by Janis on 26th April 2024 / 0 comments

Sowing a mountain of seeds

In the UK, we are now full steam ahead into British Summertime. Our clocks sprung forward one hour, and it has made such a difference to the evening light. All we need now is for the great British weather to warm up, and we can dust off our BBQ.

Our garden is filling out once again with delicate spring flowers and lush foliage. I love that every day, we step out to admire the garden beds and spot something new appearing.

We’ve just started to place our VANBAR Trailcam on the patio every evening. To our delight, we spotted a couple of hedgehogs and a fox. We had our suspicions that the hedgehog or hedgehogs were back, and we were correct.


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A hedgehog in black and white caught on out Vanbar trailcam drinking rainwater from a tray left out on our patio
Our visitor

What we’ve been up to in April

In the garden and on the website

As I mentioned last month, I purchased a mountain of seeds that needed sowing, so it was time to spend a few hours in my potting shed. Every year, I am surprised at how quickly the hours fly by when I’m in my potting shed.

I’ve mainly been sowing flower seeds for our cottage garden bed. I’ve got some old favourites like cosmos, sunflowers, love-in-a-mist, and foxgloves, to name a few. However, I’ve also gone for some Achillea, rudbeckia, and Canary Creeper, a mixture of cottage garden flowers and patio climbers.

Mixed seedlings at an early stage of developement in our conservatory in spring
Our seedlings

In the few short weeks since I sowed my seeds, the sunflowers have shot up, so I have potted those on already; once again, I have far too many.

In addition to the copious amount of flower seeds, I’ve sown four different types of tomatoes: San Marzano, Gardener’s Delight, Red Cherry, and Sun Baby. I’ve also sown three chilli seed varieties: Cayenne Mix, Scotch Bonnet, and Cayenne Hot Lemon.

our new Acer Palmatum Dissectum Emerald with it's light green foliage in our spring garden
Acer Palmatum Dissectum Emerald
Our lovely new emerald Acer Palmatum Dissectum has adapted to its new pot immediately and is looking beautiful already. I’m so glad we bought this Acer in early March, as although the leaves were just beginning to form, I could tell that its umbrella shape was going to be a winner. This Acer now has a home next to its bigger sister, which is a garnet Acer Palmatum Dissectum.
Our Acer Palmatum Dissectum Garnet with its deep red foliage in springtime
Acer Palmatum Dissectum Garnet
Don’t forget to upload the app ‘PlantNet’ to your mobile. It is so handy for identifying plants while you’re visiting gardens, or if there is a plant in your own garden that has become a mystery.

Achievements for April

Let’s keep ticking those boxes

Oh, how I long for sunny days. Once again, April has lived up to its reputation and has been showery and a bit nippy here in the southeast of the UK.

I’ve been weeding and thinning out our Forget-me-Nots, it appears that these delightful flowers do not have any trouble self-seeding in our garden. The lawn has had another couple of cuts, but it’s still a little damp.

Forget-me-Nots dominate the lower levels of our cottage garden in springtime
Forget-me-Nots in the cottage garden
So, let’s see what we’ve managed to tick off for April.
Sowed many, many seeds of flowers, tomatoes, and chillies.

I’ve given the lawn a couple more trims.

I’m keeping an eye on my softwood cuttings; need to plant out soon.

Weeding in the main cottage garden.

Potted on sunflower seedlings and placed in the cold-frame.

Applied protection to our roses, as they are showing signs of black spot and greenfly.

Cut back and cleared a large shrub from the front garden.

Securely staked our two standard roses.

Tidy and clear some pots on the patio

Lessons learnt & mistakes made

You live and learn

A mad thing happened a couple of weeks ago; we’d planted a few small shrubs by our neighbour’s garden fence, one of which was a Hebe ‘True Love’. We went to admire it a week or so later, and it had completely disappeared, with no trace at all, other than a little tunnel had been created under the fence.

We had our suspicions that it was a fox as we had recently seen it on our trailcam. However, what was strange was that the earth was completely flat, and no hole had been created where the Hebe had been planted.

The red and purple foliage of our new hebe ‘true love’, planted gainst the fence in our cottage garden bed
Our new Hebe ‘True Love

Gary and I were completely dumbfounded as to where it had gone. Had it been dragged through to our neighbours, surely it couldn’t have just vanished. So, a few hours later, we went back to check, and there was still nothing to see. Gary wasn’t entirely satisfied, so he placed his hand over where the bushy Hebe had been planted, and to our amazement, Gary moved the earth around. The Hebe popped up; it had been completely covered in the earth by the fox or a cat.

We brushed off the plant, and the poor thing was a shadow of its former self. Slowly, it is recovering, but it just astounded us that the whole plant was evenly covered in a couple of inches of earth.

Our plans for the coming month

What’s on your to-do list?
Nurture and pot-on my seedlings.

Visit our local charity garden centre, Spadework, for our bedding plants.

Continue to monitor our garden tasks on the RHS Planner; this online tool is so handy.

Continue clearing weeds and unwanted planting in the Cottage Garden section.

Plant out softwood cuttings.

Decided on the planting for our two front garden beds

Prune unruly shrubs in the secret garden.

Please let us know what you have planned in your garden this month; we’d love to know.

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