Spring seems to be a bit late in my garden this year. Perhaps I’ve got my rose-tinted glasses on but I’m pretty sure I usually have a load of bulbs in flower by now. My tulips are looking a bit anaemic at the moment and though there’s lots of green stems there aren’t many heads. Anyway while the bulbs may still be dormant we most definitely aren’t.

Last month James and I were really quite busy in our courtyard spending two consecutive weekends replacing our worn out fence with a rather fancy yet very inexpensive replacement and planting our four pleached hornbeam trees along the right hand side of the garden in front of the fence and wall. Yep, those four spindly things nestled next to the hose pipe with funny canes coming out of the top are our new trees.
I did a lot of research to make sure these trees were suitable for planting so close to the house and also wanted to make sure they’d offer privacy too. It’s going to be a couple of years before these beauties reach their full potential (and the end of the month before they get their green finery) but they were three times cheaper than their fully established columnar big brothers. They don’t look much now but hopefully they’ll do us proud in a few years.
Adam took these photographs halfway through March just before the bulk of the work took place. I wouldn’t want you think these images show how the completed fence looks! It’s great to have some progress shots to remind us how far we’ve come. On another note my friend is currently having a large extension done and is taking a photo a day from the same location to build a time-lapse video of their progress. I think this is a genius idea. Anyway I digress.

This month we’re tackling lighting. Luckily we inherited a rather impressive lighting network in our garden. I’m not quite sure how I feel about my plants being lit up by green and red lights but we do have some strategically placed spots beaming their rays over the garden. I’ll be changing the vivid coloured lights for warm white bulbs and we also hope to get another uplighter added in too so both sets of trees can be lit up.

The area you see in the top right hand corner of the garden is currently set to become an outdoor bar area. This implies we’ll be having optics and cocktail shakers up here so perhaps it’s a rather optimistic way to describe what will hopefully become another seating, storage and lounging area. It’s currently too dark to enjoy this little plot so I’d like to get the electrician to add in an industrial wall light here and have ordered a galvanised steel outdoor light from Cox and Cox.

We’ve got a busy month planned socially so not too sure if we’ll manage to tackle the need to resurface the area around the new ‘bar’. While the majority of the garden is flagstones or cobbles, this space currently has a thin layer of chipped slate and a visible piece of weed control plastic so needs replacing. It may be a job for next month instead though with the lighter evenings I’m hopeful we can make a start.

Enough about me, here’s what the rest of you should be tackling in your own gardens in April.

  • If you didn’t get round to it last month then get on top of the weeds before they start their attack on any spare bit of soil
  • Deadhead daffys and tulips as soon as the flowers feed but resist the urge to cut off the leaves so they can replenish for next year
  • Add a general purpose fertiliser to plants. Apply a mulch of well-rotted compost around 2 inches deep around your shrubs to suppress weeds, reduce the need for watering and improve soil texture
  • If you’re into your veggies then now’s the time to sow direct carrots, peas, beetroot, winer cabbage and broccoli as well as salad crops
  • Providing it’s not still baltic at the end of the month, the last weeks of April are usually a good time to plant out sweet peas too
  • Most importantly don’t forget to grab a cuppa and sit in the afternoon sun looking ahead to the warmer weather. Bliss.