April was characterised by a particularly crazy temperature range. The garden seemed stuck in winter still and nothing was really growing and I had zero desire to be out there.
Then suddenly the temperatures shot into the mid-20s and it was like we’d zoomed straight into summer.
The plants shot into life – the apple trees seemed to acquire both leaves and blossom within a few days.
The daffodils had been delayed flowering and were still around (mysteriously not many came up this year so I need to plant more this autumn) and the tulips decided they’d better get going.
The dicentra was another one that went from apparently dead lump of dried twig to leaves and flowers within the space of a week.
I took advantage of the brief week of warm (yes, it’s gone cold again since) to re-pot some herbs with fresh compost. The snow etc had killed the lavender so I bought another one at the local high street market. The peppermint had spread to the edges of the container leaving the middle empty so I chopped it up and potted some of it in the middle, disposing of the rest of it in the garden waste bin as I do not want mint taking over the garden. Bizarrely the chocolate mint is still growing happily in the centre of its pot so I didn’t need to do this one.
I had a few days off work before Easter and took advantage of LO not being around to get the garden sorted for spring. I aimed to do two hours a day, so I didn’t finish myself off in the process, but it seemed a reasonable amount of time in which to make some real progress. It did kind of work, although the weather forecast meant I did more hours some days, and spent more time indoors on the rainy days 😉
Here are the containers full of daffodils and pansies, with the sedums in front.
This is the garden showing the lawn and raised bed edging. I redid the lawn edgings which really helped tidy it up a bit.
This section I actually took the edge of the lawn back a bit. The convolvulus had sprawled over the edge of the grass, leaving an uneven patch of dead grass, so I took the edge back to encompass the whole of the dead bit, leaving a straight edge. Once the cowslips have finished flowering I’m going to dig them up, divide them and then spread them through the borders – the plants below self-seeded from just two originals.
These are the dead bits of sedum I cut back to make way for the new growth.
I also did lots of mulching around all the borders. These are the raspberry canes which were cut down to the ground in the autumn.
And finally the camellia has flowered! Everything has been so late this year because of the bad weather.
What changes are you making in your garden this year?
So, we did actually get some snow this year. Snow doesn’t happen that often in this part of the world, and when it does, there isn’t much of it. But the Beast from the East was on the way. And, well, this was it:
Yep, it didn’t even totally cover the grass.
You can see how it’s really deep here
Still, in many areas not that far from us, there was a lot more snow, so it did cause transport problems as trains run to and from those areas, points froze etc. My journeys to work were fine – I stuck to main roads and everything was gritted and clear – and LO’s nursery remained open, although the local schools ended up closing.
How much snow did you get?
It’s been a cold and windy February so far so, unsurprisingly, I haven’t been tempted outside to do any gardening! Just to keep the bird feeders topped up.
There are a few flowers appearing to brighten things up but I can’t wait until spring!
The snowdrops are over but some of the early daffodils are flowering.
The hellebores have looked amazing this year, although the flowers are quite hidden away so you only see them if you know they’re there!
A couple of camellia flowers have opened, although it’s mostly still just buds. This will be covered in flowers in a couple of weeks.
The cyclamen flowers are just about visible and the hyacinth leaves have appeared next to them. The hyacinths should flower just as the cyclamen are dying down.
Pansies in one of the hanging baskets. The daffodil leaves are beginning to appear alongside them.
Rhubarb beginning to emerge! Can’t wait until it’s big enough to pick and eat!
What’s your garden looking like at this time of year?
I’ve been doing some thinking about my blogging and have decided to make a few changes. I enjoy blogging – both writing mine (which has become a lot easier since moving to WordPress) and reading other people’s, but my time is much more limited these days, so I’m usually behind with reading blogs (having dramatically pruned the list I do read) and I rarely comment now. I ended up so behind with Garden at the Beginning of the Month posts that there didn’t seem much point doing it, but I like taking pictures of my garden through the year, so have decided to carry on and blog as and when. Ironically, this is likely to mean more pictures of winter gardening than the rest of the year, as the rest of the year I actually have to find time to fit the gardening in…
There are just a few pics I quickly took in the garden during January. The first snowdrops are beginning to appear amidst the raspberry canes.
My original plan of having something flowering in every month of the year has paid off – this is Sarcococca Confusa (Christmas bush) which has these funny little white flowers and a lovely scent, as well as berries for the birds to eat. I have planted this and the Daphne near our front garden wall, so you get a lovely waft of scent as you walk past on the pavement. I frequently stop with the pushchair when I’m on my way in or out and admire them!
Here are more flowers and another lovely scent on the Daphne Mezereum. Daphne is toxic which is why we planted it in the front garden, on the grounds that LO wouldn’t be there on her own so wouldn’t be trying to eat this plant. She is actually pretty good already at not eating plants.
Here’s one of the Hellebore I grew from seed before I had LO. These are tucked away in a corner so hard to see, but they like the shade down there and so do much better in this part of the garden. And the insects will be able to find them, which is the important thing.
And, finally, a winter-flowering pansy. I chose all yellow for the containers, and white for the hanging baskets last year, and am now thinking I’d rather they were brighter, stronger colours, such as red, as they all look a bit insipid.
What’s flowering in your garden in January? It is fairly mild here, we’ve had barely any snow.
The garden is beginning to look a bit autumnal, probably because of the sunflower drooping on the lawn!
First nineteen apples of this year’s harvest. These are Red Windsor from the half standard tree.
The Japanese Anenome is still flowering, although it’s getting harder to keep on top of the dead heading! That’s another sunflower drooping into it – we had storms, it made the sunflowers droop.
The red Pyracantha is always the first to get berries, followed by the orange and with the yellow a long way behind.
The non-Chelsea chopped sedum is beginning to flower.
Last few Alstroemeria flowers.
What signs of Autumn are there in your garden?