End of month view of the Garden – April 2019
With thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener for originally hosting this meme.
April started and ended dry, very little rain fell except for a notable night when storm Hannah battered the region. It sounded like the house was in a car wash, but upon inspection the next morning I found that only 8mm of rain had fallen leaving the garden a dit damp but still needing a good soak.
You see the reason the garden needed a good soak is because I’ve been buying plants, there has been plant buying from mail order and plant buying from a few rather nice nurseries.
And what have I been buying I hear you ask… well I shall tell you…
Pulmonarias, loads of them.
I’ve come over all Pulmonaria lovey.
I’ve had a few in the garden along my fence border for quite a few years, and they’ve always done very well here, they are forgiving of my soggy winter soil with its clayey tendencies, they flower profusely each spring providing the pollinators with a source of nectar.
More recently the Hardy Plant Society has published a new guide to pulmonaria cultivation and I purchased a copy at last months AGM.
This handy little booklet has rejuvenated my love of these handy little plants, I’ve been seeking out online suppliers of these plants and making purchases.
My latest count has gone from my original 3 cultivars in the garden to a further 28. I have also joined the Pulmonaria Group of the Hardy Plant society.
I still have a couple more plants due to arrive any day, and in order to make space for all my new purchases I’ve been hard at work tidying and improving the soil along the fence border, as this is the best place for these new plants as it only gets minimal sun earlier in the day and remains in shade through the hottest parts of the day.
I’ve widened the border by removing more lawn, I’ve removed a feral patch of underwhelming Alliums, dug up and divided a large Hosta June, and potted up all the divisions for swaps, I’ve also dug out and potted up quite a few sizable bits of my Epimedium x warleyense ‘Orangekonigin’.
I went and purchased manure and organic soil improver from the garden centre which was on offer and forked this in and mulched along most of the border, I’ve planted out the biggest of my new Pulmonarias and soaked them several times using the hose to give them a good start as the rain has just not been sufficient. The smaller Pulmonarias I’m leaving in pots for a while longer until they bulk up a bit.
Another new planting that took place was a new Edgeworthia, my original Edgeworthia became a victim of the new shed build 12 months ago, (it was in the way), The new plant is a little small, and has already received crispy leaves from a night of low temperatures during April which caught me out before I could fleece it.
This should have been the month of the stunning Tulip display of my island bed, or as I’ve started calling it, the bed of despair…
Well it’s a display, although not the ‘stunning’ I was aiming for.
It should have been a mix of Orange Ballerina Tulips with Purple Dream Tulips, but the Ballerina has been a bit shy at appearing, and there is an inexplicable gap of tulip in the centre of the bed. I have dug up and divided my Kniphofia Bees Lemon, potted two bits and replanted two bits in a holding area at the very top of the garden, I will replant the best of the 4 bits back into the island bed in the autumn. In the gap it left in the island bed I’ve planted a piece of Peony Pink Hawaiian Coral which was a gift from Claire Austin Hardy Plants given to attendees to this years Garden Press Event in February.
I’ve also been potting on my potted Acer Palmatum’s and have placed the pots in shady areas throughout the garden, already the plants are coming into leaf and look very nice with the fresh foliage.
Further up the garden, behind my Island bed of despair there used to be a patch of lawn, but after last years shed removal and new shed being fitted by a firm, I used the patch of grass to home an incinerator the dispose of the old rotten shed, this doomed the grass, so I turned the area into an extension of a nearby border and now I have a bit of extra room for more plants .
This is the home for my new Edgeworthia, and I’ve been planting many of my Potted Hostas in various places through the garden, including Hosta Marmalade in this picture.
I will be attending various Flower Shows & Plant fairs to see if I can find anything really nice that I can fit in here.
In the greenhouses there has been a lot of seed sowing.
Flowers and Veg seeds have been sown, my Tomatoes are growing really well, this year I am growing a mixture of newly released modern F1 Hybrid types from seed catalogues, and Heritage seeds from the Heritage Seed Library.
My modern tomatoes are
- Super Mama F1
- Super Sauce F1
- Summer Last F1
- Lizzano F1
- Shimmer F1
- Patio Plum
Some of these varieties are windowsill types, and some are hanging basket types.
My Heritage Varieties are
- Blaby Special
- Iraqi Heart Shaped
I think I’ve got too many varieties as usual, but I always get carried away during seed sowing, I’ve not even gone into the many Cucumber Varieties that I have sown.
In the raised veg beds, I’ve got Carrot, Spring Onions, Beetroot and Radish Seeds sown.
My Downing Globe Yellow Heritage Onions from the Heritage Seed Library are growing very strongly, I am pleased with the rate of growth but I could do with a bit more rain sometime soon.
So far this month we have had very hot and dry weather, as I’ve stated, I’ve had the hose out several times to water plantings, and I’ve topped up a couple of water butts already.
We could do with some nice steady rain, preferably at night, and although I hate saying it, we could do with it soon. If not, It could be an interesting year to come.
Until next time, bye for now.