April: it's time for our gardens to really get going
If March was the month that provides the transition from winter to spring, April is undeniably the time when our gardens really start to get going. Sure, we’ll probably have a few more cold nights, but we’ll also continue to have the wonderfully clear and bright mornings that late March so often brings. The birds will sing, the blossom will…well, blossom… and all will be well. Sounds idyllic doesn’t it? And it is, but April is also a month that brings with it a host of jobs in our gardens.
This month's star plants
After the comparative drabness of winter, April is a month for colour. Fruit trees burst into bloom, with ornamental cherries and crab apples providing fabulous displays. The blossom from the flowering cherries is simply wonderful, and the display from the crab apple Malus ‘John Downie’ is stunning and rather less demanding of space. Colour is also provided by some of our shrubs, notably the young red foliage of Photonia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’, and the last remaining flowers (and wonderful scent) of the season from Viburnum x burkwoodii.
Spring bulbs are still performing as well, with Tulips and Fritillarias taking their turn to show. But perhaps the biggest stars of spring are the herbaceous perennials. Not for flowers, for few are providing a display this early, but rather for the mass of fresh green shoots and leaves that offer so much promise for the months to come.
This month's garden jobs
I said earlier that this month can be busy, but devoting a bit of time to our gardens over the next few weeks really well pay dividends as the year progresses. Essentially, our task in April is to give our gardens the best possible start to the season, and this comes down to cleaning, tidying, and feeding. Keeping on top of the inevitable weeds is important, and removing any remaining debris from the winter is also essential. Weeding and tidying are hardly the most inspirational tasks, but they do provide an excellent opportunity to get ‘up close and personal’ with our gardens and really see what’s going on.
Borders and lawns will benefit from a spring feed. I try to garden organically, and there are numerous organic fertilisers available at the garden centres, but few commercial products are better for mixed borders than a good mulch of ‘home-grown’ compost. If you’ve never kept a compost heap before, why not try this year? It is a really easy and rewarding thing to do- better for our gardens and better for the environment because any kitchen peelings won't end up in landfill.
Tythorne Garden Design provides professional fixed-fee garden design solutions for customers in Grantham, Stamford, Newark and surrounding areas. Let's see how we can help you to enjoy your garden more. Call us on 07900 224 239 or 01529 455 355.