'Stealth' is this month's word - all sorts of flowers have opened in the blink of an eyelid and the month has evaporated just as quickly. The first floral find of the month was away from home in Cumbria where I was delighted to come across this bone china cup and saucer for sale in a charity shop. It's one of a set of 'The Flower Of The Month' series manufactured by Royal Albert. I have a few mainly cups featuring other months of the year. Himself also came across a book of Lakeland walks which together with the china cost the grand total of £3! I'm still quite understand the connection between April and the sweet pea but there you go.
April here like as in most of the country has seen more sunshine than usual. The down side has that is has been extremely dry and not good planting weather. It's ending more true to form with some decent deluges during the last couple of days, so I'm hoping to to do some work soon in the gabion border which you can see below.
|Spot The Dandelion!|
Wildlife has been interesting this month but not always appreciated. My varied selection of sweet peas were decimated before they even germinated. I made the mistake of forgetting to put a propagator lid on the root trainers, resulting in nearly all the seeds being eaten by some furry little creature. We were away when this happened so it was particularly galling to rush to my greenhouse on return to discover the remains of seed cases littering the compost. Another lot has gone in but germination has not been brilliant with 'Beaujolais' being a complete no show.
Elsewhere a wren has decided to nest amongst my collection of pots of special snowdrops. I would normally be quite happy to welcome such a home builder but with it being so dry I've been worried about the plants not getting water. Himself being more pragmatic assured me that nests do get wet, so he used the hose with a fine mist attachment to water and hopefully neither bulbs or bird suffered. In other bird news we've had a moorhen visiting most evenings. Sometimes there are a pair of them so maybe a nest is nearby. They perch in the branches of the willow but look most uncomfortable doing so.
At the allotment there has been the usual endless tedious weeding. The weeds have been thriving in the warm weather. There are encouraging signs in the shape of strawberry flowers and the fruiting berries such as gooseberries are already showing fruits in the making. Sadly a midweek visit gave cause for concern as it looks as if one of the apple trees have been frosted. Two lots of spuds have gone in along with shallots. We've also replaced two of the raised beds that himself built when I took the plot on as the wood had rotted in places. There are plans to replace one more later in the year as well as install two new beds. We have chosen ones that will be easy to pick up and transfer in the future should I give up the allotment.
|My April Pride And Joy - Malus x robusta 'Red Sentinel'|
I have been however active on the plant buying scene I'm pleased to report. Two plant fairs have come along this month so I've made the most of it. I've bought so many that I can't remember what they are but no doubt they will be revealed in the fullness of time!
With many thanks to Helen over at 'The Patient Gardener's Weblog' ,who enables us to chronicle our monthly retrospective thoughts and views. It's much appreciated.