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Lyn and Malcolms Garden Blog
April  2011

 April 28th
The last couple of weeks has been the 'Green' time in Lyn's front garden, the period between the end of the spring flowers and the start of the perennial summer flowers.
The Clematis are starting to flower well, about 16 different ones in April so far. With many more to flower in the next 4 or 5 months.
The Exotic garden is waiting for me to make the decision on moving plants from the conservatory and greenhouse to the garden, last night the temperature went down to plus 2.2 centigrade under a clear night sky, a bit too near freezing for comfort.
The Brugmansias in the conservatory are now hitting the roof, so I will have to decide soon.

New leaves unfurling on Dicksonia antarctica.                             Dodecatheon jeffreyi 'Rotlicht'

April 19th
I don't usually show pictures of the Exotic garden before it is all set up with the plants back in position after the winter cold.
The weather has been very warm during the day, up to 24c in the shade, so some of the plants have been out in the sun to bring them on a bit. There are also lots of Lyn's sale plants temporarily stored in the garden as well, which will soon have to be moved.
So here is an insight into what it looks like at the moment.

Part of the Exotic back garden, bare bones at the moment with several over wintering structures for Bananas (centre) and other tender plants (left) near the aviary. 

Dahlias in pots enjoying some sun. The construction in the centre of the picture is one of two shelters for the bananas during the winter, the roofs have been taken off now to allow the new leaves to come out the top. The shelters will stay for a couple more weeks in case we get any more frosts, if we do I have to put fleece over the new leaves., we call the shelters the 'Tardis'.
To the right is another temporary shelter we call the Giraffe House, obviously for tall plants. The sides have been removed now, and the tall plants have been taken out. Note the Agarve on the top shelf, soon to go out in the garden.
The bare tree in a pot is actually a standard fuschia, at least 12 years old which I made from a cutting. You can't see the new leaves just coming through in the picture.

Plants from the greenhouse hardening off, ready for growing on for sale.

The greenhouse, not so full as it has been over the winter.

More sale plants at the side of the path to the greenhouse, again these will have to be moved away soon, ready for the exotics.

The Conservatory still in use for the storage of many of our tender plants, hopefully they will all be moved out in the next couple of weeks so we can have the room for sitting in the conservatory, I think not !!!

The plant stall in Lyns front garden, from which we sell plants on our open days, and a percentage of the takings is given to the National Garden Scheme.

April 16th
A busy morning potting up 75 Brugmansia into 2 litre pots which we raised from cuttings taken last Autumn.
I have also made an extra sales display bench for our open days plant sales. It took about three days of spare time to make.
The tomatoes in the greenhouse have been potted into their big pots, some of the tender plants had to come out to make space.
The Exotic garden is now temporarily being used as a storage area for some of Lyn's sale plants and also a lot of the tender plants in pots that I have bought out from winter storage. The dahlias in pots are shooting well now.

We are attempting to get the Exotic garden set up early this year as we have been approached by a German TV company who may be coming to film in early June. And we also have two garden holiday coaches arriving early July before our first open day of the year on the 10th. We may be taking a bit of a risk with the tender plants regarding frost, but we have lots of fleece should the frost return.

The new sales display bench temporarily in the Exotic garden.

Anemone pavonia and Tulipa 'Lilac wonder'

Doronicum orientale                                                                             New leaves on Ulmus hollandica 'Dampieri aurea' (Golden Elm)

Hosta 'St Elmos fire' new leaves, the yellow will slowly turn green.

Allium buds waiting to explode

April 10th
Raking out the joints and re cementing the paving near the water feature in the Exotic garden, took me all morning.
Lyn was potting up some more of the plants we raised from seed.
It is supposed to get colder after tomorrow, so the Dahlias in pots that have been stood out in the sun to encourage new growth, will have to come back under cover again, as we may well get some light frosts.

Lyn's favourite tulip at the moment, Tulipa 'Ronaldo'

Tulipa clusiana var chrysantha 'Tubergens Gem.

Erythronium californicum 'White Beauty' 

April 9th
The Moon this evening after another sun and blue sky day.

April 7th
Phew, the temperature in the shade rose to 24c this afternoon, it wasn't just the plants wilting in the hot sun, we were as well.
But we must be patient in the Exotic garden, as the temperature fell to +3.6c last night. Having managed to over winter most of the plants, we don't want to lose them to an unexpected frost, possibly by the end of April we can set up the Exotic garden again.

Part of Lyn's front garden today. I don't think you can see any of the 'white stick' plant labels now. No prizes if you can.

April 4th
We sowed some garden collected Thalictrum rochebruneanum seed last Autumn in small trays of gritty soil. They were left outside to germinate. We did give them some shelter during the December 2010 big freeze.
Today they were big enough to pot up into small pots.

A new page has been introduced to our website today 'Clematis flowering 2011'. I hope to take a picture of each Clematis when they have their first flower of the new season.
Click here to go to the page

An Erythronium we bought from Snape Cottage garden many years ago.

Typically Spring                                                                                    Narcissus we don't know name of.

April 3rd
We were supposed to get some rain showers today, but it never happened. Just as well as I have nearly finished repainting the walls in the exotic garden. Also potted up some of the seedlings we raised earlier in the year, such as Echium pininana which will flower next year after getting them through the winter.

Uvularia grandiflora AGM

Allium bud                                                                                             Clematis atragene 'Brunette' now in flower.

April 2nd
The warmest day so far this Spring and everything is growing fast. Lyn has been tying in Clematis most of the afternon and I have been painting Lyn's 'feature' wall and the wall at the entrance to her garden.

The plant labels have now more or less disappeared under the new growth on the plants.

Tulipa urumiensis                                                                                 Erythronium californicum 'Harvington Snowgoose'

Narcissus 'Martinette'                                                                          Thankfully not a real one

April 1st
A dull day weather wise, but time to pot up six new Oleander plants that arrived yesterday, hopefully they will flower later this summer, and give a good range of colours.
It is still much too early to plant out the tender plants in the Exotic garden, although the garden is flowering about two and a half weeks earlier than last year.

Clematis macropetala 'Lagoon'.                                                          Clematis atragene 'Tage Lundell' just about to open.