End of Month View: April 2015


IMG_0048I am posting this EOMV a few days late as I was in Cumbria until Friday, and it was too gloomy and/or chucking it down for taking photographs all day Saturday and Sunday, while the forecast for the Bank Holiday Monday was excellent, a light breeze and sun with temperatures reaching a tropical 13 degrees, so I decided to wait. And now I am back in Cumbria and finally have a moment to upload and edit the photographs. I am sure Helen of The Patient Gardener, who hosts End of Month View, will be forgiving of my tardiness.

March 2015
March 2015

These past two weeks have been extremely cold and damp in Scotland, with several frosts and even snow, so although I rushed back to Edinburgh in the hope of being met with a garden full of glorious blooms and luxuriant foliage, I shouldn’t have been surprised to find that things looked much as they did (perhaps five percent larger) when I left them in mid-April. Even my narcissi are not out yet.

Narcissi not out

A few happy developments have occurred, though. Firstly, my cherry tree has blossomed. Not an abundance of blossom, just a dotting of tiny white flowers, a mere handful, but blossom all the same. Secondly, some of my tulips, T. greigii ‘Toronto’ have bloomed. An internet search suggests I might expect more than one flower from each bulb, and that unlike many tulips they naturalise easily. Perhaps we will find out, but not next year as the whole tulip bed here at the front nearest the flat will be dug over for proper planting after this lot of bulbs are over. I should mention that the tulip bed exists only because I had to get my bulbs in somewhere, anywhere, while the garden was still a building site, and so I created this small rectangle thinking at least it would result in something nice to look at among all the mess, little knowing that several other plants would be planted and blooming long before any of the tulips showed their faces.



Other tulips still not out

Among other developments, the hostas and alliums are doing well, and I have planted out my sweetpeas. There are 64 plants in total: madness for such a small garden. Luckily I was able to find space for them all; next year I won’t be able to go quite so crackers. Anyway, with the sweetpeas out of the coldframe I had space to stow my germinated seedstrays of aubrieta and cosmos. The delphiniums are growing nicely, too nicely in fact as some are even a little pot-bound. I have far too many for my own garden and so have promised a few to the very kind people I have been staying with in Cumbria.

Hosta Devon Green
Hosta Devon Green

A root that I planted in early March, and wrung my hands over for a long time for not appearing, has finally shown a shoot. I was so anxious about the non-appearance of this plant, a great favourite of mine, that The Brazilian picked up on its name and went through a phase of pointing at any random plant and asking if it was a ‘pianese’. At length it turned out he meant ‘peonies’. This weekend mine, a ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ has finally shown a tiny shoot. I would have taken a photo but it needed a macro lens.

I have a couple of new plants: a Tiarella and a Lithodora ‘Heavenly Blue’, both of which sound like names a reality TV celeb would give to a child. I also received a sweet little aquilegia from my sister who bought it on a stall. The tag simply said ‘aquilegia’ so it will be fun to see what colour it turns out to be. Place your bets below.

Lithodora ‘Heavenly Blue’


13 thoughts on “End of Month View: April 2015

  1. Lovely hosta pic Joanna! I’ve never thought to photograph one from that angle before. I am at home with my mum in Perthshire at the moment and really relishing the fact that your flowers are three weeks or so behind mine – I get daffodil time all over again! Have a wonderful May.

    1. Thank you Cathy. I think my own narcissi are even three weeks again behind Scotland’s… Those in Edinburgh’s public parks here are long over. But then I planted mine very late. Perthshire is beautiful – enjoy your stay!

  2. Like forgetmenots, love-in-a-mist and grape hyacinths, once aquilegias settle in your garden they will always be with you. Fortunately they are easy to spot and no trouble to remove. The only difficulty is if you have a nice one and seedlings grow up all around it, it can be difficult to know which plant not to remove. If yours turns out to be special mark its place clearly. My bet on colour is white with a pinkish cast. This is how seedlings often turn out, although the colour of the common plant is supposed to be blue and some are interestingly two-tone. I have never had a blue one.
    After two years settling in my peonies have become serious plants. I dare hope for some flowers. I have Honey Gold and Kelways Glorious, and a pink one whose label has gone and I have already forgotten which it is. Your Sarah Bernhardt is a universal favourite, tall and beautifully scented. She may need staking, when she has settled in.
    I expect that part of the reason your plants are so backward is that they are all newly planted. I have several new hostas, and they are way behind the older ones. But what is the tall bushy plant to the left of the tulips? That has really got going.
    Love your blossom, so delicate.

  3. I shan’t mind seedlings if they create a floral melange among the other plants. I will look forward to a summer’s tour of your garden when I am down in June, perhaps when your peonies and hostas will be at their best. The bushy plant to the left of the tulips has indeed done well. It is some sort of daisy; I forget its name but have the label at home for future reference. It has a sister a few feet further up and flower buds are already well formed so I am anticipating a good lot of daisies quite shortly.

  4. Huh, I have Toronto tulips and have had them for a long time in my garden and never noticed them having more than one flower per bulb. I will have to check that out now since they are blooming. Cherries are blooming now here too. It is strange to think our climates and season are coinciding. That is what my allium looks like now too! I love delphinium too and can’t wait until they bloom.

  5. The Royal Horticultural Soc say Toronto is a solitary flower. I also learned that Toronto comes in two other flavours – double and orange. RHS don’t have pictures of these rarities but you can see them on Google Images. I didn’t try googling double orange Toronto, what with the election and everything I’ve had sufficient excitement for one day.

  6. All we need now is a bit of heat and we will be well on our way. It’s quite amazing just how slow everything is this year. It’s all filling out now and you can clearly see that by comparing March to April images. I couldn’t believe how far behind your bulbs are but then I read that you planted them late.
    I was pleased to see your cherry blossom. I almost picked one up on the strength of your previous post recommending them for shade but decided to wait for now.

    1. Hi Angie, you’re right, we’re just awaiting some warmth, but the BBC forecast tells me that we will have to wait longer I’m afraid. My narcissi have just started to come out; the only giveaway that we’re not still in March is the day-length.
      The Morello cherry seems pretty perky in its woodland spot. There may be other fruit trees that tolerate this amount of shade, but the Morello is easiest to come by.

  7. Hello Joanna, I have just finished reading your blog from the beginning of your garden journey you have worked so hard well done.
    I read a few gardening blogs most are from gardens in the south so it’s nice to know what’s going on a little closer to home I live in Cumbria and went with some friends to the botanic gardens the week you were in Cumbria we were surprised how far advanced some plants were compared to here.

    1. Hello Ann, and welcome to my blog. While staying in Cumbria I have noticed a considerable upward difference in ambient temperature, and that things seem more advanced here than in Edinburgh. But the botanics in Edinburgh certainly has a magic touch and their plants are always ahead of those elsewhere. I went this weekend and noticed that one of their huge horse chestnuts had its candles out, while those horse chestnuts on the sunnier side of the city hadn’t.

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