April in the Garden: making a start

I’m a fair-weather gardener and we’ve not had a lot of fair weather this month

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Time and weather have been stacked against me this month.  There’s so much to do in general, plus I’m a fair-weather gardener and we’ve not had a lot of fair weather this month.  Also of course, they do say (whoever ‘they’ might be) that it’s best to live with a garden for a full year before making any changes.  Not sure how well I’ll manage to follow that advice…

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So far though, I’ve made no real changes but I have done a little maintenance. I’ve pruned the enormous buddleia and thinned the gigantic dogwood.  Both look better already.

And I’ve pldownloadanted Mme Alfred.  Madame Alfred Carriere has accompanied me to Cornwall.  I bought her with tokens given to me as a gift by my ex-mother-in-law and she’s one of the plants I couldn’t bear to leave behind.  To be honest, she really wasn’t thriving in her original spot. Gardening friends tell me they too had no luck with her in our old village, but both think she is likely to flourish here in the milder climate.  At the moment she is a couple of twigs with promising pink shoots sprouting.  But hopefully, before too long, she will look like this:

The very final day of April was dry and clear.  And saw me planting snowdrops.  It felt rather incongruous planting snowdrops on a bright spring day. They are of course, best planted in the green and I’ve generally planted them once flowering is over which would be late February/early March.  I’ve never planted this late in the year and certainly never under clear blue skies.  But we now have the beginnings of drifts along the bank beside the drive and around the edge of the western lawn, which we can see from the dining room windows.  Of course all we can see at the moment is wispy, fading leaves, and it will take a few years for the colonies to establish and begin to spread.  But with luck, come next January, we’ll see a few strong green shoots followed by nodding white flowers: plucky little harbingers of the year to come.

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