Spring into April 


Well that was a almost typical March wasn’t, in like and lion and out like a slow cooked lamb! But was it ever a busy one! Roses had to be pruned and trained into beautiful shapes, ones that not only coat the features whether it’s a old wall or wooden feature, in beautiful twists and turns but also into shapes to encourage the highlights of midsummer, the delicate tissue like flowers, sometimes so highly scented delights that to me make summer. One thing to me that’s almost as nice as pruning roses, is planting them, indeed the last few planted over the weekend in my own little patch, saw my numbers planted reaching over 100. Some modern hybrids, others grown in our gardens for many thousands of years, seen so many changes in the world, yet remain still as unchanged during this time. Of course March just wasn’t about pruning roses and planting them, many other jobs have been finished or nearing completetion, Jobs like mulching borders, feeding plants, dividing plants, all jobs to make the garden ready for the summer of delight.

Talking about delights, how brilliant were the magnolias this year? Certainly one of the best displays I can ever remember, left untouched by Jack Frosts icicles of death, with little wind, they flowered their little hearts out, one trip to Savil gardens, left me dashing between one bit of eye candy, photographing them to the next, it was like being in a horticultural sweet shop that was on a try as many as you can freebee day! I love the big open flowers, some with slight fragrance, others so strongly sweetly scented filling the air with their perfume. Their ancient flowers, so primitively they are designed to be pollinated by beetles and pre-dates the time of the bees, will slowly finish allowing other plants to come to the forefront of our flowering minds, things like Rhododendron, Camelias, wisterias, cherries, apple and pears will soon fill our gardens this month, with their turn in the beautiful flowering catwalk.

We also said good bye to so many of our winter visitors in March, gone are the hoards of Waxwings (which I still failed to see!) red wings and field fares, but the summer visitors are slowly on their way, with sightings of sand martins, swallows and even the odd swift, now been sited all over the uk. The frogs and toads had a busy month laying their eggs in our ponds and lakes and even the butterflies have now started to emerge from their slumber, with brimstones starting the ball rolling at the being of March and red admirals, small tortoiseshell, battered peacocks and newly hatched orange tips joining the spring party. Many of our spring flowers, like cowslips, bluebells, wood anemone are filling our wildness with their joy.

April is once more a hectic time for me in the garden, with little veg and cutflowers to do in the gardens I look after, with all the fruit trees and roses now pruned, My thoughts now turn to pruning the winter flowering or fruit bearing evergreens and deciduous like osmanthus, cotoneasters, winter flowering jasmine. The sunny showers are also prefect for carrying out a little more planting of the now containisered herbecous plants and shrubs although I would avoid planting out any recently potted up roses that have yet to settle into their new pots, planting now will damage the new fine roots they are puttting out. Also the same should be said for the summer bedding, for me I don’t like putting these out until May is apon us. April can fool us in thinking Jack Frost has disappeared but he’s still lurking around waiting to pounce just as you plant out the tender plants, making you spend more money to replace them. other jobs can include starting to put in plant supports for herbecous plants and start the fortnighly spraying of roses and box hedges to help cut down the spread of fungus on the plants

Well that’s it from me this month, have fun in your garden this month!

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