and the promise of endless summer days. Mayflowers (Hawthorn or Whitethorn) provide clouds of white blossom. Cut grass floats on the air, punctuated by the sweet scent of flowers.

Dates, events, holidays and festivals.

May 2022

Public Holidays

2nd May – Early May bank holiday

Seasonal, astronomical and nautical events

1st May – Spring Tide

9th May – 1st Quarter

10th May – Neap Tide

16th May – Full Moon, Flower Moon

17th May – Spring Tide

22nd May – 3rd Quarter

23rd May – Neap Tide

30th May – New Moon

31st May – Spring Tide

Festivals and events, religious, traditional and sporting

30th April – 1st May – The Artisan Cheese Fair

30th April – 2nd May – Urchfont Scarecrow Festival

1st May – May Day

1st May – Dorset Knob Throwing

2nd May – Duncombe Park Country Fair

5th – 8th May – RHS Malvern Spring Festival

7th May – Glanusk Welsh Stallion Show

13th – 22nd May – The Bath Festival

14th -15th May – Spring Flying Metting, North Coates Airfield

14th May – The FA Cup Final

21st & 22nd May – Smallholding and Countryside Festival

22nd May – Leaden Boot Challenge

22nd May – SoapBox Derby

24th – 28th May – RHS Chelsea Flower Show

26th May – 6th June – Hay Festival of Literature and Arts

30th May – Coopers Hill Cheese Rolling

TBA – Machynlleth Comedy Festival

TBA – Isle of Wight Walking Festival

TBA – Tour de Yorkshire

Also, see the Red Arrows UK display schedule 2022

Find more events and notable dates throughout the year

May seasonal foods

What foods are seasonal in May.

Greens & leaves: Cabbage, Pak choi, Sorrel, Spinach, Spring greens, Radicchio, Watercress, Lettuce Lamb’s, lettuce, Chervil, Mint.

Roots and other veg: New potatoes, Potato, Onion, Spring onion, asparagus, Peas, Radish, Broad Beans.

Meat: Beef, Chicken, Pork, Lamb, Spring lamb.

Fruits: Rhubarb.

Seafood: Crab, Halibut, Salmon, Kipper, Mackerel, Tuna.

Exotics: Grapefruit, Pomegranate, Nectarine.

Find out more about seasonal foods throughout the year with a guide to Seasonal foods.

On the Farm in May

All lambs tailed, castrated, ear-notched and ear-tagged. Shear the long tails of the sheep to prevent flystrike i.e. flies laying their eggs in the wool and producing maggots that eat into the sheep.

Stock is removed from silage fields and fertiliser is spread to allow six weeks of growth before cutting. Clean out all livestock buildings.

Fencing and walling repairs.

Crops Fertilised. Spray potatoes, beets, peas, beans and cereals.

Find out more about what is happening in the Year on the farm

White meadow flower in May

Things to do in May

In the May garden

May is the last real month of sowing and planting. If there is showery weather things will grow with great speed, but a dry period can seriously vex the allotment holder. Get any remaining potatoes planted, sow for late drops of roots, and continue with salad leaves.

Gardening hints

May like April is a month of massive growth – and this includes weeds. It is time to use the hoe to tackle these: the best time to hoe is early morning on a dry day, as the sunshine will do most of the work for you. 10 minutes with the hoe can save hours of weeding later.

Out and about

Also, see the Out and about Blogs

Late spring or early summer?

Bluebells carpet a beech wood

Recipe of the month.

Salmon fillet, minty new potatoes and peas.

A light, wholesome and filling dish, that is an ideal lunch on a fresh sunny May day.

Easy to prepare and full of seasonal goodness. Easily doubled up for guests, or halved for a tasty tea time treat.


  • 400g new potatoes
  • 8 asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 200g fresh broad beans
  • 200g fresh peas
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • Dash of oil
  • knob of butter
  • Mint


An oven cooking tray, two smallish pans. Potato masher.


  • Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7.
  • Add a glug of oil to the oven dish and place in oven.
  • Clean the potatoes. If some are large, chop them to make approximately the same size as the smaller.
  • Prepare the asparagus. Just rinse and snap of the very base of the stem. This should occur naturally towards the bottom.
  • If using Peas and Beans fresh from the garden, shell into a container. If these are not available, do use frozen.
  • Clean the salmon and pat dry. Add a little salt and pepper if desired.
  • Half fill a kettle with water, boil.


  • Place potatoes in a small pan with a generous quantity of mint and a little dash of salt. Almost cover with water, place lid on the pan. Bring to the boil, then cook on a – medium – low heat for 18 – 22 minutes.
  • Add asparagus to preheated pan from oven. Stir or toss to coat in named oil.
  • Move the asparagus to the sides of the oven dish, and place in salmon filets skin side down. Cook both for about 12 – 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon.
  • Add the Peas/beans to another small pan. Pour in boiling water to about twice the amount of veg. Get water bubbling and heat reasonably vigorously for 3 – 4 minutes. (If using Frozen, 3 – 4 mins after returning to the boil). We are looking to make them hot, not transform then into a soup. Larger or older broad beans may require more substantial cooking.
  • Drain potatoes, remove the mint. Return to the pan and gently crush and add a few small pieces of butter and allow to melt through.
  • Drain peas/beans. Return to the pan and gently crush: feel free to add a bit of butter here too. a couple of spoons of good mint sauce is a very tasty addition.
  • Plate the salmon and asparagus. Stir the potatoes (to distribute the butter) and serve. Do the same with the peas and beans. Enjoy.

For more inspiration see the Food Blogs

May Jobs in the vegetable garden or allotment

General Jobs

Thinning seedlings and watering seedlings. Pot on and prick out plants.

Hardening off plants and seedlings.

Mulch and feed fruit bushes. Trim off excessive growth, remove unwanted raspberry canes.

Put in supports for peas and runner beans.

Tie in and support Broad beans.

Sowing and Planting

Indoors: Sow -Aubergines, Bell peppers, Cabbages (all except spring), Cauliflower (summer and autumn), Celeriac, Celery, Chicory, Chillies, Courgettes, Cucumbers, Endive, Fennel, French beans, Kale, Kohl rabi, Marrows, Pumpkins and winter squash, Runner beans, Sprouting broccoli, Sweetcorn, Sweet potatoes, Tomatoes.

Outdoors under cover: sow – Beetroot, Lettuces, Oriental leaves, Rocket, Salad leaves, Turnips.

Outdoors: Sow – Broad beans, Brussels sprouts, Cabbages, Carrots, Calabrese, Cauliflower, Kohl rabi, Leeks, Lettuces, Onions, Oriental leaves, Parsnips, Peas, Radishes, Spinach, Spring onions, Spinach beet, Sprouting broccoli, Swiss chard, Turnips.

Plant: Asparagus, Broad beans, Globe artichokes, Endive, Florence fennel, French beans, Jerusalem artichokes, Kale, Kohl rabi, Lettuces, Marrows, Onions, Peas, Potatoes, Pumpkins and winter squashes, Radishes, Runner beans, Sprouting broccoli, Sweetcorn, Sweet potatoes, Tomatoes.


Asparagus, Broad Beans, Cabbages (Spring), Cauliflower (Spring), Globe artichokes, Lettuces, Oriental leaves, Peas, Radishes, Rhubarb, Rocket, Sorrel, Spinach, Spring onions, Turnips.

Find out more about what is happening in the allotment or vegetable garden

Activities, things to see and do in May

The month of May can be spectacular and can feel like a real release from the cooler months. Two bank holidays can give it a particularly festive feel, combined with the ever-increasing abundance of blossom. May is known particularly for the May Flowers (Hawthorn) and Cherry blossom.

Thinking about getting out and about, then perhaps Buy OS Landranger maps direct from Ordnance Survey to discover new places or see the latest handheld GPS devices with bundled mapping from Ordnance Survey.

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May in pictures