This Month

This Month April 2024 - Sunday, 31 Mar 2024

I cannot believe that it is already April, I don’t know where March has disappeared to. I will admit that I had a week away walking in Wales, although on some days it was more like bog snorkelling with mud oozing in over my boots.
It was hard getting back to work and I had to really work my socks off trying to catch up which was not helped by the ever soggy weather. I don’t know when I will be able to mow but I did strim some of the paths. While away I did accidentally buy some plants, two of these are lovely Rhododendrons. I bought Rhododendron Wine and Roses for the underside of the leaves which are a superb wine-red colour. Rhododendron stenopetalum Linearifolium has very narrow hairy leaves and fine pink flowers with narrow petals similar to the leaves, it is a low shrub and I am undecided where to plant it. There are a few others waiting to be planted out but not too many, at least not at the moment!
The spring colour around the garden is fantastic, I had quite forgotten how many lovely Camellias I had planted. It is just so frustrating that the weather has stopped me spending as much time in the garden as I would like, I am not a wet weather gardener.
The bundle of mixed bulbs which I planted in Autumn are popping up all around the garden and the older clumps of bulbs, predominantly Daffodils, are wonderful. I am pleased to see how well the Fritillaria meleagris (Snakes Head Fritillary) are spreading, so too are the Camassias and Martagon Lilies.
I think we have finished all the pruning but expect that I will spot a few that I have missed, some may be fine to prune late but others will have to wait until the autumn. I have already started writing a job list for next autumn and winter, some will be quite heavy jobs of things needing attention.
I had hoped to be a bit further ahead with the work by now but the most important thing is to crack on with the vegetable planting.
I have decided that the Garden Festival in aid of St. Michael’s Hospice on June 16th will be the last I do so please come along and have a great day out whilst supporting a very important charity. I would like to think of other ways to support the hospice without the stress created by organising an event. I shall still open in the future for the NGS charity as well as by appointment. If anyone would like to donate cake, jams or chutneys for the cake stall on the 16th June they would be gratefully accepted but the most important thing is to come and please pass the word to others.
As I write this it is my 1st NGS day of the year and it is wet so I do not know how many visitors there will be. People can still visit on other days but need to contact me beforehand to check if the garden is open as I close for random days here and there. I have had a few people turn up with the impression that it is a public garden, I don’t think they understood the difference between a public garden and a garden open to the public. They expected to be able to walk dogs and get in free. There is a strict no dog rule, it is a wildlife garden and dogs upset the wildlife so they are not allowed in.

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