End of Month Review April 2024

As April ends we have finally got some warmth into the season, until now April has generally been wet and cold and wetter again.  I keep saying I don't remember a Winter/Spring as wet as this and that is because I don't. 

On the downside the ground has been saturated and unworkable for much of the time, on the upside I have not had to worry about plants drying out and plants are growing like one-o.  Now that the nights have finally warmed up again I expect to see a lot more growth.  The cypress trees in the garden need their tops taking off and now we are finally (hopefully) through the frost zone this will be done.

The lilac tree which rarely flowers because some idiot (me) routinely prunes it at the wrong time, is flowering well this year.  Someone (me) checked when I should prune it and it has paid me back for my kindness.
I love Spring in my garden, suddenly there is so much going on.  The ornamental cardoons are sending up their fabulous foliage and this joy of an accidental combination makes me very happy.  The welsh poppies are flowering well and the geranium sanguineum is starting to flower.  There are bluebells in the mix too, these are Spanish ones who can be rather thuggy, but they are pretty and bees and butterflies like them.  I did not plant them and I weed out as many as I can, but I doubt I will ever weed them all out so I learn to love them.
I love this view across the Coal Bunker Border, looking over the doronicums flowering so well to the crab apple Malus Rudolph that is blossoming in the distance. 
It is at this time of year I always think I do not have enough tree peonies, I want to say can you have too many?  Well of course you can as space is finite, yet if I could just fit in a couple more....
In evidence of space is finite, this is officially the last tree to be planted in the garden.  It is a young Davidia and I may be long gone from this garden when it flowers, but there it is and hopefully it will be ok.  I have already killed a couple so don't hold your breath.  This one has lived in a pot for a couple of years so I am hopeful it is now strong enough.  There is no more space for trees, there might not be space for the amount of trees I have planted already, but that is a whole other problem.  I like to think that when I do leave this garden that the trees will really annoy the builders that will want to build here.  They will not think twice about the value of the trees but maybe it will make them a tinsy bit cross.
Look how green and fluffy my little christmas tree looks like?  It is growing so well and must be three times the size of when I bought it.
I stood admiring this Acer Orange Dream.  I was given this years ago, a good ten years ago as a small 9cm pot plant.  Look how wonderful it is now, it is slow growing but seems to have had a maturity jump in the last year or so, it is suddenly a very fine tree.
The tree ferns are starting to emerge, this is always a happy moment.  The dead one is still dead, but I forgive it and celebrate the new growth in the reliable ones.
The tulips have not been great this year, but these species ones are always good.  I get a couple more pop up each year and they shine in the sun.
The standard wisteria is starting to flower.  Every year it is more purple than white but I don't really mind.  I sometimes think I should cut all the purple out and maybe I should, the question is: will I.
I don't mention this Choisya 'Aztec Pearl' very often, but I should.  I am not a fan of choisyas generally, I don't like the yellowy-leaved ones very much as I think they look a bit sick and they generally just feel a bit blobby (sorry choisya fans).  This one has much finer leaves and pretty flowers.  I planted it a long time ago in the wrong place and then moved it probably five or six years ago and now it thrives.  It is a good plant.
Rosa Wild Edric is now a huge mound of a rose growing over the old apple tree stump.  I think this looks like a mountain range, Edric at the front, Malus Rudolph behind and the Horse Chestnut at the back.  
Oh and look, the Amicia zygomeris has reappeared, always a relief to see it has got through another Winter.  I wonder if this will be the year that it starts to flower?  Time will tell.
In the Smell me and Dye Garden the Madder is growing well, I am so pleased it got through the Winter.

and the Woad is starting to flower.  This is good, I love the acid yellow of the flowers and they smell like honey.  Flowers means seeds and seeds means more plants next year - hurrah.
The warmer nights have mean that the bananas have crept outside again.  They are still close to the greenhouse just in case, but soon they will make their way to the Exotic Border for the Summer.
The greenhouse is filling up with seedlings.  Always a happy sight.
The pond is doing ok, not much frogspawn in it this year and I have not seen any resulting tadpoles but that does not mean they are not there.  This year it looks like the irises need thinning, so that will happen at some point.

So far sort of so good, we are now in May which means it will soon be June and the year will be half done.  Time gallops on.

Take care and be kind.

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