Wednesday, 1 May 2013

April - All's well that ends well!

April is generally the month Scottish gardeners call spring and although this year it got of to a rather slow start, as was apparent at the time of my last post it ended pretty much as I could have hoped.  April showers have not been as they would in a normal April but we can't have it all, can we?

The majority of my gardening time takes place in the afternoon, this is due to my working hours.  I feel that this month, especially, I have been able to take full advantage of the bright sunny days we have been experiencing.  The garden thermometer has been gradually rising this signals time for my winter gardening attire to have it's last spring wash and is now packed away for the foreseeable!

It was 3 years ago work began on the garden and now that some of the plants are entering their 3rd year, I am filled with hope that those that survived and thrived should look at their best this year.  3 years ago my garden consited of a large square lawn, a square of gravel chips and a large square deck.  Surrounded mostly by old rotten fencing - the gales in March 2011 and January 2012 soon saw the back of them.  I finally put the last remaining trellis tops on the fence that edges the sunny side of the garden - phew, as she wipes her brow!
I have, single handily removed and replaced all the fencing.  No, I am not blowing my own trumpet - budget restraints meant that I'd rather not hire someone in to do it.  Money wasted on labour is less money to be spent on plants, right?  I'm more than capable and it's the kind of work I love doing!  My neighbours in adjoining properties are either local authority tenants who have no interest in maintaining their boundary fencing or in the case of Dave (to the left)  and Nick (over the back) - completely and utterly useless at DIY.  Their share of the work was disposable of the old wood - which, even now, lies in heaps at the rear of Dave's garden.  Not that I worry about that - I can't see it anymore!

As most of my shrubs are barely waist high, they have yet fill out and reach a maturity that shows them at their best,  I find that because of this I tend to appreciate the beauty of the 'little things' around at this time of the year and I suspect for a good while yet.

Lets take a look around.......              

Yellow daffodils are all new to the garden, planted last autumn or bought in bud recently.  I have always been hesitant of planting yellow daffodils in the garden.  Personally, I am not a big fan but my increased garden blogging and on line gardening time has seen me appreciate their spring colour more.  The ones I chose are all smaller varieties and have quite grown on me (excuse the pun)!  Narcissus Jet Fire, Rip van Winkle and Tete a Tete.
Narcissus 'Thalia' however, is a different matter - I just adore these.  They tick all the boxes. Scented, multi-headed, pure white and have in previous years blooms for in excess of 2 months - what's not to like.  I grow these in containers and this year - they are destined for the borders, where I hope they will be very happy! Another white daffodil 'Tresambles' is full of buds but not quite there yet.


Tulipa humilis Persian Pearl are the only Tulips that don't grow in containers.  Generally my soil is not as light and free draining as tulips require.  These, however, have coped well and come through last year's wash out!
They grow in a gravelled area and add a bit of punch in the gravel bed now that the Iris retics have gone over.

Primulas are now coming into their own, I do have a bit of a thing for Primula - luckily they grow well in my garden, which always helps, doesn't it?  Over the forth coming months, there will always be a Primula of some sort flowering - a topic for a future blog, me thinks!  In a normal year, our native 'primula vulgaris' will generally throw up the odd flower throughout the year but won't really put on a show until March but this year being so far behind it has taken until April.  I apologise for so many pictures but I didn't want to miss any out.
Primula denticulata (drumstick) Cashmeriana always first to flower
     
Primula veris (cowslip) grows under a golden Physocarpus


Primula Don Keefe

Primula (unknown)

Primula vulgaris Innisfree

Primula vulgaris Drumcliffe
My newest addition - yet to find a home in the garden
Primula maximowiczii
I have found this spring that the Dicentra spectabalis is very slow - both white and red are miles behind the normally later Formosa and Eximia, some are barely above the surface of the soil, yet King of Hearts and Luxuriant are almost ready to flower!  Dicentra cucullaria, awaits a permanent home.  A couple of losses Persicaria Red Dragon, Kirengeshoma and Rhododendron Taurus.  The later has now been removed completely.  It has suffered Cushoin Scale for the last couple of years and it's becoming a chore to keep on top of.  Opportunities for new planting in the border it came from though!   Persicaria and Kirengeshoma are presumed dead!  The Kirengeshoma I was kind of expecting but the Persicaria should have had no problems with winter at all!  My large Cordyline australis has come through winter having been wrapped like an Egyptian mummy for the last 6 months.  The foliage leaves a lot to be desired but I'm glad it's alive!

Other April blooms
I end with a bit of optimism for May - someone forgot to tell this Peony that everything else in the garden is at least 1 month behind.


Thank you for joining me as I record my April garden, these monthly look backs will provide a useful reference tool for me.  If you want any further information on any of the plants I have growing, please, where I have provided a link - is a more detailed profile and my findings on growing here in Scotland.  

Helen over at The Patient Gardener hosts an end of month review meme.  If you are interested on what's been going on around the world this April, please pop over and join in!

45 comments:

  1. Loved reading your blog. Especially admire your primulas. I traveled to Edinburgh for the first time last July...hope I get to visit again!

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    1. Thank you Marian - yes Edinburgh is a lovely city, I'm sure you will visit again!

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  2. What a lovely collection of primulas you have, I have noted down the names :-) I agree that white daffodils are beautiful, I got some last year too. I have had some casualties this winter too, I should probably make a post about it but I am still waiting for some to emerge, I do wonder if my dahlias have survived, I don't lift them, they have lived in the ground for 8 years - but never had a winter like we just had...and finally, my paeonies have taken off like a rocket too! I think I will have flowers just about normal time, the only one of all, everything else is very late.

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    1. Helene, yes, this winter has certainly been unlike one I can remember. I hope your Dahlias have survived. It would be a shame to have to replace them all. Garden is playing catch up now!

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  3. You sure do have a lot of beautiful blooms!
    I especially like the Persian Pearl Tulips. Such a wonderful color combo.

    I'm glad you liked my Thistle photo. Interesting to know that it is your national flower. The problem with it here (besides those sharp thorns) is that it can infest a pasture taking space and nutrients away from grass needed for horses and cows.

    Happy Gardening!
    Lea
    Lea's Menagerie
    Mississippi, USA

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    1. Thistles sure are jagged Lea - as much as they our national flowers, they are also considered a weed!

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  4. I enjoyed your garden tour very much. I understand your garden is only 3 years old, and you did all the fencing yourself. Great! You have a wonderful variety of plants, love all the different Primulas.
    I wish you some rain, some sun, moderate warm temperatures and happy gardening!

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    1. Janneke, we've had some rain which has made a heck of a difference.

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  5. Well done on your fencing, big achievement. I love your primulas, I too have a weakness for them. Thanks for joining in this month.

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    1. I think primulas are a good one to get a bit of a thing for, especially as they are so easy to care for!
      Thanks for hosting - another meme I intend to have a regular post for.

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  6. Lovely blooms going for you. You have some wonderful Primula choices planted out there.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. Thanks Cher. I bet your Hostas are all looking marvelous by now!

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  7. Angie you have a lot of beautiful blooms in your garden, I like the primula vulgaris innis free with it's dark foliage, I love white narcissus, I too do my own landscaping, I 'treated' myself about 5 or 6 years and paid some to do some fencing, it has been badly done, I did a better fence myself at my previous home, well done you, Frances

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    1. That's another reason I do it myself Frances!! Glad you liked my plants. I hope the weather has been good to you up there.

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  8. Your words are as much fun as your flowers...and your flowers are spectacular. We Pacific NWterners are usually complaining about the rain clear through June, but this year we are complaining for lack of it, and it's only the beginning of May. Who says the weather is a boring subject?

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    1. Ricki - not a good idea to complain about lack of rain but sometimes we just can't help ourselves can we?
      Look what happened here in the UK last year. Hosepipe ban - complete summer wash out!!!!

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  9. It's lovely to see the different flowers in your garden at the moment. Well done for removing and replacing the fence. I'm amazed by the amount of daffodils I've seen still out in May; everything is still so late here.

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    1. Wendy, we have masses of Daffs planted around the village and they are only just now looking at their best. Hope it all catches up!

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  10. You certainly have lots of lovely flowers in your garden, especially your primulas, they grow well for me too, so now I'm sowing seeds to make lots more. The plants seem determined to catch up and are all flowering at once now.

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    1. Pauline, I've not tried seeds yet, I really should!
      Yes, they are all very determined.

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  11. That Narcissus 'Thalia' is definitely a winner. Also, I love the Primula denticulata, both the shape and color. I would not have guessed it was a primula.

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    1. Thalia is a winner Jason, if I can only recommend 1 it would be this! Primula denticulata certainly earn their keep in spring. They clump up in such a short time too.

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  12. I love Thalia daffodils, too. And your tulips are just gorgeous. I love the way you have them growing in the gravel. Maybe the peony knows that spring arrived slow, but it here to stay. The third year in the garden - should be wonderful!

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    1. Holley, the remainder of the peonies have just take off this week. There are a few with no buds which has disappointed me. My own fault though, I moved them at the wrong time of year!

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  13. Lots blooming in your new garden. I only have a few tulips that grow due to my clay...hopefully in the future as I amend the soil more, I may get the tulips to bloom and come back.

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    1. Donna, they don't grow well in my garden either. Clay not the problem, the soil just doesn't dry out and the bulbs rot!

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  14. Thanks so much for stopping by my wee spot in Blogland ~ I appreciate the visit!
    Your blue "drumsticks" are delightful ~ and your primroses are such amazing colors; it ALL looks beautiful!
    Happy Spring Springyness from a fellow 40 something from across the pond! :)))))

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    1. Melody, you are welcome and thank you for coming too visit here :) Thank you for liking all my primroses, I'm very fond of them :)
      Happy Spring Springyness to you too!

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  15. Primulas Angie, one of my favourites, you have quite a variety of them in your garden. Have a great weekend.

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    1. Thanks Karen, I always seem to come home with at least one when I visit a GC :)

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  16. Hi Angie,

    Ohhhh I do love your black leaved Primula with white flowers!!! How very lovely :)
    Your Peony really is going for it, hopefully you'll have blooms soon enough :)
    I lost one of my Dicentra - I bought myself another King of hearts last year as I much prefer its ferny foliage to that of the spectablis. Oh well. But yes I agree that they do seem to be behind and curiously enough the one in my north front garden is coming into bloom but my white and pink in the back are well behind it. I'd have expected it to be the opposite??

    There has been a lack of rain this month - I'm constantly watering the pots and anything newly planted in the borders. I recently noticed a large crack in one of the slopes too... It is getting very dry.

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    1. Liz, King of Hearts is a cracker, one of my summer favourites. It blooms for sooooooooo long!
      Had the hose and the watering can out myself quite a bit. I'm being too cautious about over watering I think.

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  17. Nice to see that spring's there in the Scotland. The colours are simply wow!

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    1. Thank you Ajeet - everything is very lush too now we've had a bit of rain.

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  18. You are certainly 'getting there' as you put it. You have really come along way in three years and your garden is stunning.

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    1. Roger, thank you ever so much. Coming from someone with your experience that is a real compliment.

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  19. Hi Angie! Lots of very lovely healthy looking plants there! i love your primulas too! Really great to see what's happening in your garden :) I love a good nosey!

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    1. It's nice to look around other folks gardens, isn't it Anna - I'm finding lots of inspiration from doing so!

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  20. I also have something for Primula. If it were possible, I was going to collect all the primulas and grow them in the garden. But the hardy ones are so difficult to find here.

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    1. KL, is there not a specialist near you? Perhaps try buying online, you might find a bigger selection. There are many different primula that are extremely hardy and the pollinators love them!

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  21. Love those dark leaved Primulas, especially Inisfree.

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    1. Thanks Bridget - it's gorgeous isn't it! I'm very pleased with these new ones :)

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  22. Gorgeous Spring blooms there, Angie. I think I'm going to treat myself to some of those Rip Van Winkle narcissus. I keep seeing them everywhere and they are so pretty. I agree, Thalia is wonderful. I have a few, but hope to add more over the coming years. I love the splash of white they add to the scene.

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    1. Paula - they are smashing wee daffs. Now transplanted to a permanent home in the garden. White in the garden is a colour I often get wrong and looks out of place but I'm hoping as I gain experience I will get better at it!

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  23. Sono bellissime quelle primule con la foglia scura! Anche le altre! Qui è piuttosto complicato coltivarle, in estate soffrono il caldo :)

    Complimenti per le bellissime immagini primaverili! :D

    Un saluto!

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