Looking out of the window my reverie is interrupted by splatters of rain hitting the glass. It’s not unexpected, and I’m relieved, because it’s not snow or sleet or hail its just an April shower. I was looking at the garden and marvelling at how much it has changed over the last few days. Forget-me-nots, that self seed prolifically, have doubled in size and it won’t be long before they turn the garden into a sea of blue above which, tulips bob and sway in the breeze. We bought several bags of Queen of the night tulip bulbs in Holland a few years ago and looked forward to their rich dark colour so it was a bit of a surprise when every single one bloomed bright red! I was reluctant to embrace this brighter colour scheme to begin with but, it’s grown on me. I like that nature often throws us a curve ball, a reminder that we shouldn’t be too hasty to gain control.
The patch of lesser celandine that grows at the bottom of the garden is another unexpected but very welcome addition. Between February and may bright yellow flowers burst into bloom amidst the fresh green leaves. It spreads like mad! I have to pull handfuls up otherwise it would smother the whole flower bed. It can be left to grow happily beneath the twisted hazel and wend its merry way along the edge of the fence where the ivy grows because this early bloomer provides vital nectar for bees and, if the bees are happy, I’m happy.
As the garden comes to life so do the weeds. Avoid using a hoe if you still have bulbs coming as its heart breaking accidentally chopping into new growth hidden just below the surface. Pull surface weeds up by hand or use a trowel for deeper rooted ones.
Weed pathways and driveways.
Plant summer bulbs
Now the soil is warming up its time to plant summer bulbs. These include lilies, alliums, freesias, gladioli and nectaroscordum. Lilies planted in containers are fantastic and, when they have finished flowering the pots can be moved to one side and the bulbs protected again over winter.
Dahlia tubers can be potted up and started off in a greenhouse now to ensure a good display over summer.
Once the weather warms up the grass begins to grow. Start trimming regularly and not to short to start with. Where patches have appeared seed can be sown. Don’t forget to protect it from the birds who will tuck into the seeds given half a chance.
Sow herb and vegetable seeds in a greenhouse or on a window sill. Successional showings of salad leaves will give you an endless supply throughout the growing season.
Sweet peas an other Hardy annuals can be planted out this month.