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In the Garden This Month
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April is the spring riot of colour when anything goes in the garden! Nature brings together the yellows, creams and oranges of mid season Daffodils, with the more gaudy colours of early Tulips as they mingle in borders, not yet colour coordinated as they tend to be later in the gardening year. Wallflowers shout the odds with their vibrant blooms that are scented of black cherry conserve whilst Forget Me Nots froth and foam anywhere that they have seeded from previous seasons in cool blues, white and baby pink.

As the temperature increases, trees and shrubs stir into life and unfurl their leaves, creating a backdrop of fresh greens, reds and tawny browns. The closing canopy of trees is the signal for many shade loving plants to begin growing and flowering to make the most of the light before it is cut dramatically. Herbaceous perennials that include Brunnera, the perennial Forget Me Not and Dicentra, also known as Bleeding Heart or Dutch man’s Breeches appear from their rootstocks it seems overnight, to flower in the dappled shade of a dry border. Hostas begin to uncurl their heart shaped leaves from spear like leaf buds that make a strong vertical accent at the front of a damp, shady border.
Beech woods will paint a dramatic picture now. Young leaves of lime green light up the trees and Wood Anemones may carpet the floor, contrasting with the deep green leathery leaves of Ivy. Bluebells will be in tight bud and may start to flower in favoured spots towards the end of the month. On a still day their heady scent can be almost overpowering when they carpet the ground in a dense blanket.

Winter migrants including Fieldfares and Redwings leave this month and are replaced by summer visitors – many Warblers, Swallows and the Cuckoo are arriving now. Listen carefully and you may hear the distinctive ‘cuckoo, cuckoo’ call that gives this iconic bird it’s name, along with the chattering call of Swallows and the harsher call of House Martins as they go about the business of renovating old nests or building new ones.

During milder weather, early Butterfiles that include Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells and Speckled Woods will be seen warming their wings in the gentle spring sun, as well as feeding from early flowers that include Aubretia, Primroses and Honesty.

Not sure what to do in the garden this month? Try our April Jobs List
Looking to plant bulbs and seeds in April? Read our Spring planting guide