Overview of my Garden : End of Month View April 2014

A little late, and more like Review of my Garden: Early May!   I can’t believe where April has gone, one blink and it was over.  Seems like most of us have had the same feeling about April disappearing.

Everything, at least most things, in the garden are coming along madly, that is those plants and seedlings that the snails and slugs are not chomping away at – it seems to be a never ending battle.   I have taken to using a solution of 1:10 household ammonia/water in a spray bottle morning and evenings.  For me it feels a better way of eradicating them, other than throwing them into the neighbours garden (only to return) or stamping on the them (horrid) !  It doesn’t prevent them from eating their way through the garden, but does get rid of the ones I find.   Also it is nitrogen for the soil so isn’t doing  harm to anything apart from the slimy critters.

Last year I didn’t prune the Ribes, and although it looked wonderful in full  bloom it was taking up a large part of the flowerbed.   Before attacking it with my loppers, I read that I could chop it down to the ground and it would recover.   Loathe to take such drastic action, I gave it a good prune and took out 20% of the branches as recommended.  It certainly has opened up that part of the garden.

Garden (1280x924)

I didn’t write a post about the greenhouse in April either, but it is performing its job – as well as providing an upmarket restaurant to the local snail population.   The Cosmos (Sea shells) and Borage are doing well as are the Moneymaker tomatoes and Sweet Peas.  Some of the trays I have brought back inside in order to protect them from being eaten.   There is a selection of plants I nurtured over the winter in pots and when they are large and strong enough to place in their new  homes they will be decamped.

Greenhouse (1280x924)

The garden is beginning to produce flowers which is a great sign of Summer being on its way. Here is a selection of what is in flower at the moment.

  • Alliums

Alliums (1280x853)

  • Choisya

Choysia (1280x853)

  • Aquilegia – I recently bought what was labelled as “William Guinness” to replace one I lost last year.  It is now in flower and definitely NOT  William Guinness.  If you recognise it, please do let me know what it is called.  It is very pretty soft red and yellow.

Aqualegia (1280x853)

  • Dicentra,
  • Geranium “Kashmir white – so pleased to see this because I thought I had lost it;
  • Euphorbia “Fireglow”;  and
  • the first rose bud!

Flowers (1280x853)

  • Welsh Poppy –  this has self seeded itself under the Choisya which is a surprise as it gets no sun.
  • Ceanothus (Californian Lilac) – There were a few flowers on this plant throughout the winter also, possibly due to the warm winter.

Flowers1 (1280x924)

  • Hydrangea (Macrophylla)  – I am growing this in a pot in a shady area of the side patio.   This is its second year and was only a tiny plant when I bought it.  Judging by its size I may well have to find a bigger pot.  The first flower has been out for several weeks now so it must be very happy.

Hydrangea (1280x924)

Finally, my raspberries are looking wonderful so hoping for a bumper crop this year.

_DSC0503 (1024x683)

Helen from The Patient Gardener’s Weblog hosts the End of Month View, hop over there and take a look at the other contributions.  It is always interesting to peak over the wall at other gardens.

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  1. Your garden is looking lovely and your Hydrangea doing very well, hardly a bud on mine yet, slugs and snails are taking up a great deal of time here, they get flung into the field behind and (I confess) sometimes if they are caught in the act, they go down the drain.


  2. Hi Ronnie,

    Slugs/snails here are either killed (urgh, as you said) or go on a little holiday into the bin. Of course I thought they’d have a lovely time on landfill, that is until I realised here waste is incinerated…. whoops.

    I once bought a dark, double Aquilegia (Black Barlow) and it turned out to be a Thalictrum. I can see why they’d be mistaken as the leaves are similar… Annoying though. Haven’t bothered since.


    • It’s disappointing to get the wrong plant, however the one I have is very pretty and it just means another visit to the garden centre. This time I will buy one already in flower to check it matches the label!


  3. Don’t your neighbours read your blog, Ronnie? The aquilegia looks like A. canadensis and if so is smaller than usual – my favourite. Annoying about the Guinness (another favourite!) but the canadensis is more difficult to source. I’ve rarely, if ever, seen it for sale though we used to grow at the alpine nursery. Dave


    • Thank you Dave. I’ve looked up Canadensis and it is certainly a match. Also called Little Lanterns and Dwarf columbine. It came from a good local nursery so wonder if it was a label swap or if the whole batch are wrongly labelled. Must return and take a look. As for my neighbours…if they cut back their ivy a bit more often, if at all, I may feel kinder to them. 😄. Pity slugs and snails don’t eat ivy!


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