This Month

This Month April 2015 - Tuesday, 31 Mar 2015

Every day in the garden is noticeably different at this time of year with some very interesting plants unfurling their leaves and coming into flower . The morning sun catches the new bright red leaves of the Cercidiphyllum (Katsura Tree). The Abeliophyllum distichum roseum (False Forsythia or Korean abelialeaf) is looking good with its pale pink Forsythia-like flowers. The meadow is bright yellow with massed Daffodils and the under planting in the shrubberies is in its finery with Hepatica, Corydalis and Erythronium.

New in the garden is Illicium simonsii, the name Illicium comes from a Latin word meaning “alluring” which seems rather obvious due to its superb yellow flowers and sweet fragrance, the largest species, Illicium vernum is the source of the spice “star anise”.

You may guess that we have recently visited a specialist nursery as also new in the garden is Edgeworthia chrysantha Grandiflora (Paper Bush), native to China and related to Daphne. Tight heads of small tubular golden yellow and white flowers, with a beautiful scent, cluster on the ends of bare branches.

Xanthorhiza simplissima (Yellowroot), a suckering shrub of just 8-28ins (20-70cm) for the dappled shade, with small star-shaped reddish-brown flowers, it has been used for dying and medicine.

Ardisia japonica Ito Fukurin (Marlberry), a variegated evergreen shrub of 8-10ins (20-30cm) with small white flowers in Autumn followed by red fruit, for semi-shade. Plus several other interesting species rarely seen in gardens.

I have continued to work on the area near the house around where we have placed a new seat. I have removed some of the lower branches from trees in the hedge and am under planting with dense shrubs such as Sarcococca hookeriana var. Digyna.

Other jobs now include the 1st mow of the year as soon as it is dry enough, more planting out, potting up and possibly splitting and moving a few herbaceous plants. Most importantly April is the time for planting a lot of the vegetables. I have put the majority of the Oca (New Zealand Yam) in pots until late May when I will plant them out along with the remainder of the tubers which are being planted straight into the vegetable beds and so will see which method produces the best crop.

I also hope to make a new seat for half way up the Lower Garden, there is one halfway down, yes I know that sounds odd but they are on different paths. I haven’t decided on materials or design yet but hope to get around to it soon.

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