As April gallops towards an end, I couldn’t let it escape without celebrating the glorious array of blooms that it brought, starting with Magnolia ‘Susan’ above, whose dark purple buds are just beginning to unfurl. Last year it bloomed prolifically for the very first time and it looks as if this season there will be a similar display.
There are still a handful of daffodils around, but once the tulips begin to appear they seem to step back to allow their bright replacements to take centre stage. Most of my tulips are in pots, as you can see below, but there are clumps of species varieties in the main borders too along with an occasional hanger-on of the larger varieties.
The woodland is at its peak, with wood anemones and primroses flourishing, bluebells just beginning and fritillaries only just on the wane (and much-reduced quantities of wild garlic!):
In the special snowdrop border the snowdrops are now a distant memory and masses of foliage, but leucojum, muscari and scilla have taken over:
Hellebores bloomed relatively late this year but have been glorious, and although past their peak still make an impact in their more faded state, accompanied by fresh and pristine new foliage:
Pulmonarias are a stalwart of April, and along with hellebores I am trying to boost the number of them in the garden. Here are just a selection:
Rhododendrons, although not to everyone’s taste, always make an impact when they bloom, largely because of their density of blooms. ‘Christmas Cheer’ began flowering a few weeks ago but there are now others joining in too:
Other trouble-free spring stalwarts here are (clockwise from top left) self-seeded cowslip, Clematis armandii ‘Snowdrift’ (blooming much later this year than previously), various brunnera and long-flowering Arabis ‘Old Gold’:
Alpina clematis are wonderful for April/May blooms and here we have (clockwise from top left) C koreana and C alpina ‘Pamela Jackman’, ‘Constance’ and ‘Foxy’:
In the Coop there are still hippeastrum in flower:
I showed the first appleblossom on Wednesday, the blooms now gradually spreading over the whole tree, and this blossom is joined by crab apples ‘Evereste’ (still in bud) and ‘Royalty’, the latter’s blooms always camouflaged by the dark foliage. Somehow appleblossom seems to mark a turn in the year (often heralding the end of regular frosts) as we head into May and the run-up to summer with its inevitable cornucopia of blooms that will be upon us before we know it. Thank you April for paving the way!