March/April 2021: garden diary

Well, at long last, after around a year’s work on and off, I finally completed the conversion of the Amazonian tangle of brambles, ivy, tree roots, and general vegetative mayhem into what may pass as a vegetable patch. The ornamental gravel has made a massive difference.


veg patch 2

veg patch 3

veg patch 4

veg patch 5

veg patch 6

veg patch 7

Here’s a snapshot of part of the project half way through …

The sprouting broccoli (six plants) are currently producing a glut of delicious sprouts, while the spinach and Swiss chard have been available all through the winter. 





Very pleased to report that our two small, first year pear trees, just sort of “thrown in” against the back wall of the summerhouse, have produced quite a lot of blossom, which bodes well for fruit during the summer.  More news later.





Meanwhile the eating apple and Bramley (see above) cooking apple trees, which didn’t do very well last year, are both absolutely covered in blossom. We’ve often had apples in previous gardens but I reckon this is the best show of flowers I’ve ever seen. Next question: how many baby fruit will we lose in the June fall?



Mahonia are providing vibrant yellow highlights in various places around the garden. The one shown above was left in when I cleared the ground for what we’re calling the Ivy Tree border.

I never really think of Laurel as a flower-producing shrub … but look at this! “They look like candelabra!”, said Lynn.




This flowering currant (Ribes Sanguineum, I believe) is a very pretty specimen and adds early colour in the Spring …



… while the Forsythia in the hedge seems to be taking up more and more territory and is certainly a striking asset in lighting up the path. 

bay tree blossom

Who’d have thought that a Bay tree could produce flowers? I’ve certainly never seen them before. Not exactly spectacular … not so far, anyway … but an unexpected bonus from a bush which makes regular contributions to our stews!

bt border 1

In the Bay Tree border, things are getting a bit wild. But that’s okay – we’re letting things grow, to see what happens, with a mix of (so far) Alpine strawberries, forget-me-nots, various ground covering plants (some variegated) and – there in the middle – our one and only paeony. We’ll probably add some Cosmos (direct sowing) and a wild flower mix, as well as some nasturtiums. Clashing colours are not a problem, as far as we’re concerned.

I decided to try to add a bit of humus to the soil in this border; so I mowed a stripe of the lawn, laid out the leaves from four black plastic bags (because only some, not all, had rotted) and mowed the whole lot with the rotary mower. Then I emptied the bag into a wheelbarrow and forked garden soil and compost into the mix, together with a few handfuls of Growmore fertiliser. It’ll be interesting to see how it all settles down. 

I had a couple of spare foxgloves I’d already already grown in some flowerpots. But then I discovered some more that had self-seeded in another pot. There’s quite a bit of dappled shade in the border, so I plonked all the foxgloves together in a kind of drift. Fingers crossed … 



We identified these lovely little flowers by chance. There’s a long line of them down the edge of the front path and we’ve found out that they’re Scilla, also known as the Siberian Squill or Wood Squill. What a lovely shade of blue! And who would have thought they’re a member of the asparagus family? 



Quite pleased with these Doronicums (grown on from bought plug plants), though yes – I agree! – they do bear more than a passing resemblance to dandelions, though they’re bushing out as time goes by and becoming much more elegant.



Filed under Gardening

2 responses to “March/April 2021: garden diary

  1. Colin

    Richard, It’s amazing how advanced are your plants compared to mine on Cape Cod. The surrounding cold Atlantic holds us back a full month even though we’re 10 degrees lat south of the UK. Our trees have barely budded.


    • Actually I’m quite surprised too, Colin, given that we’ve had a particularly cold and overcast March and April – snow, frost, rain, high winds, with just a brief interval of sunny weather about a week ago. Despite all that, our established plants are doing okay; but I’m holding back on seed sowing much later than usual, as the soil still isn’t warm enough. I see on TV that it’s also creating big problems for our farmers.


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