Saturday 27 April 2019

My garden in April

The tap is turned off 

Anemone nemorosa
To propagate the anemone I dug it out of the water and teased the woody rhizomes apart and slit them in in appropriate places

April opened with the lower garden under water. Seriously so. The tap had been turned off two weeks earlier and I was desperately anxious for the then persistent drying winds to evaporate it away. Until a few days ago the dry wind persisted. 
It’s like that here  - its wet for an eternity and suddenly it seems it won’t rain ever again. Sods law!
My pond levels are now seriously low and I have needed to water the azaleas and rhododendrons at the top of my garden and the turf is turning brown.
Actually it is still very wet at the bottom and although cold soil has held things back my moisture loving plants are now romping away. At the top it is now seriously parched.

Last week Brenda watered the 'acid garden'
When we moved in we made this our acid border but later discovered azaleas and rhododendrons grew better where it was wetter.
We love the 'borrowed landscape' from Cathi's cherries next door 

Its been cold but not seriously so. I have not had decent camellias for years and have started to regard them as glossy leaved ‘structural’ plants. Their fat flowers buds annually are destroyed by frost as soon as they open. Not so this year and they have been a joy. So too pieris with undamaged flowers and pink and red leaves. 

No frost damage this year
No frosted Dicentra spectabilis and the tulip long lasted six weeks

You win some and lose some. That is the pleasure of gardening. 

Each year I walk a tightrope with tomatoes when I sow them too early. Not as soon as some amateurs I know. It was the last week in March. I sow them in the warmth of the house and immediately the first seedling appears they go on my lightest warm windowsill. Two weeks later they need to go into my unheated greenhouse.

Germinated on bright sunny window sill in my soil/char compost
I never cover with plastic or glass and you might correctly imagine
the recycled compost has just been scraped off the bench (you can see from the weeds) 17 seeds sown, 17 healthily germinated. No damping off.

Unusual for me,  I pricked out into small pots
....just as well as they needed another week of nights in the frost free garage

My greenhouse is a very old leaky structure and those damned winds persisted even at nights. For the first ten days I had to park the single seed tray in my frost free garage each night. After planting I had to rely on covering nightly with nightly newspaper and four of my plants failed to make it. I sowed some more Shirley in a seed tray in the greenhouse during this recent warm spell to replace the four casualties

Bits and bobs

Self sown honesty fills up my corners
Self sown hardy annuals 
I reported last year on my grassless meadow! Now it is in its third year I have not sown any seed at all. At the end of March the self sown seed germinated densely like mustard and cress - they just loved the then very wet well drained soil

My dwarf tulips have been  in my gravel garden twelve years now
I just love my Dicentra formosa alba
Cathi's grass verge in its fourth year
Regular readers will know I regard Cathi's garden as my own and they might have wondered how the verge is getting along

As I write today it is raining - the first for six weeks, and I am in heaven


  1. I've just posted a video tour of our much smaller garden on our vlog We have the same mini tulips. Our tomatoes were sown even later than yours in April. The ground is very dry here,

    1. I must learn from you about the toms. I should know better after 70years gardening

  2. A joy to look at your garden on what is a wet and windy day here.

  3. Its raining quite hard as I write. Whoopee

  4. Oh beautiful , I love Anemone nemorosa ..the sweetest of Spring flowers I think !

    1. I agree Daisy and looks so delicate and yet has such a tough long lasting root system

  5. What a month it has been for sure. We had quite a battering from storm Hannah. I agree the white dicentra is very beautiful.


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