End of Month Review - April 2016

April has been really quite cold and there has been a few frosts.  Whilst this is not unusual, it is still worrying to have frost this late and it means that the greenhouse is still full over-wintering tenders.  I need to get them out of the greenhouse and get sowing in earnest.  There has been a bit of sowing but not very much really.

Anyhoo, to the garden, well actually the driveway to start with.
I planted some cowslips in the driveway last year and they are now flowering well.  The soil is incredibly poor and I think they rather like it.
The front lawn has has its first cut of the year.  You will notice that I have missed a stripe, this is where the winter aconites are, I am letting them stay in leaf a bit longer so that they gain more strength.
The Knot Garden looks knotty.
The quince hedge looks quincy but not very hedgy, but it is getting there.
The Rosa Gertrude Jekyll by the front door has buds developing.
and the lilac that I usually prune badly so it flowers erratically is having a flowering year this year.
In the gravel garden the species tulips just need a bit of sun to open them.
The cardoon, which I see as the gatekeeper to the back garden, is getting rather large.
I had just cut the lawns before I took these photographs, the Burtonesque Curl is showing rather well at the moment.
The view across the formal lawn is getting more colourful.
The Courtyard planting has had a bit of a shift around.
I bought this Prunus Kojo-no-mai a few weeks ago and I am really pleased it has flowered.  I have tried with this shrub before and killed it, so this time it is in a pot for now in the Courtyard.  I love the name of it, it sounds like Judoon language to me.
In the borders the Spring reliables are doing their thing.  I love this doronicum and tulip combination.
The Spring Border is still full of flowering hellebores, daffodils and Erythronium Pagoda.
These Red Shine tulips have been flowering year on year for some time now.  They are a great favourite.
The Woodland Border/Bog Garden is also quite colourful at the moment.
There are lots of primulas, forget me nots and the Veratrum album I bought last year is surviving slug attacks.
In the Wild Garden the Magnolia Leonard Messel has been flowering for a couple of weeks.  It has got a little frosted but it is standing up to the cold rather well.
The amalanchier is doing very well this year,
as is the Iford Cherry.  This poor cherry had a hard start in life as it was relocated three times due to the great tree disaster of 2014.  Staying in the same place for a full year has helped it hugely.
There are lots of white bluebells this year.  I have always steered around them hoping to encourage them.  Now I have lots, I am not convinced they needed any encouragement.
One of the Aldi acers is flowering.  This is a great tree and fantastic this time of year.
The Illicium simonsii is also flowering.  This is just such a good shrub.  Everyday I look at it I am glad that I bought it, it is that good a shrub.
In the Tree Lupin Border the Fatsia 'Spiders Web' bought the other day is waving merrily at me everytime I walk past.  It is a like a big green hand (too many fingers I know, shush) waving away.
I am loving this tulip that is also in the Tree Lupin Border.  It is gone over a bit now, but it is still a joy.
The Four Sisters are happy enough.  The Carol Klein acer is doing very well.  One of the joys of living in this house/garden for several years is that plants are maturing and settling in.  Carol's acer is a prime example of this.
and the Boy Who Waited is now overseeing the fernery.  What I hear you say?  What fernery?  Well this is a funny corner of the garden.  At one point there was a large sump hole here for a stream that never was.  When I filled in the stream I also filled in the sump hole and there it has sat, generally full of nettles, ever since.  I knew it was a shady damp corner and there are already some hellebores keeping the Boy company.  So I bought a few ferns the other day and popped them in.  It might work....
The veg beds look like they are waiting.  They have been weeded and dug over and each had a bag of manure added.  There are potatoes in two of the beds (you can't tell yet) and I have sown peas, cobra beans and sweetcorn in the greenhouse for putting out later.
I end as ever on the pond.  Dear me I hear you say, what on earth is up with the pond?  It is a green slimy mess.  There is a tale behind this but it is not really for full telling yet as I am hoping for a positive outcome.  I'm hoping when it warms up a bit it will clear.  Failing that I will be buying barley straw again as I find that works really well.  It is full of tadpoles so they can't mind the slime too much.

Thanks to Helen for hosting this meme.


  1. Looks like your garden is really waking up from the winter!

  2. You've got lots of lovely blossom going on, I find there is a fern for every aspect.

  3. A lovely tour of your garden. www.daffodilwild.wordpress.com

  4. It's good to see Spring breaking through, however slowly. I have a greenhouse full of plants just waiting for the end of these late frosts! I love your dark Red Shine tulips - if I can find bulbs in autumn I might add some among my super-reliable bright scarlet Appeldoorns.

  5. It's all happening isn't it. My favourite pic is the one of the red tulips with the pond behind

  6. I always enjoy a walk round your garden. Thank you. Jennifer'

  7. I am extremely impressed with your Tulips coming back so strong each year.

  8. What a beautiful garden! Really enjoyed your photos.


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