Early Spring in my own garden

Early Spring is one of my favourite times of year with new foliage emerging and blossom on the trees. Early spring-flowering perennials are also valuable to start the succession of plants that will flower and fade throughout the spring and summer and into autumn and are useful to occupy spaces under deciduous shrubs.  Hellebores and Primulas are popular choices but I also love Pulmonarias as they are always buzzing with bees. As we move further into April the Forget-me-nots (which I have allowed to seed around the garden) create a carpet of blue. I do thin these out in the autumn otherwise they would swamp other more choice plants. Some of the lower-growing bulbs such as Anenome blanda also work well under or between shrubs, and I love to see the ferns unfurling in the spring.


Narcissi ‘Thalia’

Some Narcissi are still flowering well. I particularly like these double-headed white Narcissus ‘Thalia’ and I plan to add more into other areas of the garden this autumn.


Of the shrubs at this time of year I particularly like Amelanchier lamarckii with its white flowers and emerging bronze foliage. It is really a suckering tree but can be grown as a shrub and trimmed as required.

Also, Berberis darwinii ‘Compacta’ is a great evergreen for adding a hit of colour. The little combination here shows it with Libertia and a purple Aubretia.

In the kitchen garden,  the plum blossom is just finishing but I have seen bees collecting nectar so I am hoping for good pollination and a subsequent good crop of fruit. The apples, however are not yet unfurling their petals. I think the pinkish-white of apple blossom makes it the best of all the fruit blossom and am looking forward to the forthcoming display. Whilst it will be a few months before we can feast on these fruits, the rhubarb is just about ready.

I have been sowing salad and veg seeds for about a month and we have already harvested some radishes and salad leaves that were sown indoors, as well as some chard sown last autumn. We are also cropping purple-sprouting brocolli but you need patience for this as it needs to be sown in spring/summer to crop for the foll0wing spring. I usually go through my box of seeds every couple of weeks and sow a few of each crop to make sure I don’t get a glut. I have not sown any of the more tender crops,  such as runner beans, courgettes and cucumbers yet, as it’s still a bit cool for those.

There is always a job to do and having just finished the mammoth task of adding a layer of mulch to the garden (worth it though as it keeps the weeds down, water in, and improves the soil), I can now move onto other tasks. This week I will cut back (pollard) the Cornus which has had fantastic display of orange stems all winter.  This will ensure I get more next winter. I also need to plant my second early seed potatoes which have been chitting on the windowsill, deadhead the daffodils to make sure the energy  goes back into the bulb, and check all my potted plants to see if any need potting up or new compost adding, and adding a bit of general fertiliser.

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