Spring colour in the garden
At last there is colour in the garden with pink and white blossom on trees. There are more colours too with blue hyancinths and yellows from wild spring flowers like celandine and the bellwether forsythia. Another sign of Spring is the magnolia, so if it’s like April 2020, the weather will be wonderfully spring like and warm.
Get out there and stab your lawn to by using a garden fork. This process reduces compaction, increases surface drainage and improves root health. The other beneficial result is it is more energetic than going to the gymn – even if we are allowed to! Then if you are still standing, rake out the thatch and moss and add the manufacturers recommended dose of chemical. Nowadays you buy it in a packet as a three in one mix of weed and feed plus moss control. Remember to keep the grass long enough – about an inch tall – to enable the grass to take in the rain and sun. If you cut it too short, the only winner will be moss.
If you’re short of time and/or inclination, don’t forget that a Gardeneer team can take care of your lawn as well as help you with the multitude of garden tasks that need doing at this time of year. Gardeneer teams can tidy up (taking the debris away), design an old or new garden. We also advise on plants and can build a new patio for the summer (or clean your old one). Then there are the fences which have taken a bit of a pounding in the squalls.
Wildlife friendly gardening
Sustainable and wildlife-friendly spaces are becoming ever more important, whatever size the garden. Climate change and the loss of bio-diversity are not helping but we can all do eco bit to help in our own gardens. Allocate a small space for Meadow plants and a shallow pond to attract insects and maybe even frogs and newts.
Colour in your garden
Many shrubs give superb displays as their new foliage emerges. Acer palmatum “Beni- Maki” has beautiful, rich pink colours as its new foliage unfolds, ideal in part of the garden with dappled shade. Nandina domestica “Firepower” is a small evergreen shrub ideal for any border or container. It produces truly stunning creamy-coloured new foliage which then turns orange/red and finally hot pink! It is commonly known as “Sacred Bamboo” but is actually a member of the Berberis family, and only resembles bamboo in its appearance.
Another early spring-flowering shrub found in gardens is Ribes Sanguineum “Pulborough Scarlet”, commonly known as flowering redcurrant. Again, like Forsythia, wait until it has finished flowering before pruning out the old wood. This is identified by the stems being blacker in appearance. Prune them out, right down to their base as this helps prevent Ribes becoming old and woody with flowering performance dropping dramatically.
Jobs in the garden for April
- Remove faded daffodil and tulip flowers, nipping off the heads and seed pods at the same time.
- Deadhead pansies, primulas and other spring bedding plants. Pansies will carry on into the spring and even to early summer, if attended to frequently.
- Remove tired winter bedding and plants that did not survive the winter.
- Check that self-seeded forget-me-nots aren’t smothering other border plants. Pull out plants if necessary.
- Hoe borders to prevent annual and perennial weeds from spreading and seeding themselves.
- Bulbs coming up in the rock garden or in containers may benefit from overhead protection from the rain.
- Feed borders with a good fertiliser
- Pots and tubs benefit from topping up with fresh compost. Old compost can be removed and replaced with new material to your a depth of 5cm (2in) if there is not much room for topping up.
- Buy fresh potting compost from your local garden centre and store it in a cool dry place in preparation for the season ahead.
- Water butts are a worthwhile investment for the season ahead. Position them under a downpipe to make the most of rainfall.