Yellow as a baby chick for Easter: Nothing celebrates the coming of spring like sunshine yellow flowers. Even dandelions have their moment, providing nourishment for winter starved bumble bees. Although it is probably best to pick the heads (dandelions, not the bees obviously) before they shed their dandelion clock seed. Another weed which I love is celandine, it spreads like wildfire, but is quite easy to pull out when it gets out of hand.
From pale primroses early in the month, to shouty tulips at the end, there is a golden trail running through April. Epimedium x versicolour ‘Sulphureum’ is great under shrubs and picks up the colour of the primroses.
Narcissus are at their peak, from the mini sweet-scented ‘Minnow’ to the big blousy ‘Carlton’. ‘Dutch Master’ is scented, as is the classic Narcissus poeticus var. recurvus, also called a pheasant’s eye narcissus. Coming up at the end of the month and into May, is the most delicious of scented shrubs, the yellow azalea, (Rhododendron luteum), the smell is positively addictive.
Evergreen: It’s a good time to plant evergreen shrubs. A bay tree is a useful and attractive plant every home should have one. Surprisingly hardy. Remember to water for a week after planting.
Keep on weeding, feeding and mulching!
Inside: Plant tomato seedlings in the greenhouse. Sow seeds too, courgettes, aubergines and chillies.
Outside, once the soil has warmed, plant chitted potatoes. Sow broad beans, lettuce, spinach, peas, salad onion, autumn brassicas, parsley, leeks and carrots. To delight the eye and encourage the insects this summer, sow hardy annuals such as single flowered marigolds, cornflowers, poppies, nigella and even sweet peas.
Birds will be nesting, so keep an eye out for activity, and try not to disturb them.