Well … didn’t we have some ‘Weather’ in March! I have lived in East Devon for most of my life, and can honestly say that I have not seen snow like that for many years. Then freezing rain! Amazing scenes in our garden where the trunks of our apple trees appeared to be coated in glass, and the birds were skating on the snow. We had visitors as well in the shape of a pair of Redwings, so they must have been hungry. I don’t think I have ever seen quite so many blackbirds and goldfinches, there were dozens! Thank goodness it was all over and gone in a short while and we managed to soldier on.
I think that April has to be one of the most optimistic months of the year. Seeds coming up, pricking out those baby plants, dreaming of what they will produce later in the year. I am looking forward to restocking the plant area for the new season, absolutely my favourite thing to do.
Our Sunday lunches are proving to be very popular, and the next one will be on Eater Sunday (1st April) when we will be serving up Roast Leg of Lamb with all the trimmings, followed by Golden Egg Chocolate Tart (it has to be chocolate for Easter!) or Fresh Fruit Salad for £10.95. Please book early if possible to avoid disappointment.
With Easter upon us (what happened to January, February and March?), I wanted to remind you that the new season summer bedding, perennials, shrubs, and vegetables will all be available, together with indoor Streptocarpus from the very famous Dibley’s Nursery. If you would like hanging baskets filled please bring them to the shop to be booked in. Prices will depend on size of basket and choice of planting. Our lovely staff will be pleased to advise you.
Things are hotting up (we hope) in the garden now, and there is loads to do:
THINGS TO DO IN APRIL?
- Continue watering new trees and shrubs when dry. Consider mulching the top surface with bark chippings, or your own compost.
- Feed established lawns. Consider a light cut if the ground is suitably dry.
- Plant new aquatic plants in ponds. Keep clear of algae by immersing a hank of barley straw under the water.
- Plant evergreen trees and shrubs. Dig a lovely large hole and add as much compost as you can to include organic matter. This will get the plants off to a good start. Don’t forget to keep them watered.
- Erect windbreaks around new trees and shrubs if needed.
- Trim grey-leaved shrubs to keep them bushy. Shred any clippings and use as mulch or add to the compost heap.
- Tie in the new shoots of climbers.
- Prune early-flowering shrubs.
- Prune shrubs grown for large or colourful foliage.
- Divide perennials either splitting with two forks or an old kitchen knife. Why not offer a friend a spare plant in exchange for something from their garden?
- Stake tall-growing perennials.
- Protect young growth from slugs and snails. We have several products in the shop this year, from organic to the ‘nuke-‘em’ variety!
- Remove annual weeds with your hands. You will thank yourself later on.
- Remove perennial weeds by digging them out. Ensure deep-rooted weeds are completely removed. These should be burned or disposed of, but not added to the compost heap.
- Deadhead daffodils (I include this item, but you will probably find that as the daffodils were so very early this year, you have already done it!).
- Sow annual climbers and grasses.
- Continue sowing and planting vegetables outdoors (watch out for a frost, and cover with fleece or newspaper overnight).
- Plant container-grown fruit trees, remembering to continue to water if the weather is dry.
- Keep feeding the birds to attract them into the garden where they will also take care of those pesky unwanted bugs and insects.
THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO….
- Cut down any dead growth that has been left on perennials over winter, especially on grasses, as new shoots are at risk of being damaged.
- Plant summer-flowering bulbs.
- Sow sweet peas.
GET IN FRONT….
- Prune spring-flowering shrubs like forsythia immediately after they have bloomed to encourage new growth to flower next year.
Opening hours: Shop: 9.00-5.00pm Monday to Saturday, 10.00 -4.00pm Sunday
Café: 10.00-4.00pm Monday to Sunday