April garden plant maintenance

April garden plant maintenance in Wokingham and Maidenhead

Berkshire and surrounding areas

Exbury Gardens

April should be an exciting month for gardeners especially after the winter we’ve just had. Many shrubs display superb new foliage; for instance, Acer palmatum ‘Beni- Maiko’ shows rich pink colours as it unfolds, ideal in a part of the garden with dappled shade; Nandina domestica ‘Firepower’, a small evergreen shrub ideal for any border or container, produces amazing new foliage which starts as creamy-coloured, goes orange/red and finally turns hot pink! It is commonly known as ‘Sacred Bamboo’ but is actually a member of the Berberis family, only resembling bamboo in its appearance.

Grasses are a good addition to any garden and Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron’ takes some beating. It prefers well-drained soil and grows in full sun or partial shade. It has flat green leaves which quickly turn fiery red from their tips almost to their base leaves. Typically it grows to 40cms (15″). This grass always looks particularly good if placed in front of plants with gold foliage.

If you have a shady spot that needs filling, you can’t go far wrong with Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’. This herbaceous perennial produces rounded, heart-shaped leaves up to 20cms (8′) across which are silver with fine green veins. Brunnera grow sprays of small blue flowers and are therefore known as false Forget-me-nots due to their close resemblance.

And we can all look forward to magnificent displays from magnolia trees, rhododendrons and flowering cherry. A lovely dwarf Cherry which is ideal for any border or container is Prunus incisa ‘Kojo-no-mai’. It is covered with light red buds which open to reveal pink flushed red flowers, giving it the appearance of being smothered in confetti! This small shrub also has the added bonus of superb autumn colour, rivalling Japanese maples. A good early clematis which can cover a fence or wall or even be grown through an early flowering shrub is Clematis alpina ‘Columbine’ with its beautiful pale blue lantern flowers – blue is an uncommon colour in Clematis which makes this one worth considering.

Towards the end of the month, in mild areas, you may be able to plant up hanging baskets for the summer. Shrubs in containers will be growing now, so will need watering. It is also a good idea to give borders as well as containers a top dressing with a good fertiliser such as Vitax which also refreshes surface compost if it is looking tired.

This is the best time of year to make changes in your garden and Gardeneer can advise on suitable plants and design schemes, whether itís one small flower bed or a complete layout. Knowing which plants prefer sun or shade, acidic or alkaline soil or wet or well-drained spots is critical. From annual bedding plants and lawns to roses, shrubs and trees, the Gardeneer team can plant your garden and make it look exactly the way you want.

Gardeneer services don’t stop there: they provide a ‘one-stop service’ from design and plant selection right through to patios and driveways, built and completed. The Gardeneer team work with you all the way to ensure that you are delighted with the finished result. Why not give them a call now to discuss your requirements?

Jobs for April

  • Remove faded daffodil and tulip flowers, nipping off the head and seed pod 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
  • Feed your lawns: if you have a moss problem, use a feed combined with a moss control product and follow up with scarifying two to three weeks later
  • Start to plant summer flowering bulbs such as Lilies and Dahlias
  • Prune back any Dogwoods (Cornus), if you have not done it already, to 30cms (12′)
  • Put supports in place for any herbaceous perennials
  • Keep an eye out for the first signs of any aphids