April has been another strange month. Its been cold, wet and dull for most of the month, to the extent that any gardening was out of the question. Then we had a very short three days of sunshine and temperatures at least 10 degrees higher at 26c. And did we get out to work in the garden with around 90 people coming around the garden on the 22nd! We were lucky that day was also dry although there was a cold wind. But the last week has gone back to where we started, cold, wet and windy.At last colour is coming back to the garden with the tulips bursting out. Looking down on the garden we can see the the lawn has benefited from all the rain. The alliums have also grown at an incredible speed, in some cases bloting out the tulips. Looking further round to the left the wall across the garden is about to burst into life and the Tulip Red Impression that fill the left hand border are coming into flower.Tulips are the main feature at this time of year in this part of the garden. the Red Impression always works well against fresh green foliage and also the purple honesty.
Last year under-planted some roses with Anemone blanda atrocaerulea. the idea was to give some interest when the roses are only just coming into leaf. It is great to see it working again.The bed to the corner of the wall is full of tulips and far to many alliums! When we get some gardening weather I shall remove some of them. The red tulip, Tulip Ad Rem at the back of this picture were planted in 2014 and continue to put on a good display.
Tulip Hageri Splendens is now in flower across the stoned edged circle bed. This was planted at the end of 2016 and are coming back well.
One of my favourite tulips is Tulip Ballerina. It was great to see some frog spawn in one of our ponds and now it is tick with tadpoles. This small pond does not have any fish in it so the fish do not eat the tadpoles. however, if it were warmer I would expect to see grass snakes having a feast.
Looking back a year at End of the Month View – April 2017 its is amazing to see how behind the garden is this year. In April 2017 there were roses in bloom, apple blossom on the trees and the first swallows arrived on April 3rd. No sign of them yet this year! In many ways we are four weeks behind normal.
|2018 Gardening Hours
|Week beginning April 21st
||Total 2018 to-date
||Average per week
The poor weather and a week skiing in France has resulted in little work this month with the exception of the three days mentioned above.
Do have a look at Helen The Patient Gardener’s blog where you fill find links to other gardens at the end of April. Thank you to Helen for hosting this meme.
At the end of December I took you on a frosty walk around our garden. This month I plan another walk around the garden but this time going in the reverse direction taking in the different views as we progress around. The old kitchen garden divides the garden making circular walks the best way to see the whole garden.
This is the view you get as you enter the garden through a gate in the garden wall. The lovely tulips are Tulip Ballerina. The urn is designed to be a focal point as you enter. In fact when the plants have grown up in the summer the view of the garden is restricted making an element of surprise as you walk in.From this point, with the urn on our right, we can see diagonally across to the steps which provide access to the higher level lawn. The Tulip Red Impression is continuing to create a good display.As we move further into the garden it begins to open up. In the distance you can just see small lake which used to be the fish ponds for the rectory that was next door.Further still on the paved area we get a different view down the garden past the tree that got damaged recently in a storm. Behind us is the back door of our house with a number of climbing roses on the walls.This one is Rosa Old Blush China. Actually it is not meant to be a climber but if it wants to climb I happy with that. Next to Rosa Old Blush China is Rosa Madame Alfred Carriere. These two roses are both flowering very early this year.Going up the steps on to the higher lawn we get to the spot where my classic End of Month View is taken. (See January, March, October, September, August)The tulips are continuing to put on a display and the aliums are just beginning to open up.The blossom on the apple tree is out and looking good despite the storm damage.
Behind us is an area, beneath some large lime trees, which we treat as a woodland garden. We have made some cobble paths here to enable easy access. A seat provides an interesting viewing place across the garden.Continuing on around the garden we can see the end of the garden wall on the right.In the circular bed as well as the Brunnera Mr. Morse, Tulip Hageri Splendens is now in flower.
Tulip Hageri Splendens
We have now come round to the bottom right hand corner of the garden and are looking up behind the garden wall. The planting here is mainly shrubs designed for relatively easy maintenance.Continuing on and just before the first yew hedge there is a small pond on the left. This pond has been designed to be very nature friendly with a sloping edges enabling easy access to the water and an easy escape route should something fall in!Having walked along behind the wall we get to a small grass lawn and flower bed. The Geranium himalayense has just started to flower and looks great with the tulips. The bed is called Ivy’s bed after the lady that lives in the cottage over looking the border.Across the lawn we get to the Italianate area. Twenty years ago this was all paddock and we added the pond and landscaping. As I mentioned, in 2016 the pond developed a leak and a major repair job was done. With this disruption we decided to renovate the whole area.The gravel borders were contained with wooden edging and this had rotted away. These are being replaced with metal edging and the gravel, into which the garden had been growing, is all being cleaned up! The obelisks each have had a rose planted in their centre to grow up with clematis. Work has yet to be done on the joints between the paviours which need cleaning and re-pointing.The seat by the pond is one of our ‘gin & tonic’ seats and this is the view from there. With all the work on the pond it is going to take a year to stabilise.The little green house at the end of this area is even fuller and there will soon be standing room only!Looking back at the ‘gin & tonic’ seat the Carpinus betulus Frans Fontaine columns are just coming into leaf.Having completed the tour we get to the shady border by the end of the house with Erythronium Pagoda, various hostas and ferns providing the main planting.
||Total since June 19th
||Average per week
Do have a look at Helen The Patient Gardener’s blog where you will find links to other gardens at the end of April. Thank you to Helen for hosting this meme.