End of Month View. April.

Like most gardeners, I am always reluctant to leave my garden during those three magical months, April, May and June. But  still, there are other people to be considered; non-gardeners who don’t understand this peculiarity. And so this  last week, I was in Italy with my husband and our lovely friends.

It is so lovely to be home and today, just a bit late for Helen’s End of the Month View, I am showing a quick tour of some of the garden. The best part of coming back from a week away is the excitement of the garden tour, to see what has  come out in your absence. In his book, Down the Garden Path, Beverley Nichols said he had very strict rules for ‘Making The Tour’ .  However excited you are to see one particular plant, you have to do it in the proper order and inspect everything as you go. He stepped out of the house and turned right, but I do it the other way round, but still no cheating is allowed, even if I am desperate to examine the buds of the Peony rockii and the wisteria. Every foot of ground, every shrub and tree has to be looked at in the right order. I am not going to take you on such a detailed tour, I will just show you a few views as we go round.

The Exochorda x macrantha ‘The Bride’ was showing a few flowers in February, but now it is properly out and the white variegated Honesty is brightening the bed behind it.

DSC_0001If you walk down to the terrace in front of the summer house, this is the view looking back to the house. Oh dear, I should have taken the washing line down before taking a photo.


Camassias only bloom for a brief moments, but they are such a beautiful shade of blue. They look good with Euphorbia robbiae which is invasive, but it doesn’t matter here. The tree on the right is a weeping birch.
And now we come to the pond.

It sits in such a deep hole that I have planted bamboos all round.
DSC_1053On the other side is a pretty little weeping Cerdiciphyllum japonicum ‘Pendula’ with heart shaped leaves.

And now here is the path to the winter garden.


The winter garden is still looking good in spring.
I have several pear trees, but this one this looking fabulous right now.
That is as far down the garden we are going at the moment. The secret garden project will take a while to be finished and there is not much to see in the veggie beds apart from broad beans. Besides, my scarecrow, Chloris is not fit to be seen, she badly needs a makeover.
If we go back past the pond and start on the other side of the garden there is one of the green houses and the start of a nice old brick wall. This bed is mostly for spring and there are erythroniums, trilliums and epimediums here. The tree on the left is a mulberry.


DSC_0928DSC_1033The wall is very old and we have had to have  buttresses built on to keep it upright.  Here is the other side. There are Spanish bluebells all over this garden and I have given up trying to get rid of them. The trees are very old apple trees.

The next shot is looking back from the little pond near the house. I have dug up the lawn between the pond and the flower bed so that the Man with the Mower does not break off any more branches of the precious Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’. I think I will plant a couple of hydrangeas here. I rather like  Hydrangea ‘Pinky Winky’, but I don’t know whether I can bring myself to buy a plant with such a silly, twee name. How embarrassing if anyone asks what it is called.
Another day I will take you round to the front garden, and maybe down into the orchard, but that is enough for today. Thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener blog for hosting. And now I am going to catch up with some of the posts I missed whilst I was away.

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52 Responses to End of Month View. April.

  1. Ellie says:

    Your garden looks beautiful. The Hydrangea you like looks lovely too – I would just go for it and ignore the name!
    Happy gardening
    Best wishes

  2. Looks fabulous, maybe the garden got on fine while you were cavorting in Italy!?

  3. Julie says:

    I really enjoyed your lovely entertaining tour, ever view is lovely but I am a little envious of your pond, its setting is so enticing, do you sit here? Although I expect you probably do not sit in your garden, I can imagine there is so much to see. Not sure I could be so disciplined to visit plants in order, do you really do that or are you teasing us?

    • Chloris says:

      I do have seats all round the garden but I haven’ t got one here. You are right, there is not much time for sitting, although I always imagine myself sitting in the garden, with a glass of wine in my hand. In my dreams, where I also have a team of garden fairies doing all the weeding.
      I really do my garden tour in the proper order. I thought everybody did.

  4. pbmgarden says:

    A great tour Liz. So helpful to get a sense of the scale. I also turn left most days to begin checking out my own garden. Saw Hydrangea ‘Pinky Winky’ at a most elegant garden this weekend on the garden club’s spring garden tour. It was not in bloom yet, but looked promising, and yes, everyone went “tee hee” when the plant id was read aloud, but we all wanted it for our own gardens.

  5. Meriel Murdock, Co. Wicklow, Ireland says:

    H. ‘Pinky Winky’ is superb – one of the best I’ve seen in recent years. A friend has a whole border of them which is fab. I just bought H. ‘Love me Kiss’ , dark reddish foliage with red flowers edged in white, sounds like an attractive cultivar but competes on a silly name I think. Good to be able to see the scale of most of the garden at one go!

    • Chloris says:

      Hello Meriel. Love Me Kiss sounds wonderful, but the name makes my toes curl. I am glad you like Pinky Winky, I think I will definitely buy it.

  6. what a lovely walk around your garden, it all looks so beautiful and lush, I love your dense planting and the individual flowers are jewels dotted among the foliage, how wonderful too, to have spent a week somewhere warm, Frances

    • Chloris says:

      The garden was already densely planted when we came. I have lots of mature trees. In a way, I would have prefered a blank canvas to work on, in order to achieve a coherent planting scheme. But I am grateful for the beautiful trees.
      We actually had wet, cool and windy weather in Italy. But I always do. If anyone needs rain just ask me to visit.

  7. Pauline says:

    Your pear tree is magnificent! Thanks for a lovely wander round your beautiful garden, it’s always wonderful to come back to your garden after being away and yes, I agree, hard to go away at this time of year!

    • Chloris says:

      I have some lovely old apple and pear trees. That is one of the benefits of a very old garden.
      If I had my way, I would never go away at this time of the year, but on this occasion it was so cold here that I didn’ t miss much.

  8. Christina says:

    This was almost as good as a real walk around your garden Liz. It is looking superb; the image of the pond is quite magical, with the light shining through the new foliage. BTW I had to search very hard for the washing line and certainly wouldn’t have noticed it if you hadn’t pointed it out! The spring bed is so delicate especially the erythroniums, what perfect specimens. I’m sure that the garden didn’t change too much as it was very cold while you were away.

    • Chloris says:

      It’ s funny how how one doesn’ t notice things like washing lines, wheelbarrows and hoses when one takes photos and they jump out at you when you see the result. The washing line is obvious to me but nobody else seems to have noticed it.
      You are right, nothing seemed to change much in the garden whilst we were away. Apart from the weeds which were flourishing.

  9. rusty duck says:

    My morning inspection follows a strict order too, mostly as an energy saving measure on account of all the hills! But if I am noticing differences day by day it must be wonderful to do the tour after a week away. Loving your Cerdiciphyllum. And the camassias, a wonderful shade of blue.

    • Chloris says:

      I seem to walk miles in the garden because I never have the right tools with me. And the bonfire is right at the end of the garden which is ‘a long way to tip a rare tree.’ ( Well, a dead tree actually, I have plenty of dead rare trees, thanks to honey fungus.) I don’ know how I would manage if mountaineering was involved too.

  10. I really enjoyed your tour, your garden has so many interesting features and great atmosphere. What a picture-book-perfect old pear tree! I have hydrangea PW too the name always makes me cringe but it’s flowers are beautiful, like raspberry ripple ice cream.

    • Chloris says:

      I am going to buy that ridiculously named hydrangea. It seems that hydrangeas are competing with new hemerocallis names for silliness. I jut couldn’ t buy a hemerocallis called ‘ Kiss my Buds’. or ‘ Big Honking French Kisses’. Dear me, horticulture used to be nice and sedate and suitable for old ladies. Whatever would Gertrude Jekyll say?

  11. Why did you have to mention the washing line? Eventually I found it, but still I could have been looking at your beautiful pear tree! I love the shot of the buttresses and old apple trees. I’d love to have a wall to work against. Hope that you enjoyed Italy too.

    • Chloris says:

      I thought everyone would notice the washing line but it seems nobody did. I usually take it down when it’ s not in use. I have always wanted a walled garden so I really appreciate this bit of old wall.
      Thanks Italy was beautiful; cool and wet though. But it was far worse here of course.

  12. What a beautiful garden. There’s something for everyone : little nooks with pots of flowers, fruit trees, paths strewn with flowers and an incredible variety of shrubs and flowers ! Congratulations and thank’s for sharing with us

  13. Brian Skeys says:

    A beautiful spring tour, so much seasonal colour, old fruit trees are so worth looking after, your pear is magnificent.

    • Chloris says:

      I am lucky to have plenty of beautiful old fruit trees here. The end of my garden was part of a very large orchard for many, many years. Unfortunately many of the trees have died from honey fungus or maybe the trees came to the end of their lives and honey fungus stepped in. It is a constant source of worry.

  14. Sam says:

    The sunny long view back towards the house is lovely (it took me a while to spot the washing line but that’s also fab because it’s real). It must’ve been a treat to come home to all this growth and lush beauty. Hope you had a good holiday.

    • Chloris says:

      Thanks Sam we had a great holiday but still I need to be here when so much is happening in the garden. Now after the sun, everything is happening very fast, as spring segues into summer.

  15. Chloris! Your garden is so-o-o-o magical. These are truly beautiful scenes, and I don’t know where to begin. Except to say there is magic and mystery in that second photo of the pond, great beauty in the blooming tree, and I understand completely about not wanting to leave your garden in Spring. (But also the excitement of returning to discover new developments.)

    I love Beverley Nichols’ Down the Garden Path and read it once every few years or so.
    Thanks for this lovely post and I wish you a beautiful gardening week.

    • Chloris says:

      Oh Cynthia, thank you; what lovely words. I wish you could come and sit in the garden with me and have a chat.
      I love the book too, Beverley can be a bit twee sometimes and get carried away with purple passages, but he always makes me laugh

      • An apt description of ole Beverley, if I ever heard one! He is twee, he is purple-y, and he is fun. I’d love to sit in your magical garden with you – so every so often, as I read your blog, I will pretend I am sitting there. That means that you must remember to post the occasional image of a bench or chair or something!

      • Chloris says:

        Ok, I will make sure there is a seat for Cynthia now and then in my posts.

  16. Angie says:

    That first shot is just spectacular Chloris. You have so many lovely areas in your garden. I actually think the washing line gives the garden a lived in feel although we do tend to be conscious of showing these everyday practical things in our garden.
    I have Pinky Winky in my garden and it is always the last shrub to leaf up. A problem I don’t think you’ll have down there. I spend the whole of April and best part of May directing my dislike of it and the Cotinus to other things. Thanks for the tour – as always the pleasure has been truly mine.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Angie. I was interested to read about the Hydrangea ‘Pinky Winky’ being the last to leaf up. I saw it for sale recently, but didn’t buy it because it had no leaves on, just a few at the top of the stems and I wondered if it was dead or dying. Cotinus is late too and I hate the way Cerotostigma looks dead early on. As for the Potentilla, I dug it it up last week as I am sick of the look of it in spring. Even when it gets its leaves they are nasty, economical little things.

  17. Flighty says:

    A most enjoyable post and lovely pictures. xx

  18. gardenfancyblog says:

    Thank you for the lovely spring garden tour, Chloris. Have you drawn a map of your gardens to aid in picturing the general layout? Nothing fancy is necessary; a crayon drawing is quite helpful. Thanks and enjoy all your beautiful spring moments! -Beth

    • Chloris says:

      You have given me an idea Beth. I think I will have a go at drawing a map. Quite hard to get to scale though, but I might give it a try. It may take me some time.

  19. snowbird says:

    Have to say that I do the tour too, religiously! I loved the pic of your beautiful house and that old brick wall, I’m a huge fan of brick walls, interesting to see how you are buttressing it up! Try as I might, I cannot spot the washing line, maybe blindness is creeping in to go with everything else…
    Oh…how I love that pond, gorgeous, especially with the bamboo’s around it, I would like to see a post on that alone, but then you have so any areas to show. That pear tree is to die for! Welcome home, hope you had a lovely time away….hopefully we get to hear about that too.xxx

    • Chloris says:

      I have always wanted a walled garden and we are lucky to have this, although it is only a fragment. I have never posted about the pond because I have problems with it, It sits in a deep pit and is quite a problem site. I’m never quite satisfied with it. When we came it was totally overgrown and you couldn’t even see the pond. You knew about it though when the dog had immersed himself in it. Phew! The rotting stink of years of dead things.

  20. Cathy says:

    What a beautiful spring garden! It all looks lovely, despite being left to its own devices for a few days. I hate leaving my garden at almost any time of year, so quite understand what you mean!

    • Chloris says:

      It is hard to be away at this time of the year as everything grows so fast. There is a moment in early April when I fool myself that this year I will keep on top of things. Then May comes and whoosh! Everything romps away.

  21. Cathy says:

    Beverley Nichols was quite right of course about the Strict Rules of the Garden Tour (or Ramble as some of us like to call it…) – we all have them. Don’t we? We don’t…? Well I for one agree with him and you, so that makes at least three of us 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing your grand tour, with or without the washing line – I know you were sorry to have to leave your last garden but this one must surely go some way to making up for it as it is already such an interesting one and you are making it even more so

    • Chloris says:

      Well Cathy I thought we all had these garden tour rules but it seems some people don’t do it. So maybe, it’s you, me and Bev. Thank you, yes I do love this garden now and I know I am lucky to have so much space, ( I probably couldn’t manage 11 acres now I am so ancient.) Also to have mature trees is a real bonus. The gnarled old apple trees are looking wonderful right now.

      • Cathy says:

        Eleven acres, however desirable that might sound to an avid gardener with a much smaller plot, is quite a large area … Glad you feel at home where you are – and that you have the Pianist to share it with you

  22. Anna says:

    I’m late getting here but really enjoyed the tour. Hope that you had a fabulous holiday. That pear looks as if it will be laden with fruit this year.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Anna. Yes we had a great trip but it is wonderful to be home. The pears were looking good but now all the old apple trees have taken over and look amazing.

  23. Wonderful! Such a large garden! Personally, I love your bluebells. Such a pretty pest. 🙂

  24. Chloris says:

    Thank you Tammy. The bluebells are pretty but they weave themselves through the perennials and are impossible to eradicate.

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