3rd April 2019
April in the Garden
APRIL IN THE GARDEN
April in the garden can be anything from cold, wet and windy with a chance of night frosts to a crazy ?early summer. On the other hand spring is here and is full steam ahead. It is probably the busiest time of year with planting seeds, catching up with winter jobs not done and the weeds just keep on growing.
Spring Flowering Clematis are one of my favourite plants for this time of year and I look forward to seeing the flowers emerge into a pink blossom covering a pergola I have on the terrace (Clematis Montana Mauleen) and Clematis amandii ‘Apple blossom’, which is evergreen with a beautiful starry flower. But my favourite is Montana Elizabeth which has dark foliage and pink fragrant flowers.
Now there is an abundance of blossom, from the wild damson trees to the apricot and peach trees with their majestic pink flowers. This is followed by the crab apple blossoms which are a stunning pale pink and have a wonderful perfume, a great addition to any garden at this time of year.
Pots of tulips are emerging and I cant wait to see the riot of colour that will follow, along with ‘Easter Table Decorations Workshop’ where we create a wonderful pot display for indoor and outdoor use. Using colourful spring flowers which will delight all who see.
I love wild spring green herbs which are great for rejuvenating and nourishing you from head to toe. Throw in a smoothie to kick start your day or cook up a ‘Nettle Soup’. Check out our wonderful ‘Spring -Head to Toe Beauty Treats workshop’. We will make our own Natural Beauty Treats from foot scrubs to a wonderful ‘Rejuvenating Face Balm’, then enjoy the results. So come with friends and have a wonderful treat.
JOBS TO DO
Protect your plant from the ravenous slugs and snails if you are wondering why your iris and magnolia bushes are looking a bit eaten and they love clematis as well.
Continue planting evergreen hedges and trees till the middle of the month but only if the weather stays cold!
Trim back any frost damaged evergreen foliage and now is a good time to give Photinia Red Robin bushes a trim so they do not become leggy.
Fertilise your Buxus and look out for buxus moth and webbing
Weed weed weed…. need I say more.
THE VEG PATCH
April in the Garden is in full swing but I still think the soil needs to warm up more and am weary of frost but sowing can continue. Sow indoors – cucumbers, peppers, zucchini, french beans and out door tomatoes so by the end of the month they are ready for pricking out.
For tougher vegetables and in a sunny spot, direct sow vegetables like beetroot, carrots, lettuce, spinach, peas and parsnips. Cover if you think a frost is imminent
Artichokes, in the middle of the month is a good time to find what they call an ‘offset’ which is a baby sprout coming of the main parents root. So cut or break off below ground level and replant. Water well and enjoy the harvest over the next few years. They are also true to the parent so depending on variety this is guaranteed.
Continue preparing plant supports and staking (if you would like some tuition check out our April Workshops plus more will be running in May.
The Basket Making workshop was a great success so we are going to do it again!
FAVOURITE APRIL PLANTS
Epimedium Vers Cupreum – A great plant with beautiful delicate sprays pale yellow and pink flowers which sit above a mound of oval evergreen leaves. It is delicate yet tough and will grow to 45cm tall 60cm wide in part shade to full sun. Flowers April and May.
Brunnera Macrophylla ‘Jardin d’adome’ – a good clump forming ground cover plant which is semi -deciduous. It has attractive foliage and delicate white flowers. It will grow 35cm tall and 40cm wide in shade to part sun.
Crab Apple – Malus ‘Evereste’ – a good small to medium tree which will grow to 4-8m which has an attractive shape with good autumn colour. It produces dark green leaves that are followed by red buds opening to white flowers and yellow fruit in autumn. will grow in sun/part shade.
an alternative is Malus ‘John Downie’ which is slightly bigger will grow 8-10m and has the same characteristics as ‘Evereste’ but with red fruit in autumn.
Next month we will be looking at Water Features and Sculpture.