April Diary in the Treeholme garden

The gardens here at Treeholme are beginning to stir, if I was retired as a man of 65 may possibly be, I would be in the garden or allotment all day every day, like I was when we lived in France, but my son Oliver who I partner needs his dad to assist him keeping the show on the road so to speak, in the running of The Country Life Landscapes and time has to be shared between garden and office with of course the visitations to sites as well as, thrown in for good measure, a full life but a very enjoyable one. Back to business, April is a very special month for a gardener as I said earlier all the plants in the garden that have been dormant over the winter months will be beginning to show signs of activity due to the warming up of the soil, a lot of hard work will now be required over the next weeks and months ahead, but it will all be worth it when you will be able to sit down with that glass of wine in your hand, in a month or twos time, with friends who will be admiring your garden full of colour and fragrant smells, that is if the aromas from the barbeque will allow the more delicate fragrances through. Now I have set the scene for those balmy days ahead maybe it will give us all that extra bit of enthusiasm that we need to undertake the work we need to do to get to that point.

Things to Do

To start with like every month a general tidy up of the borders ensuring that those wretched weeds arent getting to grips, if you have mixed borders like we have here at Treeholme it wont be long before my favourite group of plants the perennials will start to emerge. I have always favoured the cottage garden style of planting everything jumbled up together, the weeds dont have so much chance to get a grip and all that early work of refreshing the borders with a new layer of bark starts to pay dividends. It is a good idea to apply a general fertiliser to the base of the plants, one that is generally available in the local garden centres, ideally an application of organic fertiliser would have been applied in February and now by giving the plants, especially those that will be giving you that exhibition of colour over the forthcoming months, this new application will give them an instant boost. If you have carpeted the borders as suggested with that layer or border bark you will need to scoop sufficient away enabling you to lightly fluff up the soil with a rake before applying the fertiliser in the quantities that will be suggested on the makers instructions around the base of the plants. Not all plants need annual feeding as described in fact most trees and shrubs, provided that they have been planted correctly in the first place, can look after themselves after the first 2 or 3 years giving them a little help up to that time. The plants that do need feeding at this time of the year are vegetable and fruit not forgetting the annual borders and containers, so much goodness is being taken out of the soil that without replenishment it will soon become depleted.

Planting

Now is the time to plant those all important shrubs and trees, last year here in Treeholme we completely redesigned the back of the property and landed up planting quite a lot of new plants especially perennials, which is great in a cottage garden, you benefit with that glorious array of summer colour but when the winter comes oh dear the garden can look quite empty so this year the garden will need just a few more shrubs to try and obtain the right balance and now is the time to obtain those very plants. Dahlia tubers should be planted now and summer bulbs should all be in by the end of the month. .In writing this diary this month it has brought it home to me how busy we all are going to be note that I dont refer to this as work more a way of life.

Mowing that grass.

By now the grass should have been cut 2 or 3 times, each time on high cut gradually bringing the cut lower as we head towards the Summer, if I was to cut the grass at the lower level at the start of the season when the grass could be quite long having not had a cut for some months then the lawns would turn quite yellow and look bad. From this month on I will be increasing the number of times I mow the lawns until Summer arrives when it will be once a week if not twice according to the weather.

Just a little about the vegetable patch.

I will cover this subject a little more next month, but I will surely be planting the main crop of potatoes because this month is the last opportunity to ensure getting a good crop, if the trenches have not been prepared earlier in the year it will be a good idea to place some well rotted manure or garden compost at the bottom of the trenches and place the chitted seed potatoes on the surface of the compost sprinkling fertiliser between the gaps before back filling ,as the potatoes start to grow out of the ground the soil will be heaped up thus ensuring the maximum harvest. Last year in the month of April I planted a quantity of asparagus crowns they are all doing well ,so if you fancied having a few of these in you garden this really is the time to plant them. Successional sowings is the name of the game, sowing little and often will avoid large quantities of the same vegetable needing to be harvested at the same time. Therefore planting seeds of lettuce, radish, beetroot, spring onion and broad beans, to name a few, a little at a time makes a great deal of sense.

Summing up.

These are just a few of the activities that we will be getting involved in this month here at Treeholme maybe next month I will have some space in the diary page to inform you of some of the activities that the boys have been up to in some of our customers gardens the maintenance weekly and bi-weekly visits will be back on line by then and the hard landscaping teams will be hopefully finishing off one or two of their projects, until then Happy Gardening from all at Treeholme.

If you have a comment or question please get in touch.

01/04/2012 @ 00:04