Destinations Magazine

April in the Garden

By Alternativeeden @markngaz
April in the Garden This year Spring has been quite late in the UK and across much of Europe, with a long cold snap through February and March. However April is now showing some warmer and brighter weather and the garden is responding rapidly.

I love this time of year, with new shoots and leaves on woody plants, and herbaceous plants busting through the soil ready to explode into new and exciting forms that we have not seen since last autumn.

I took a stroll round the garden this evening with a camera in hand, here are some of the plants that caught my attention.


April in the Garden

Schefflera macrophylla

April in the Garden

Schefflera macrophylla

Schefflera macrophylla has to be one of the most spectacular Scheffleras available although for us it has proved to be too tender to plant out. We have tried twice, the first time the plant was killed to the ground but re-sprouted (we potted it on and its starting to make a nice plant). The second time we tried the plant was killed out right. This one is kept potted and was tucked away when the worst of the cold weather was expected. It probably saw temperatures close to 0c but even then that was within the confines of the filter house.

April in the Garden

Euphorbia deflexa

Euphorbia deflexa is a fairly new plant for us, going into the larger raised bed by the koi pond. It is spreading about in the bed, which we hadn't really anticipated. 

April in the Garden

Aloe polyphylla

This particular Aloe polyphylla is fast approaching flowering size, and has been with us for several years now, spending nearly three years in the ground, taking all the cold, wet and winter weather the last few years have been able to chuck at it. Not all A. polyphylla are as hardy, and from chatting to Claire at Trewidden at the recent RHS Plant and Design Show I understand that this is often due to cross-pollination. So the resultant cross may look like a polyphylla but contains some other genes and thus isn't as hardy.

April in the Garden

Thalictrum sp.

April in the Garden

Syneilesis aconitifolia

Syneilesis aconitifolia have a fabulous habit, the newly emerging shoots remind me of Cousin It from the Addams family, (see the photo in this post from 2011 for how they look earlier on).  The mature foliage is also rather beautiful and delicate looking. I'll share photos of this later in the year.

April in the Garden

Impatiens omeiana

This little shoot of Impatiens omeiana is popping up in the 3rd raised bed near to the filter house. It has a habit of wandering about a little, this certainly wasn't where it was last year!

April in the Garden

Farfugium japonicum 'Bumpy Ride' 

April in the Garden

Aesculus parviflora

April in the Garden

Aesculus parviflora

We have a number of Aesculus in the garden, A parviflora has lovely dark green leaves with red stems, stunning plant, and it doesn't get too big. It could almost pass for a Schefflera.

April in the Garden

Aralia elata 'Aureo-variegata' 

How lovely is the newly emerging lead on this Aralia!

April in the Garden

Veratrum poking up through the ground

April in the Garden

... and another Veratrum that made an appearance a little earlier

We have several Veratrum in the garden, I find the crinkled foliage simply delightful, I just wish they would bulk up a little faster. Veratrum are yet another highly poisonous plant, so much so that Native American Indians used it to poison their arrows ahead of a battle. There are also a number of species from Europe and China as well as North America.

April in the Garden

Rhododendron 'Wine and Roses'

April in the Garden

Chrysosplenium macrophyllum

This Chinese native has been doing well in our garden overthe last couple of years multiplying on the end of runners. Its a member of the Saxifragaceae family and when it flowers you can see the connection.

April in the Garden

Clematis armandii

April in the Garden

Schefflera taiwaniana x gracilis

April in the Garden

Small dainty flowers of an Acer

April in the Garden

Heuchera

We have several Heuchera in the garden, hardy and yet with so many colours and leaf forms available they can look quite exotic. The deep rich maroon leaves on this one are looking fantastic this spring.

April in the Garden

Aesculus neglecta 'Erythroblastos'

April in the Garden

Rheum palmatum

April in the Garden

Arum italicum

April in the Garden

Heuchera

Another Heuchera (no longer have the name), the marbling effect resembles a much more tender begonia leaf, but this has the advantage of being evergreen and hardy.

April in the Garden

Rubus lineatus

We have found a number of interesting Rubus recently, but one of the best has to be R. lineatus, delightful form and leaves. Once we get into late spring I will have to post a blog of the various plants we have in the garden.

April in the Garden

Podophyllum 'spotty dotty' 

April in the Garden

Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost'

April in the Garden

Heuchera 'Creme Brulee'

April in the Garden

Fatsia japonica 'Spiders Web'

Not everyone likes variegated plants, and Fatsia japonica 'Spiders Web' often brings strong reactions. I love this plant but what do you think? We have found that these can be quite variable in terms of the variegation as well as growth.

April in the Garden

Cyathea cooperi

Recently brought out from its winter home this Cyathea cooperi is unfurling a number of new crosiers.

April in the Garden

Hydrangea macrophylla

April in the Garden

Tetrapanax papyrifera 'Rex'

T.'Rex' as it is affectionately known is a good old faithful exotic in our garden. This plant was originally given to us by Gary and Nat (Gary made the carved sculpture featured in this post) and has done well pretty much ever since. The very harsh winter in 2010 did cut back the newer growth but it has regrown strongly and sent up a number of pups. Most of the pups are removed but a few (including the one in the photo) have been left to grow and provide extra interest.
I hope you enjoyed seeing what is bursting into life in our garden, how is your garden doing?
Gaz

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