At this time of year, early spring flowers are fading and the next wave is getting ready to take over so there are lots of “firsts ” to choose from this time. Lots of buds are just waiting to burst forth, I think they are waiting for our weather to warm up a bit as last month was very cold indeed. However my first photo is of my last Narcissus to flower.
My last Narcissus to flower is Narcissus Actaea, a really beautiful flower with a perfume to match. I first met this variety at Llanhydrock House in Cornwall where they have a bank covered with hundreds, if not thousands of them. The perfume was almost overwhelming! I don’t have quite as many but soon my clumps will need splitting, so I’m well on my way,
Buds start showing on Peony mlokosewitschii during April and I then hold my breath hoping that the weather will be kind to Molly when she flowers and that she won’t be battered by rain or wind. I felt for her on Bank Holiday Monday as she started opening, we had torrential rain, gale force winds and hail stones, was she bothered…no not at all, she took it all in her stride!
Tight buds show promise of the delights to come.
While on my morning wander, I couldn’t help but notice all the different shades of green that are in the garden and the countyside at the moment. In spite of not having any rain during April until yesterday and today, there are so many new leaves on the trees and shrubs, they are putting out their new leaves even though we have had frost every night so far this month and for most of the month have had a freezing cold wind each day too. What a strange month it has been, flowers have come and gone but seem to have lasted much longer in the cold weather . I have just taken a few long views to show all the different colours of foliage.
Looking across the rose garden with the box balls and looking out to the wider coutryside, I was amazed at all the different greens, golds and purple, you wouldn’t think we have had a drought!
The woodland is starting to slow down, but there are still treasures to find if you look for them. The snowdrops and the narcissus are finished and now the snakeshead fritillaries are winding down and starting to form seed for another year. Soon it will be time to turn my attention to another part of the garden, but not quite, let me show you what is still making me wander that way each morning.
Lasting a long time in flower, Narcissus Sailboat has been amazing this year. They seem to have increased and I think all our bitterly cold wind has kept them flowering for much longer than usual.
When I got up, the early morning light gave the garden a really magical quality, I just had to get out there with my camera.
When the sun catches the new leaves of the Amelanchier tree, they definitely glow and look quite wonderful.
April is the month we can usually rely on having April showers so that any new plantings get watered in nicely without too much effort on the part of the gardener, not this month though. I seem to be spending such a lot of time each morning watering new plantings as we have had hardly any rain here this month, this probably means we will now have a deluge! My daughter came to see me the other day as we don’t have to stay local anymore, but we could only meet in the garden and it was so bitterly cold in spite of the hot carrot and ginger soup with cheese scones that I made for our lunch. Once refreshed we went for a tour round the garden and this is what we found.
The primroses are still making the driveway border look rather nice, the forget me nots in between are starting to flower now, adding to all the colour.
Snow in April ?! I’ve known it in March before but April…no, not in the last 30 yrs here in the SW of the UK. It was only 6.30 this morning when I looked out and saw large snowflakes flying horizontally past the window. It was still not properly light but even so I grabbed the camera and with my gardening coat on top of my pyjamas and dressing gown, ventured out to take some photos.
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That’s what I like, freebies, plants that don’t cost anything, that can fill an odd space here or there or if you’re doing a new bed, then they can fill the space between the permanent planting for now. They can be disposable, to be replaced later when you have decided on more permanent planting, but in the meantime, enjoy! I am thinking wild snowdrops, primroses, foxgloves, claytonia and forget me nots, these are the plants that like my soil and seed around everywhere with gay abandon and I therefore have plenty to play around with.
This is where a conifer suddenly died a couple of years ago and the space has been frustrating me ever since. I should have photographed it before I started planting!
How time flies, this last month has flown by with an assortment of weather thrown at us and the latest lockdown has been responsible for me working in the garden practically every day, twice a day usually . I can’t remember when I last did so much physical work! Every day new treasures are emerging to please us and the bees, but I really wish I had a pause button as I would like to catch up with everything. I seem to say this every year, but never seem to be more organised, no matter how hard I try. The flowers won’t wait for us, so let’s go for a wander.
From the back door I can see that more flowers are opening on the rockery each day.
Normally I would start with the good, but not in this case. I think I’ll start with the bad, then the ugly and end on a high with the good. When I went into the woodland this morning I was greeted with a sight that I never wanted to see again, Fritillaria meleagris flowers ripped from their stalks!