April Garden Notes

I find the best inspiration for garden ideas comes from visiting gardens to pick up tips. The National Gardens Scheme has many excellent local gardens of all shapes and sizes to visit. Join the Royal Horticultural Society to visit Wisley throughout the year, as well as receiving the monthly Garden magazine with both seasonal and in-depth articles. Always a joy to behold, Wisley Gardens were a real gem during the warm spell of February, with the carpets of crocus and warm scents of flowering daphne, sarcococca and hamamelis. As the season progresses, the other areas to keep an eye out for are the vegetable allotments, the rose beds and the long perennial walk: these dual borders are the ultimate showcase.

Herbaceous perennials are one of gardening’s little wonders. Many die back and disappear into the ground during the ravages of winter, only to re-emerge larger and more vibrant in early spring. Ranging from low ground cover to a full 6ft high, there are perennials that will suit all tastes and positions. Ideal for impatient gardeners, they will grow swiftly and often produce plentiful flowers even in the first year of planting. It’s not too late to plan and plant for this year.

There are too many to list here, and everyone has their favourites. Here are a few suggestions:

  • For ground cover, consider campanula, hardy geraniums and alchemilla mollis. These are all prolific and will crowd out any weeds which dare to appear.
  • For mid-height, dianthus (pinks), geum and salvias are all worthy candidates.
  • Taller iris, lupins and delphiniums will not only provide height to borders, but also impressive cut flowers for the home.

David Hogg

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