‘Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colour there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.‘ Rainer Maria Rilke.
Indeed, April flowers are the most exciting of the whole year. And if you are as fanciful as Rilke, you would say that the whole garden is a joyful shout of delight. We have had some warm weather and every day brings more treasures until you want to put your hand up and shout ‘Slow down!’
There were no magnolias in this garden when I came, but now I have several as spring is not the same without them. Lovely ‘Leonard Messel’ blooms prolifically but now he has finished. But we still have ‘Black Tulip’ which is not black and the flowers are more like water lilies than tulips. But it is beautiful.
Magnolia stellata has the same starry flowers as ‘Leonard Messel’ and I am very grateful to my lovely friends, Kitty and Olive, (not their real names, but names they seem to be stuck with) who bought this standard for my birthday last year.
The late Princess Sturdza of Le Vasterival garden near Dieppe told me that ‘Star Wars’ was her favourite magnolia. This hybrid from New Zealand has huge, fragrant rosy pink flowers and I am delighted with it. If you are thinking of buying the ubiquitous Magnolia soulangeana don’t, buy this beauty instead.
And of course, I had to have Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’. It has lovely primrose yellow flowers which are a perfect match for the Coronilla valentina behind it. This shrub has deliciously fragrant flowers which seem to stay around for most of the year.
Still on a yellow theme, the first rose to flower in my garden is the dainty, yellow ‘Canary Bird’.
Down in the orchard we have apple and pear blossom and this crab apple, Malus ‘Princeton Cardinal’ is gorgeous. Behind it you can see a pear tree which is full of blossom.
I have a Malus transitoria which I grew from seed 8 years ago. This year for the first time it has some blossom so I am excited to see whether the fruit will come true.
Shrubs looking good now include some camellias in pots.
I love gleaming white Exochorda x macrantha ‘The Bride”
Favourite climbers are two Akebias, one wine red, Akebia trifoliata and the other a cream Akebia quinata.
The fragrant climber Holboellia latifolia came from the amazing Crug Farm Nursery and has a collection number rather than a name.
But it is the smaller April treasures which really set my heart beating faster. Little woodlanders like these wood anemones. The first one is a delicate blue colour which hasn’t come out very well on the photo.
Also enjoying woodland conditions are the erythroniums. I love Erythronium ‘Pagoda’ with the Blue Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’, white dicentra, ferny corydalis and Heuchera ‘Apple Crisp’.
Epimediums spread and seed about too. I have them in a range of colours.
The double Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis ‘Plena’ spreads around. The only problem is remembering where it is when it disappears in summer. I planted a Chrysanthemum right in the middle of it.
And I nearly forgot the lovely clump of Trillium grandiflorum.
The winter garden is looking lovely at the moment as all the small bulbs are in bloom.
I have added quite a few of my favourite small narcissus bulbs.
In a pot I have the little Narcissus bulbodicum conspicuus.
And in a pot on the table is the first of the little pleione flowers. These live in the greenhouse in winter.
I am very fond of muscari. Some of them have finished now, but ‘White Magic’ is still going strong and the fragrant yellow Muscari ‘Golden Fragrance’ does well in the new gravel garden.
Bellevalia looks like a huge navy blue grape hyacinth.
I love dicentras or Lamprocapnos as we are supposed to call them now. I have a new one called ‘Valentine’. It has beautiful red stems.
The bergenias that I planted for winter leaf colour are blooming now and the flowers are a bonus. This one peeping from behind Euphorbia ‘Glacier Blue’ is ‘Bressingham Salmon’.
One of my favourite euphorbias in spring is the neat little Euphorbia polychroma with its buttercup yellow flowers.
Here are a few other blooms giving me pleasure at the moment.
I haven’t shown you any tulips so here is the potful by my back door. I have filled it full of sunset shades including ‘Brown Sugar’ which is the particular pet of the Tulip Queen, Christina.
And I nearly forgot to show you the first of my species peonies which is in bloom now. The delectable Paeonia mascula subs.mascula. Sorry about the tautology, I didn’t name it.
I have not mentioned any primroses, this is because they are a particular passion and deserve a post of their own.
I suppose I should finish with the enormous cherry tree which is living on borrowed time. I can’t really ignore it as it is the first thing I see when I look out of the window. Vulgar, I call it.
April bloom day is the best of the whole year, do see what other people are enjoying. Thank you Carol at Maydreams Gardens for hosting.