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Reflecting on April

April 7, 2020

Life has certainly taken an unfathomable path. Everyday life is no longer 'normal' but as time goes on I think many of us have become accepting of our new routine and are making the best of it. The weather has been kind and with the burst of spring energy there is plenty of tasks to keep us busy in the garden.

 

I find myself taking pleasure in the most simple of tasks, weeding, sowing seeds, watering, all a welcomed distraction. I am really appreciating each new bud and bloom, more than ever, bird song dominates the air waves as it no longer competes with aeroplanes and incessant road traffic noise.

On the gardening front it was a challenging start to the year weather-wise with record rainfall but the arrival of Easter has brought sun and an eruption of new shoots and blooms; the season has suddenly launched full steam ahead.

 

April sees the most striking change in the garden within the space of a few weeks.  Sprays of green foliage finally fulfil their destiny; nest building is in overdrive, ducklings and lambs grace the countryside. It is all go! And in the garden...be guided by what your plants are doing 'now' not just regimentally carry out traditional seasonal tasks.

 

Late March and early April have seen the garden a wash of narcissus and hyacinthus, quickly followed by the arrival of tulips with a welcomed kaleidoscope of colour. I planted some new varieties in autumn 2018 and have thoroughly enjoyed seeing these bloom. 'La Belle Epoque' along with some old friends 'Queen of Night, Angelique and Black Parrot' have been a delight. So far 'Ice Cream and Finola' have yet to put in a return appearance.

 

Hyacinths provided an exquisite heady scent. My preferred cultivars are 'Woodstock' for its rich magenta, 'Pink Pearl' and 'Purple Sensation.' All hold an impressive presence in the Spring border. Other fabulous bulbs that shine in April included fritillary, lily of the valley, species tulips and camassia.