Gardener’s Corner: April 2024

Gardener’s Corner: April 2024

April is a fantastic month for colour in the gardens, everything is bursting into life and this year it is particularly early. As I write this at the end of March, it is still raining and the ground is still very wet but it has been incredibly mild with only a handful of frosts all winter. The apple trees within the Community Garden and in the allotments will all start flowering very soon. The early Crocus have made way for thousands of Tulips in the quiet garden. Tulip ‘Little Beauty’ with its strong and vivid pink petals and lavender eyes is planted on mass with the piercing Tulip ‘Red Shine’, whilst white Narcissus and bluebells add real diversity to the tapestry of April colour. In the arboretum, hundreds of blue Camassia (American bluebell) will be an impressive sight punctuated by the late pheasants eye daffodils. The rampart bank is a carpet of primroses and even better this year than last. The exotic tower border is planted for all year interest but in April the large Judas tree will add a large splash of pink to this part of the garden. On the hot wall is a large Sophora ‘Sun King’ with its bright and exotic yellow flowers, well worth planting in a sheltered spot.

In the gardens, we are preparing the borders by lightly forking and adding lots of compost and in places fertiliser too. It is a good time of year to reduce plants that spread like Aster and Macleaya which can be done as we fork over and aerate the borders. We also have some hedge cutting to finish, both yew and Euonymus. Jo and our team of Community Garden volunteers are busy sowing lots of vegetables and flowers and they have already planted the early potatoes. With the early warmth, the seedlings are growing into plants fast.

We look forward to welcoming you to the gardens throughout April.

James Cross, Head Gardener

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