Posted by: Christine | May 6, 2013

The garden in April

This post is a bit late, but I’ve been spending time in the garden, instead of writing about it!

What an amazing month! The first half was just a continuation of the previous months. Cold, a bit of  frost and occasional snow. Then half way through, Spring happened. It warmed up and the sun came out. In fact it appeared just in time to use the repaired Pergola (The steps had rotted in last years dampness and after I fell through them last autumn, they had been unusable). We have had a couple of lunches and several cups of tea out there since.

View of the garden showing repaired Pergola, pond and new border

View of the garden showing repaired Pergola, pond and new border

As for the plants, it was as if everything had been holding its breath and then someone fired the starting gun. The snowdrops, which had been hanging around for what seemed like months, suddenly shriveled and were replaced by daffodils. Crocuses came and went within days and then the Tulips were out! I had planted some new ones – Orange Emperor – in my revamped border and they went beautifully with the Amelanchier (snowy mespilus) at one end, with its orangy-red leaves. The flowers on this appeared almost overnight.

Tulip (Orange Emperor) and Peony (buds but not flowering yet)

Tulip (Orange Emperor) and Peony (buds but not flowering yet)

Amelanchier - closeup of flowers - look good with a blue sky!

Amelanchier – closeup of flowers – look good with a blue sky!

The Magnolias have started flowering and have avoided any frost, which had been forecast a couple of times, and a green haze appeared on the Weeping Willow. The primroses, which had been the only patches of colour in the garden have gone mad – great clumps everywhere, and the Pulmonarias have suddenly started flowering in earnest.

Blue has suddenly appeared in the garden. Grape hyacinths (Muscari) are lapping round the base of the daffodils and forget-me-not (I’m sure that normally flowers later than this) is competing with the violets (wild, pulled up by my husband as weeds, when he spots them!). Of course the weeds are growing too; I am battling with speedwell at the moment and bitter cress, which appears everywhere, with no warning.

I have also been hacking back some of the undergrowth – a mess of dead fern fronds and over rampant Clematis Montana revealed the new fern fronds opening, and from that angle I discovered the Spring Snowflake (Leucojum vernum) was flowering. While scattering slug pellets round my Trillium (its annual one leaf – they’re not getting it this year!) I noticed the Dogs Tooth Violets ( Erythronium dens-canis ‘Pagoda’ ) had also appeared.

Dogs Tooth Violet (Pagoda)

Dogs Tooth Violet (Pagoda)

The Hellebores are just finishing, so the garden is a combination of flowers that wouldn’t normally be seen together. And today I noticed the buds on the Bluebells.

There were so many different flowers out that I went round the garden and picked a selection: three different daffodils/narcissi, the dog’s-tooth violet, primroses, muscari and forget-me-nots and a piece of pulmonaria. Spring has arrived, if not summer.

Selection of spring flowers

Selection of spring flowers

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