Gardener's Almanac: April 2016

So after a very wet winter the garden is blooming with the abundance of Spring. The daffodils have come and gone, replaced by first-round tulips.
 The lavender, which tends to look like a crusty sea dog throughout the winter, is coming back and one even has some new blooms.
 The wee communal patch behind the house is, I'm happy to report, doing well.  The maple tree & bulbs I planted last Autumn have survived through the winter storms and have new growth.
 The container at side of house is also doing well.  My hope is that the Boston Ivy in it, a self climber, will cover that side wall.  Boston Ivy changes colour in the Autumn and I've always been enchanted by it.
I've sown the first vegetable seeds (courgette, sweet corn, mixed lettuce and peas) in the front veg plot although the night temperatures are still dipping low, so we'll see if they take.  Some of the lilies are starting to come up which is fab.  I moved most of them after they stopped blooming last summer and hope their new home, with more sun, will suit. The peonies are interesting so far.  The larger one seems to be having a slow start while the smaller one, that hasn't been a great producer in past years, is absolutely thriving. 
 There's new growth on the fuschia's I potted last summer, which is fab.  I'll be delighted if they come back this year.
I'm happy with the winter jobs that were completed this past year, namely painting the back wall, varnishing the wooden fence, scattering chicken poop pellets all over beds & pots to improve soil quality and replacing any gaps in the anti slug copper tape around the veg beds.  The change is huge and painting the wall white has actually resulted in pulling much light into the kitchen which faces it.

The winter planter boxes are holding their own throughout the spring, which is an added bonus.  If anyone's looking for something that blooms through the winter, or something that adds variety and colour, I can highly recommend heuchera.

 New leaves on the dwarf apple trees promise a good start while the white cherry blossom tree in the back garden is in full bloom.

The next jobs will be sowing seeds in the back veg plot (cabbage, leeks, pumpkins) and preparing some anti-slug cylinders (bog roll tubes, wrapped with copper tape) for sunflower seeds.  Happy growing, gach duine!


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