End of the Month View -April 2018

We leave cold, wet April behind, and May finally brings some warm, settled weather.

The potting shed window ledge soon has a jug of cow parsley and forget-me-nots from the wild garden.

We’ve waited for this display all winter. Wild cherry trees in the paddock. Alive with bees. An avalanche of white blossom.

Scented narcissi Geranium pop up in the long grass around the pond. I love the egg yolk centres.

Needing some work this summer, the pond is ringed with marsh marigolds and lady’s smock wild flowers- and brambles and stinging nettles! A bit of cutting back and control is planned.

Our front lawn is a blue haze. My Grandfather Ted Foulds brought the first wild violets here, seedlings from his garden. They spread over the whole plot, and I love them.

I’ve planted my sweet peas. The hazel rods are a bit ramshackle, but they’ll soon be covered with flowers. I planted seed in October. I’m growing old favourites: High Scent, Wiltshire Ripple and creamy white Mrs Collier, plus heritage varieties from Easton Walled Gardens .

Suddenly, these dog’s tooth violets pop up through cow parsley in the woodland. I forget I’ve planted them – and then they emerge. Sunshine on a cold, cloudy day. Erythronium Pagoda is the variety growing here.

Shining out from the shade, Tulip Purissima. Reliably comes back every year. Copes with everything the weather throws at it.

I grow Orange Emperor tulips in the daylily bed in front of the greenhouse. Another good do-er. Always comes up every year if planted deeply on a bed of grit for drainage.

Favourite shrubs in flower at the moment are daphne and quince. This one is Japanese quince, Chaenomeles Kinshiden. Double flowers open pale lime green and change to clotted cream as they age.

Pleased to see my plectranthus has survived the winter, tucked up in the greenhouse. A striking plant for summer containers. Easy to grow from cuttings.

There will be plenty of citrus fruit for summer preserves. This plant flowered all winter, filling the greenhouse with such a wonderful scent.

We do quite a bit of owl watching from the top of the garden. Delighted to report the barn owls and tawny owls have survived the freezing winter. We’re hoping they bring their fledglings into our garden again this summer.

Another cause for celebration. The hedgehogs- we think they are last year’s babies- also survived the cold, and have come out of hibernation, ravenous. They are doing a great job of clearing pests in the garden.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this slide show of my garden at the end of April and into the first week of May. Enjoy your Bank Holiday weekend. I’m hoping to spend some time just sitting in my favourite garden chair. If I can possibly ignore all the weeds growing rampant in the background!

Thanks to Helen Patient Gardener for hosting the EOMV. Why not go over and see how Helen’s garden looks at the end of April.

What are your plans for the garden over the coming weeks? Get in touch and let me know.

39 thoughts on “End of the Month View -April 2018

  1. Your posts always bring beauty !
    How awesome that you have barn owls! I love them.
    One of the main characters in a book that I co-authored is soon to be out and it centers around a barn owl, a Tabby cat and a Jackalope. 🙂 And yes this barn owl may be different than yours as it talks. LOL! Very outspoken in fact.

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    • Thanks Jessica. I’ve had the trees for about 10 years. I keep them in the greenhouse all winter, gradually drying them off and reducing the temperature down to 5 degrees. They flower all year round. Then in March I start to water again and I feed them every day. They will stand outside the greenhouse all summer. I never have to buy lemons or citrus for marmalade. The scent when you open the greenhouse door just hits you. Thanks for reading. Have a lovely weekend xx

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  2. Beautiful to catch glimpses of yellow (rapeseed?) through the cherry trees. And hedgehogs! We don’t have them here but I remember them fondly from my childhood in NZ. The citrus looks extremely healthy.

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    • Thank you Jane. We had oats in the back field last year and that was a golden backdrop to the garden. Must admit, it’s a very cheerful ribbon of yellow glimpsed through the trees, this year. Thanks for reading. Have a lovely weekend.

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    • Thank you. We took our garden chairs out and sat and watched the owls last night. The barn owl is silent as a ghost. And so agile for such a wide wingspan. We literally held our breath. Thanks for reading.

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  3. I loved your slide show SO MUCH. From that beautiful vase of forget-me-nots and cow parsley to the violet-covered lawn, hedgehogs, tulips . . . everything. You lead a charmed life of great beauty and wonder. Thank you for sharing it with us. ❤

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    • Thank you. You’ve made me laugh. You haven’t seen me when I come into the house, covered in mud and scratched from brambles and Stinging nettles! My plot is wild, and it’s getting wilder. Sometimes I think I should just let it revert to nature. Thanks for reading and for your kind comments. Enjoy your weekend 🙂 x

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  4. Lovely shots of your garden. It is such a wonderful time of year. Lucky you having hedgehogs, I haven’t seen one for years round here. Wonderful to have owls too. We had some baby tawny owls in a tall tree in the garden one year. They were so cute but they kept us awake all night screeching for food.

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    • Thank you Chloris. Isn’t it a great time of the year. Yes, those owls are ever so noisy. We have a tree right by our bedroom window and some nights they sit there screeching on and off all night. Then we can hear the other owls miles away across the fields calling back to them, so we lie there waiting for the reply. On a still night we can sometimes hear 4. Luckily it’s not every night else we would be wrecked!

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      • I made the mistake of planting a ‘Bouquet de Fleur’ bitter orange instead of a sour orange or another cltivar of bitter orange, and it is horrible! I have yet to find a use for it, although it is very pretty, with very fragrant flowers Both bitter and sour oranges are very rare here. I procured the bitter orange while I grew citrus in the earl 1990s. They are all so unique. Mine is used for perfume and to flavor liqueur. Others flavor tea. Some are used like sour oranges for marmalade. If I cold, I wold plant a ‘Seville’ sour orange.

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  5. I loved reading about your garden and seeing the photos. I wish everything in our garden were never-fail varieties. This morning, for the first time this year, I clipped some evergreens and dug up a few weeds. I’m not a born gardener, so I’m surprised to admit it felt good!

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    • Thank you for your kind words Anne. Same here. I am also not a born gardener, like my Mum is. She can make anything grow.and I spend too much time pottering about just turning over a leaf to look at the colour underneath, or admiring new shoots – when. I should be full-on tackling the weeds! I really could do with a small courtyard garden. But, for now I’ve got an acre and I’m slowly letting the corners go wild and just concentrating on keeping the middle bit around the house looking decent. Thanks again for reading. All the best. Karen x

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      • I was proud of myself for trimming a few things yesterday and digging weeds for the first time this season. Today I cut back low-growing evergreens that were crowding the phlox while muffins baked in the oven. I had only 20 minutes and finished that little job as the timer rang. If I did that every pleasant day, gardening would be easy. An acre sounds like an awful lot of territory. I would leave a few letters out of territory and call it terror.

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      • Thanks. You made me laugh Anne. I might yet rename it “terror.” After my initial panic and trying to dash in every direction at once, I’ve have settled into a more sedate 20 minutes on one project- and then a little break to do some cooking or writing. I can picture you gardening while the muffins bake. How lovely. Enjoy your day Anne 🙂 xx

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      • Today I ate a half breakfast and then went into the garden. You know one thing leads to another, and I could hardly stand up before staggering back to the house. I like your idea of spending a short time on one project. I probably should set a timer and make myself obey it. Avoiding burned muffins was a good incentive to quit yesterday.

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  6. Karen, your photos are magnificent. I love the jug with cow parsley and forget-me-nots. The scented daffodils with egg yolk trumpet I like a lot. Your pond seems beautiful to me with all the “weeds”. The front garden is wonderful and more for you, Karen, since your grandfather started it with the first wild violets. Now it’s a blue sea that I love. Karen you have planted your sweet peas in the garden now, I planted them a few days ago in the nursery. The dog teeth violets are really beautiful. Tulip Purissima I love the same as the Orange Emperor Tulips. The flowers of the Japanese quince are curious because of the change in color and very beautiful. The citrus flowers have a wonderful perfume and they are gorgeous. What a joy that owls and owls have surpassed the Winter! I hope they raise in your garden. Another celebration! Baby Urchins from last year are already cleaning garden pests. Karen is not surprised that your favorite chair is under a large tree that protects you and gives you positive energy. I love your garden, it’s beautiful. Many memories and love for your Mother. For you take care and love. Loving greetings from Margarita.

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