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'Old friends' returning in April 2008


It wasn’t long ago when we were posting ‘white out’ wintry photos, yet all that seems soooo long ago now as I wander around my garden this weekend. The abrupt absence of frosty nights and the promise of still warmer ones to follow, has encouraged many plants to burst through. I find myself carefully clearing their mulch to give them a better view of the warm sunshine. But every day brings new surprises. Best of which belong to ‘old friends’ that were relocated last November and promptly forgotten about until they are viewed once again, albeit in their new location – stronger and promising even more in the summer.

The first agapanthus, a small white (Streamline, I think), is coming into flower as I write. But don’t worry! It’s not in the garden, having been forced under cover in order to provide early visitors to the gardens some surprising colour for April/May.

For cost reasons I cultivate my Bougainvillea through the winter at much lower temperatures than they prefer. So I’m always delighted when they begin to make an appearance for the new season. The various cultivars will flower continuously until I stop them to rest in November.

Primulas are regular stalwarts for any garden during April – even if the sparrows love to take the flower heads off!!!!!! Plants growing in my alpine house like ‘Ellis May’ below have no such problems and reward magnificently.

Pandorea is my earliest flowering climber each year and although the flowers are gone by mid-May I don’t mind because it has provided such a show for weeks beforehand.

Arabis is another plant that provides a regular show early each year and makes a change from ‘daffodil yellow’.

How about Incarvillea in April? This plant is awaiting regular warmer nights before being put out for early visitors to the gardens. It is one of many which I ‘force’, just as the Victorians once did, in order to ensure such plants perform at their best irrespective of the vagaries of our UK climate. – Take Wisteria for example. Compared with 2007, my wisterias are at least three weeks behind what they were last April.

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Lovely to see that things are springing back into life again.
We have a very large ,mature, Wisteria at the front of the house and it too is delayed this year as its been much colder than last year.
Best wishes,

21 Apr, 2008


Every spring I am always amazed to see everything come to life and how quickly it does it. I think that most gardeners here in the USA would also tell you that everything is 2 to 3 weeks behind. Personnaly I think that's OK as the growing season always goes by too fast.

22 Apr, 2008


Agreed. The unusually warm April of 2007 followed by a frosty May was a most damaging combo. I'm sure most prefer the colder April and the comparative 'delays' of this year.

For the past ten years 'my swallows' leave/depart on the same day +/- 48hrs, see my swallow photo. Least ways they will be if they don't arrive today (22/04). So fingers crossed. Summer would not be the same without my favourite birds!!!!

22 Apr, 2008


'My' dear swallows have returned! Just after 3pm today! It is SO GOOD to see them.

22 Apr, 2008

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