April is the real start for the amateur gardener’s enjoyment. The spring flowers are in full bloom, the lawn has been cut a few times giving off that wonderful scent of fresh mown grass and the trees are coming into life with bright green clean leaves.
Spring beauty is relatively short-lived depending on the weather so to make sure that we enjoy the beauty of nature’s flowers into the autumn we need to start preparing and planning now.
We, like so many garden centres, have young seedling and patio/hanging basket plants available for you to get started. It is still very early in the season so keep your plants protected against the cold nights that we always have until the end of May in this part of the country. We can wake up to a glorious sunny day with no sign of the 3 degrees of frost that covered our garden at 4am in a beautiful white coat. Many customers bring me frost-damaged plants thinking it is some disease, so be warned.
To give you a late splash of spring colour after the bulbs have finished flowering and before it is time to safely plant summer bedding plants, look out for the relatively new plant “Senetti”. I have been growing it now since it was first introduced. This exciting new plant for late spring and early summer containers has a profusion of daisy-like flower heads produced on a tough bush plant with a compact habit and foliage. It will tolerate low temperatures outside but to be on the safe side cover with a blanket of horticultural fleece if a frost is forecast. The colour range includes pale blue, deep blue, magenta and bicolour. After flowering, cut back the top growth to approximately 1/3rd and plant grouped together in the garden, this will then give a second display of flowers come the end of July and August.
Your winter flowering pansies will be in full bloom now. To keep them flourishing for the next few months, spend a little time and take off the dead flower heads and give them a liquid feed with Miracle-Gro every two weeks. At the same time look out for greenfly, these will reproduce rapidly at this time of year and will quickly destroy plants, particularly if the plants are dry. At the first sign spray with a systemic insecticide such as Bug Clear Ultra and repeat as necessary.
ALWAYS READ THE LABEL AND KEEP GARDEN CHEMICALS SAFE.
Get the children involved with nature, bring them along to our beautiful waterside walk. See the birds and ducks, feed the fish and enjoy the unique Fairy Trial with lots of fairy homes among the wild flowers.