April Showers Herald the End of March

For the first time in what seems like ages, I have been aware of the end of the month as it happens. After a brief drop in temperature this week has been relatively mild, briefly reaching 18°C  yesterday afternoon, but the mildness has been accompanied by showers of the traditional April type. This winning combination will give everything in the garden a boost, sadly also including the resident molluscs which have already noticed emerging foliage on one of the hostas. Although we haven’t seen a hedgehog in the garden for some time I have spotted droppings this week, and hopefully they are still willing to make themselves useful in partially controlling the slugs and snails. I didn’t get round to ordering any nematodes last year, but will perhaps do so shortly, for added control.

Let’s take a look at the garden then, staring with the view from the back of the house (above); note the fully-leafed crab apple just to the left of centre. The adjacent streamside grass, still resplendent with Tête-à-Tête, is shown below, from both ends. Although flowering sporadically throughout the winter, Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’ is currently in full rather than partial bloom, the blooms a distinctly darker pink than previously. The

The woodland has really woken up whilst the snowdrops have been waning, with fritillaries coming into bloom to join the Cyclamen coum and folage promising bluebells and wild garlic forming thick clumps. Hellebores, comfrey arum and pulmonaria that were moved from elsewhere are beginning to establish and confirm they are happy in their new homes. From the bothy at the end of the woodland you can look out over the main borders and the clematis colonnade, before returning to ground level to look at the same area and the woodland edge border. The latter is currently thick with snowdrop foliage and many clumps of those glorious hellebores that, although later than some years, have been wonderful.

The grass border has had its trim, and herbaceous perennials in the ‘bold borders’ are pushing through, thankful that the winter is behind them:

The sweet pea supports are up, only short of some additional uprights, the greenhouse has shed its bubblewrap and the cutting beds are a convenient place for plants to harden off. Meanwhile, space will continue to be at a premium in the greenhouse until the end of May or so.

Having emptied and refilled the blue & white borders I look forward to some improvement and cohesion, and it is refreshing to see more than just bare sticks in the rose garden:

As spring beckons, it is clear that there have been a few fatalities in the main borders, particularly penstemon, but most plants have shrugged off the prolonged periods of cold we experienced over winter. I wonder if there will ever be a time I am ‘satisfied’ with these borders?

Heading back towards the house, the new obelisk border is beginning its first complete season, with a quantity of ‘Minnow’ narcissi filling out the current stark planting and just coming into flower. There will be a sprinkling of herbaceous perennials to add later, bulking out the new shrubs and clematis.

The wisteria on the gable end of the extension is still a bare skeleton, but I am monitoring it regularly and moving on any marauding wood pigeons before they wreak havoc. You can see the leafy crab apple more clearly here, this time at the right of the picture.

Finally to the Coop and the Coop Corner, the former still housing several early spring bulbs and the latter bulking up with hellebores amongst the shrubs sporting fresh foliage as well as blooms, and Clematis armandii ‘Snowdrift’ finally making its mark.

Monthly changes will now come thick and fast and winter is already a receding memory…

This entry was posted in borders, cutting beds, early spring, End of Month View, Gardening, Gardens, grasses, greenhouse, herbaceous perennials, seasonal tasks, shrubs. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to April Showers Herald the End of March

  1. Anna says:

    As always I enjoyed your end of month view Cathy. I have just been reading on the Met. Office website that it has been the wettest March in England for over forty years. I suppose it has made up for the lack of rainfall in February but it would be great to have a few consecutive dry days 🤞

    • Cathy says:

      Aw thanks Anna 😊 And thanks for the weather statistic, which Up to now I hadn’t heard – certainly our own weather records show it has been by far the wettest March since we started keeping the details, back in 2012 or so. The rain has not been at all heavy here other than the very odd brief episode, just showery at some point almost every day, a total of 107mm

  2. Ah, Spring! Everything looks healthy and ready to pop.

  3. Rosie Amber says:

    Lovely to see everything coming back to life almost on a daily basis.

    • Cathy says:

      It really is on a daily basis, Rosie – so it would be a shame to miss a day of rambling in the garden, even I was too busy to do anything else! 😉

  4. We can always rely on Mother Nature to get going, given half a chance…

    • Cathy says:

      Oh very much so, and She will have been delighted with what she could achieve on today’s lovely sunny afternoon, as I was 😉

  5. croftgarden says:

    I always enjoy a tour of your garden. It’s not just the plants but the structure is inspirational.

    • Cathy says:

      Aw thanks Christine, that’s very kind of you. The framework has developed organically, partly to accommodate the difference in level from side to side and front to back. I can’t imagine ever being able to plan a complete garden from scratch, so have mostly just stumbled from inspiratioen to inspiration 😉

  6. Cathy says:

    The clematis area looks lovely — the different structures and art objects stand out so well at this time of year with fresh green foliage as a backdrop. The crab apple really is a fresh green too! I know what you mean about not being entirely happy about bits of the garden… Part of gardening (I suppose like any other hobby) is always trying to make ‘improvements’. That’s the fun of it, chopping and changing so-to-speak!
    Love the coop corner and the new obelisk border too… look forward to seeing what will be added to it. 😃

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Cathy and yes, all the new growth is such a distinctively fresh green at this time of year, And you are right, it wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t have something to tinker with – hopefully I will always enjoy a new project!!

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