End of April View 2016


At last, the bare earth is quickly disappearing under an array of foliage: mainly of bulbs, but also delphiniums, hydrangeas, penstemons, oriental poppies, foxgloves and snapdragons, all greening up and preparing for a summer’s flowering; and by flowers that have already in bloom: drumstick primulas, aubretia, bergenia, forget-me-nots, tulips, narcissi, Muscari, hyacinths, honesty, the list goes on. This pleasant stage of spring seems to have been a long time coming, and the garden was set back somewhat by two weeks of snow, hail and overnight frosts, as I’m sure many of yours were too. The main victims have been my seedlings, some of which got waterlogged. But things are looking up. The sun is back. We achieved 14 degrees today. I may even have enough flowers to sacrifice for a Vase on Monday this week.


At the head of this large border is my usual collection of plants that I have recently acquired and are waiting to be planted. A white dicentra is destined for the shaded area at the back that is shaded in summer by the trees. A blue Anemone blanda will go in this area too, where I am hoping it will spread happily around. I have two Aquilegias that are for the middle of the bed, replacing the Bergenia ‘Eroica’ that I am intending to move to the new back garden beds. The colour of ‘Eroica’ is too bright here and would suit the back garden much better. I also think this of the ‘Toronto’ tulips, lovely though they are. My plan for 2016 is to consolidate the (loose) colour scheme for the front garden, keeping it low key in whites, purples, blues, yellows and apricots.


My hostas are coming up at last. Well, two of them are, ‘Devon Green’ and an unknown variety I found in a pot when we bought the flat. There is worryingly no sign of ‘Patriot’ yet, and I am hoping it hasn’t been gobbled by subterranean slugs. Something keeps gobbling my tulips too – snapping whole buds off the stems and destroying them, as if to eat the insides. Who is this vandal? A bird? A mouse? A cat? How can I prevent this? Any advice would be gratefully received!


I am looking forward to the Morello cherry blossom, which should be out this week, given the forecast for sunshine and warmth. The pear tree in the back garden has already blossomed, and I am quite glad that I have inadvertently bought two trees that blossom at different times. Up by the bench I have two large pots of bulbs, both looking fabulous now, but I am already thinking hard as to what to do with them once the tulips, Muscari, hyacinths and narcissi are over. In fact I have several pots that require attention if I am to have lovely summer blooms from them in a month or two. And with next week off work, I shall have plenty of time to figure it out.

End of month view is hosted by Helen at The Patient Gardener.

Narcissi ‘Winston Churchill’
Muscari armeniacum
William pear blossom
Muscari armeniacum, Hyacinthus ‘Woodstock’,  Tulipa ‘Golden Apeldoorn’, and a white tulip variety unknown. I love the combination of the white and yellow tulips, but am not convinced these hyacinths are in the right place.
Narcissi ‘Cheerfulness’, Hyacinthus ‘Blue Pearl’, Tulipa ‘Tres Chic’ in the large pot, and T. ‘Peach Blossom’ in the smaller pots at the front.
Bergenia ‘Eroica’
Muscari botryoides ‘Album’ and unknown tulips.
Erythronium, either ‘Purple King’ or ‘Joanna’. I should really have separated them much more as ‘Joanna’ is quite rare and I need to avoid getting them mixed up. The ‘Purple King’ wasn’t as purple as it should have been, and ‘Joanna’ wasn’t as apricot as it should have been, and although I know which is which geographically in the garden (I think), I can’t remember which this is a photo of.
Tulipa ‘Toronto’. Too bright for me, I think every year. Then it does this and I forgive it.
Dicentra spectabilis ‘Alba’


5 thoughts on “End of April View 2016

  1. I think that’s Joanna. Mine’s over now. I noticed this year that she opens yellow and white only, the pinky mauve colouring comes later and takes over completely by the time she fades.
    I love Woodstock hyacinths, but I hope that tulip / Woodstock planting isn’t my doing.
    The white muscari are a delight and work well with practically everything.

    1. Oh, thank you! But the other erythroniums are all so similar. Unless they’re all Joannas, and we put the Purple Kings elsewhere. Do you remember putting any erythroniums in somewhere? The pots were my creation, you are not to blame for that colour scheme. That’s what I was doing when you were putting in bulbs around the garden. Clearly you should have been supervising. You put in the white muscari (they look great!) and the tulips, which some horticultural terrorist keeps decapitating, and the alliums (coming soon).

      1. If I planted the Purple Kings, I probably put them on the back green, but I cannot pretend to remember. You may have to wait till next year, as Joanna starts clear yellow and white, but PK is probably pinky mauve from the word Go. I’ll look out my photos of Joanna, which may help.
        I wish I could advise about the tulip terrorist – so grievous to loose the pretty flowers – but so far this horror hasn’t afflicted mine. Are there squirrels around? The RHS say that grey squirrels eat flower buds.

      2. Yes, a squirrel has now been witnessed digging in the garden (the mystery of the random holes solved), probably looking for nuts it hid in Autumn. It likes my Menton tulips, but hasn’t taken a fancy to the others. No erythroniums out the back. They’re all under the tree.

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