Home My garden National Gardening Week: My garden in pictures April

National Gardening Week: My garden in pictures April

Tulips Triumph Mix, April 25
Tulips Triumph Mix, April 25

Blog: The sunniest and driest April on record for lockdown?

I don’t know about you, but lockdown has been made bearable by the virtual continuous sunshine, blue skies and warm temperatures of April. In fact, we’ve had two light showers here in Gateshead, meaning the hose has had to come out to keep the newly planted things going.

But going they are and I’ve had more time to keep an eye on my new charges.

Big thanks to Gary Welford and Vanessa Sundin for their lovely pictures!

Tulips and daffodils

Bulbs are the essence of spring for me, especially tulips (the big showy type and the more natural species varieties) and scented daffodils. As it’s been so sunny, they’ve been really early – daffodils Thalia, Minnow, Pacific Coast and Sweetness are over, while I don’t usually expect to see Sunshine until May.

I planted my ‘annual’ tulips in pots really late for me in December but they were sale bargains – Triumph Mix, Sunset Skies and Salmon Dynasty – and here they are and I’m absolutely delighted with them.

The naturalising tulips are lovely too – Tulip tarda and Little Beauty are out but Lilac Wonder is still to come.

Blossom time

It’s been an extraordinarily good year for fruit blossom – not much wind and no rain – Cherry regina has looked lovely, as has apple Red Falstaff and crab apple John Downie. Still my old apple tree to come out though.

Ornamental beds

There’s been a lot going on! I’ve had time to tidy and do the loathsome jobs I usually avoid, so things look remarkably tidy (although I’ve avoided that last bit of path until now).

Greenhouse

I’ve even painted the back wall of the greenhouse (I should say we, Gary did a big chunk of it) and fixed the dodgy bits with T-rex tape – any port in a lockdown storm. I had planned to replace it this year but that not looking possible now.

It’s now sparkling clean inside and out with new inhabitants of agapanthus, canna, dahlias and scented-leaved geraniums hardening off. Did I really need a new one in the first place?

Conservatory

From being jam-packed until a week ago, the conservatory has started to empty – some of the half-hardy perennials have gone to the greenhouse before going outside.

The geraniums (Pelargoniums) are blooming, the overwintered chillies, Coleus, bananas, ginger and cacti/succulents have all gone into overdrive (see below for the tomatoes, etc).

Edibles

Back in the conservatory, the tender veg (tomatoes, tomatillos and peppers are way behind but potted on. The cucamelons and courgettes have just germinated.

Outside, I’ve finished cropping the giant Italian parsley (lots of gremolata and froze the rest) and the overwintered spring onions.

The onion sets are in and I’ve sown traditional white carrots and more mixed kale (Black Magic, Red and Green Frilled) as it’s been so good this year.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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