End of Month View – April 2012

A day late but I have made it!   This is my End of Month View for April, written on 1st May, the fifth month – this is scary because next month is June and we will be halfway through the year.

I expect we are all bemoaning the weather.  The 5th April saw an official drought declared and it has rained every day since, now in the South West of the country there are flood warnings.  Unfortunately it is still not enough to replenishing the water tables and reservoirs to their ideal levels for this time of the year.

My lawn (that’s a laugh) squelches as I walk on it and there are puddles  in the flower beds.   It is so wet, there is no way I can take a lawnmower to it, meanwhile the grass and the dandelions continue to grow.   I hate to think how long the grass is going to be  when it eventually dries out, but I am going to have a job cutting it.

Along with the rain, we have had really strong winds, which have been almost gale force at times.   I was away  last weekend and when I arrived home on Sunday evening, travel weary, I wandered out into the garden to see what was what.   I found my 4 tier plastic greenhouse lying flat on its face.   Although I have it tied to the wall, it had broken away from its mooring and tipped over.   If I had not been so tired I would have taken a photo of it because in hindsight it looked so forlorn.  I shovelled what seedlings I could back into their seed trays and pots.  My poor seedlings looked so bedraggled and initially I had thought I had lost the lot.  Today, Tuesday, two days later, I am surprised at how most of them have recovered.

The vegetables are coming along and, as usual, I have far too many courgette plants.  The broad beans are looking strong but again,  too many, I only really want to grow two plants, but when sowing seeds, I don’t know about you, but I always do a few more “just in case”.

In the raised bed the Swiss Chard and Carrots are making their presence known,  shortly I will remove the cover once I am certain we will have no more frost at night.   I heard a lady on the train, say that the weather forecast says it might snow at the weekend – I hope she was joking!    Whilst I was a little late in planting the seed potatoes, the Charlotte is now beginning to grow.  I hope this year I don’t have to deal with blight like last year.

Last month, the garden seemed to be full of green with little colour around, within a few weeks plants are beginning to flower, clearly having relished their regular watering courtesy of the clouds above.    There appears to be an abundance of colour from lilac running through to purple and burgundy at the moment.

At last, the Clematis Myleen, which is scrambling up the Sambucus Nigra,  is now in flower and I am really pleased  how pretty the contrast of colours look.

Once again the Lilac is looking beautiful, but sadly the one in the front garden is nowhere near as prolific with flowers as it was last year – you could smell the heady perfume from down the road.    I think may be because I didn’t prune it after flowering, so I will have to have a good go at it this year if I want the same display as I did in 2011.   However, the lilac tree in the back garden is doing very well.

The Alliums are beginning to flower now, yet another flower in the purple spectrum.   These are new addition to the garden and I am looking forward to seeing them all in their full glory.

Last month I chopped the Heuchera down to the ground which was obviously the right thing to do, it has grown into a lovely thick plant and along with the Lysimachia Firecracker, I think they both going to look really good this year.

Another plant within that colour spectrum is the Geum Bell Bank.  I have never had any success with Geums and thought I couldn’t grow them in my garden but this one is proving me wrong.   This variety is so pretty, don’t you agree?

Not everything is in the pink/purple colour scheme; the Choysia is looking like a bridal bouquet and has flowered this year better than it has for a very long time.

Finally, to end the tour of my garden at the end of April, I noticed a begonia bursting into life in the hanging basket.  I had left this basket by the front door throughout the winter, mainly through laziness, but it has paid off.   It had three beautiful double white begonias so I am hoping that I will see more leaves shortly.

Please take time to visit Helen at Patient Gardener, who hosts this monthly meme.

8 thoughts on “End of Month View – April 2012

  1. I’t looking fabulous Ronnie, your lilac seems quite well out already. I love the combination of clematis with the sambuca!


    1. Hi! I saw a magazine article last year about growing clematis through a tree and I thought that the Sambucus was an ideal tree to do this through and the colour combination is much more by luck than judgement.


  2. Thanks for the mention, Ronnie. It is so ironic that there is so much rain the instant the official drought comes into force. How awful about your mini greenhouse, I struggle against strong winds here all the time so I know just what you feel. Christina


  3. Wonderful garden…all the flowers and foliage color…so vibrant..and your veg seedlings and plants…so much further ahead..gives me hope


  4. Your veg are doing well! You are miles ahead of us up here. When we have rain like this I remind myself of the advantages of living with a stony soil! I at least have no puddles on my lawn (yet).


  5. patientgardener May 1, 2012 — 10:04 pm

    Hi Ronnie – I have a squelchy lawn as well. My sons lawn cutting income has diminished as it is weeks since he cut the ladies grass over the road. I am sure it wont be long now before it all drys out and we are moaning abouthaving to water.

    Thanks for joining in the EMOV meme again.



  6. Hi Ronnie,

    Oooh, look at all those Dandelions! Hahaha, similar to my lawns tbh. Although I discovered a couple of years ago that if you dig them up when they’re beginning to bloom they often don’t come back or if they do, they don’t then seem to produce any more blooms. Compared to attempting to pull them up when they’re just leaves. Seems to work for me anyway. So on Monday when we had sun – what’s that again??! I pulled some up and we’ll see how it goes.

    Also, good idea about the Heuchera as I’ve one that seems to be growing up, rather than round like a mound and I was wondering whether I should just get rid. But I’ll have a go at chopping it down and hopefully that’ll encourage it to grow more bushy.

    That reminds me; I must ‘borrow’ some Lilac blooms off my neighbour’s tree! 😀 heehee, before they’re totally ruined by the rain. I’ve a dwarf one in a pot that actually I need to check as last time I noticed it has the buds forming. I might not need to borrow so many off Dorothy in future if I have my own! 😉

    Loving your Clematis and black Elder… Very nice. I need to get a few more Clemtis; I seem to be having such bad luck with them!

    Let’s hope the rain stops soon. Btw, when I looked on the forecast earlier there was no sign of snow and actually it’s meant to not rain (here at least) for the rest of the week now and stay around 12-15C.

    Oh and finally (this is a massively long message!!) yes I too have far more veg seedlings than I need… I sowed a few of those biodegradeble pots of Toms and sowed a few extra assuming some wouldn’t sprout. So I ended up with like 5 per tiny, 5cm diametre pot! Haha!! Finally potted them on yesterday; hope they’re OK as I’ve been unable to harden them off, but they are near the house where they’ll be protected from the cold.


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