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Tuesday 11 April 2023

This Month in your Garden – April

No rain, no flowers.” Haruki Murakami

We have certainly been getting our fair share of rain, but the rewards are plentiful with a good showing of dwarf irises, daffodils and some early tulips in pots. March seemed to cling on to winter cold and there remains the chance of frost in many areas, so tender plants like Azaleas still need our protection.

The really cold spell earlier in the year appears to have taken its toll on a number of plants for many people. A Phormium Veneer (New Zealand flax) that withstood a number of winters seems unlikely to recover. A call to the garden centre for a replacement reveals they lost a number of theirs too. The same can be said of some hebes, both in the ground and containers. 

A mature Ceanothus (California Lilac) is browned and sad-looking but close inspection shows signs of possible recovery so it’s on the wait and observe list. It’s a shame April begins with a damage report and a tally of replacements, but there’s much else to do and be enjoyed. There are Buddleia, Hydrangea and Leycesteria to be pruned. Hardy annual seed can be sown for colourful summer borders and cut flowers. There are hardy perennials to propagate and alpines to be planted. 

Then there’s the good old weeds which need hoeing and borders to be mulched to keep them at bay. Bark chips will do that as well as help retain moisture in the drier months. The lawns need mowing and attention to moss, thatch and, as we said last month, any damage repair by patching and overseeding.

  • Prune evergreen shrubs, topiary, willow, dogwood and hardy fuchsia
  • Trim hedges
  • Deadhead daffodils or remove stems to stop seed heads forming
  • Top dress the ground around roses with a rose and shrub fertiliser 
  • Plant out pansies, violas and sweet peas that have been hardened off
  • Lay daffodil leaves flat for six weeks after flowering until they go brown before cutting them or lifting the bulbs

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