As we hurtle headlong into April I thought I would end the month with a few photos of how things are looking in the garden. March has certainly been the month of spring bulbs this year – it started with the iris and crocus and is ending with hyacinths and muscari. In between there have been a succession of narcissi from the tall yellow King Alfred to the paler and more delicate Thalia. Looking back through the archives from last spring I think the garden is at almost the same point today as it was at the end of April last year.
I am starting the review with a photo of three bowls of hyacinths, taken on the first very frosty morning of the year just last week.
My beds are slowly filling up with hyacinths that have flowered in pots for a season and then been moved to a border. Below you can see Hyacinth L’Innocence mixing with narcissi Thalia. Thalia is a favourite of mine that I have running through a lot of the borders in the garden. It works well with tulips, unlike the yellow narcissi which I feel often clash. As the hyacinths and tulips go over this bed will change from predominantly white to blue with the flowering of the perennial cornflowers.
Below is Hyacinth Woodstock – a lovely plummy purple in the garden that works well with Tulip Purple Prince. These have only just started to flower. Deft Blue and L’Innocence have been going for a week or two now.
The next big development in the garden will be the tulips. A couple of varieties have started to flower this week, but most will be doing their thing throughout April.
I am very excited this year as I have managed to plant quite a few varieties in the Cutting Garden, so I should have plenty to pick for the house this year. I tend not to pick tulips from my pots and borders as I do not like to diminish the display. This is the first year that I have planted tulips solely with the purpose of cutting!
The sweet pea frame has been erected this week and is covered with jute netting ready for the sweet peas to scramble up. They are not quite ready to plant out yet – I still need to harden them off. I expect to be planting them in a week or two if the temperatures pick up. If you look closely you will see that I have put a weed mat along the centre of the frame. In previous years I have had problems with weeds growing inside the frame and I hope this weed mat will solve the problem.
Below is the garlic planted before Christmas, which is growing well despite sitting under water for much of the winter. In the same bed I have planted the early potatoes, but these have not yet emerged through the soil.
The autumn raspberries that I left standing after a comment from Cathy at Rambling In The Garden about double cropping have started to sprout leaves. I am optimistic that I will have early raspberries to eat with my strawberries this year.
The rhubarb is looking fantastic – I think it is shouting Use Me!
This week I been spending time cutting back the lavender hedge that grows under the espaliered apple and pear trees – a very laborious task which makes me question why I thought it would be a good idea to plant such a long hedge on both sides of the path in the first place.
Back in the main garden I am amazed at how much growth these delphiniums have put on. I have other delphiniums that are barely poking through the ground, but these were ready to have their supports put in place last week.
The bulb of the moment has to be muscari. I planted these as small clumps a few years ago and they have multiplied each year.
The main herbaceous borders that wrap around the house are starting to show signs of life. The tulips should be flowering very soon, the roses have lots of new growth and the perennials are all above ground level now.
Finally I wanted to show you my new garden arch. I have been admiring the arches in the Agriframe catalogue for some time now and decided it was time to take the plunge and order one. It was hard to make a decision as there are a few different styles. I chose the Gothic Arch as I thought this style would work without any flowery adornments, which is important in this situation. The original gap in the yew hedge was quite small, so it has been cut back hard to make the arch fit – hopefully it will regrow quickly.
There are lots of other things going on at the moment – cherry, peach and apricot blossom, camellias in flower, many narcissi brightening the garden up, euphorbias starting to flower etc, but I must stop somewhere!
I have a very busy day tomorrow, so I am sorry but there will be no ‘Flowers On Sunday’ this week. I will be back with a vase from the garden on Monday. I hope you are having a lovely weekend.