End of Month Review -April 2023

Here we are at the end of April.  It has been a quite cold, sometimes frosty and oft very rainy April.  Some days have felt more like early Autumn rather than mid-Spring. 

The Knot Garden at the front of the house is looking pretty good at the moment,  the cypress trees were pruned a year ago and they have responded well to having their tops removed.
The side lawn is still looking after the bulbs that are planted in it.  There are some daffodils still flowering and the foliage from the eranthis and other bulbs are still fully green.  I have mowed an 'intentional stripe' along the edge.  This signals that I could mow the lawn if I wanted to, I just don't want to.  So this is not 'no-mow-May' as I need to leave this lawn be anyway, but I suppose I could claim it if I wanted to.
Just outside the front gate in the driveway there is this wonderful Exchorda macrantha 'The Bride' which I bought from Barnsdale Gardens many years ago.  I love this shrub when it is in flower, it makes such a statement.
The Magnolia in the front garden is a little frost-burned, but looking ok.
These small species tulips flower in the front garden year on year.  I forget them every year and then they pop up and always make me smile.
Speaking of tulips, look at these!  These are called Go Go and they have been flowering for well over a week.  I am delighted with them.
The mini pond I bought during the first lock-down is doing well and the irises look like they might flower this year.  This was a total impulse buy and I did not expect much from it, but it has been a great addition to the garden, even His Gingerness approves.
The garden itself is looking quite green.  The Bramley blossom is opening and the doronicums are adding pops of yellow.  Buds are forming on the roses now which is always an exciting moment.
I have moved the tenders out of the conservatory.  I am fairly sure we are through the frosts now, but I am being cautious. I always take some cuttings from the Begonia luxurians at this point so that I have some contingency in case I lose it and so I can plant a couple out into the garden.
I am worrying about my aspidistras in the Courtyard Garden.  I think they have got too wet and they have been shedding leaves.  I might have to bring them indoors to let them dry out a bit if we continue with all this rain.
and I am worrying about some of my fucshias.  Whilst most seem to be showing signs of life, the magellanicas are not looking great and yet I know they are very hardy.  I will keep an eye on them.
The Edgeworthia chrysantha, which regular readers will know is always a plant I fuss over, seems to be through the winter ok.  It did lose almost every flower from the hard frosts but the foliage is coming through.  I will give up a year of flowering in exchange for the shrub continuing to live.
The tree ferns also have got throught the winter ok.
They are knuckling up nicely and I expect the first frond any day now.  Well, I say they are ok, Newby is not looking as advanced as the other five, Newby is showing no sign of knuckles yet and I am concerned.  I keep watering him and hoping for the best.
I planted a few hostas in the Exotic Border last year (yes, I am a hosta convert, it had to happen one day); and I am enjoying seeing the beautiful first growth emerging.  Look at this beauty!
It is a time of year when I look at the new growth on the trees and just pause in wonderment.  Look how amazing this Liriodendren tree is.  The shape of it, the glory of the new leaves.  She is still not old enough to flower but she will be soon.  A couple more years I reckon and then my cup shall runneth over with joy.
The Redbud trees will be flowering soon.  I wondered if the frost had hit them hard, but they seem fine.
and the standard wisteria is seconds away from opening the first flower.  Last year this was hit very hard by late frosts so it will be a delight to have it flowering again.
The Dye Garden is still waiting to have its paths finished. 
Look at this!  This must be a left in the ground potato from two years ago, which has grown and pushed up and appeared in one of the raised beds.  I could hardly believe it when I saw it.
Various plug plants are coming on well in the greenhouse.  Seeds are being sown in the Conservatory this year.  I am hoping this saves them from slugs and mice.
The pond is fairly full of water and a little too full of pond plants.  I will have to thin it out.  There was a goodly amount of frogspawn this year and a nice batch of tadpoles.   I love the life that the pond brings to the garden.

Take care and be kind

For more from the Blackberry Garden follow me on Twitter Facebook and Instagram