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Dealing with a milder Spring 2016

This is the month when your garden springs back to life! The mild winter means things are happening much earlier than normal. This is both good and bad news.

Starting with the bad news, early blooming plants will not bloom again (at their normal time). Pests and diseases, normally destroyed by frosts, will have survived over winter so watch out for anything unusual on your plants. Plants, such as fruit trees, blackcurrants and some perennials, such as Aquilegias, rely on cold spells to enable them to flower.

And the good news? Plants have been dealing with varied weather conditions for centuries and will adapt to fluctuating temperatures. The warmer weather means you can get gardening jobs done earlier than normal. If a cold spell does arrive you may get a bit of short term damage to your plants but they will normally recover.


Plants to look out for that are looking their best this month

Daphne Odora Aureomarginata is a medium sized evergreen shrub with beautiful small pink flowers in Spring. They have a beautiful scent.

All camellia varieties are stunning in March and April. Look out for ‘williamsii varieites such as ‘Donation’ with its clear pink flowers or Camellia japonica Adolphe Audusson with vibrant red flowers.


Things to do in the garden in April

  • Mow your lawn, initially on a high cutting level
  • Plant summer flowering bulbs (see last month’s article)
  • Feed your plants with either a natural fertiliser -chicken or horse manure; bonemeal; seaweed or compost, or an artificial fertliser such as Growmore. Spread sparingly using the recommended amounts.
  • Prune deciduous shrubs such as Hydrangeas, Buddlejas, Caryopteris and Fuchsias. Do not prune early flowering shrubs such as Forsythia and Ribes until after flowering
  • Dead-head winter flowering bedding plants
  • Sow annual seeds, in a greenhouse if its heated otherwise on a windowsill in the house. Alternatively order plug plants to cut out the sowing sowing process and guarantees a certain number of plants will grow on
  • Divide marginal plants in your pond if overcrowded
  • For summer and autumn colour fill gaps in your borders with perennials
  • Start planting vegetable seeds such as parsnips, carrots, onions, peas and salads

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  • “I approached Garden Blueprints with a selection of garden features that appealed to m e and which were to be incorporated into a design for a small garden space. The size was quite challenging.

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