THE GARDEN IN APRIL.

Magnolia Susan.

Its been a dry but rather cold month. Scarifying the lawn produced masses of moss, lawn sand was heavily used and had to be watered in. The resulting black areas look awful at present but I’m hoping will pay off. I was in no rush to start mowing.

Shoots are appearing everywhere, tree leaves are a lovely fresh green, ferns are unfolding and young cones colouring up on the conifers.

Clumps of bluebells bring colour to shady areas. Early herbaceous plants are slow to flower but a few ‘weeds’ are already blossoming, that is why I leave them to seed in a few spaces.  Cambrian Poppy, Honesty and the Yellow Dead Nettle.

As one cherry blossom is blown away another appears.Of course spring is when the Rhododendrons come into their own and the best time to visit some of the famous gardens where they flourish. My favourites were Dunge Valley Gardens close to Windgather Crag in the High Peak for a bit of apres bouldering and Muncaster Castle on the edge of the lakes. It was to the latter we retreated on a rainy climbing trip in Eskdale 20yrs ago and I purchased Rh. Unique and it is always one of the first to flower in my garden. Good to have a bit of history involved in ones plants – that was the weekend Princess Di was killed. Others are flowering in a shady area at the back …

May Day.

Bo Bells.

Usually the first clematis to flower is an Alpina variety with a delightful shade of blue …Dotted around are several different Corydalis

and  Dicentra …

… they need very little attention and provide low colour.

The prehistoric looking Darmera peltata thrives in my boggy area and produces interesting flower heads before the large leaves appear.At the end of the month the spectacular blue Camassia quamash starts to open, a sign that the garden will be in full bloom next month.

Sparrows and tits are occupying all my nest boxes and the swallows were back on the 20th.

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