It’s been a rather gloomy weather for the past few weeks, mostly rain, rain, some hail and gale storms, and some more rain – typical April weather, of course, but it is spring and I want sunshine and flowers!
Our fruit trees have not disappointed though – the plum tree was the first one to blossom with pretty white flowers earlier in March, then the pear trees followed with a slightly pinkish blossom earlier this month and now the apple trees are catching up with brighter pink and even red blossom. Also the tulips on the front lawn have finally come into bloom this week as well and I can see their true colour now – red and yellow! And of course the broad beans are blossoming away in the veggie patch, so we might be eating some beans later on weather permitting!
I am looking forward to May now with hopefully less stormy weather and more flowers. I have some lilies in the front lawn and a peony, a poppy and a Japanese anemone springing into gear. Most of the flowers in my garden were either given to me as a gift, or “saved” from the garden centres’ sales, or taken from Freecyclers over the last year, so I don’t know their true colours as yet and am eagerly awaiting their show!
We are trying out the forest gardening approach in our borders – with fruit trees as a top layer, then berry bushes (raspberries “Autumn Bliss” and a blackcurrant) as a medium layer, and flowers and short veggies (like pumpkins, squashes, courgettes) as a lower layer. So we don’t have a dedicated flower bed as such and flowers and some vegetable plants are mixed together, but most of the veggies look quite decorative anyway, so it all usually looks great at the height of the summer. We do have some dedicated vegetable beds though (six of them to be precise) which allows us to follow a crop rotation system.
I also try to grow one or two new veggies and flowers each year, new for me obviously, the type that I haven’t grown before yet. Last year 2011 these were parsnips (roaring success), pumpkins (equally roaring failure) and petunias (loved them absolutely for they flowered non-stop from June till literary the first frost). This year it is going to be Jerusalem artichokes (went in on 24 April 2012 into a new bed lovingly dug up by dear husband), turnips “Snowball” (I burnt to death their first batch sown in March, but hope the second batch sown in mid-April will go onto bigger and better things), sweet peas and lavender (not sure how it will fare in our garden though, as the conditions here are quite the opposite actually to the conditions that lavender prefers, but we’ll see!).
I can’t wait till May!!!