The Changing Seasons ~ April Inside Looking Out

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This amazing amaryllis is one of this month’s several gifts: the result of a ‘doorstep swap’ with neighbour Sue. One of the consequences of being ‘confined to barracks’ has been the sudden sell-out of all garden seeds and sundries. If you didn’t do your orders back in January and February then getting hold of tomato seeds for instance can be proving a challenge. Sue hadn’t, but I had, so earlier this month I gave her some assorted seedlings, while she gave me the amaryllis (a plant I have never before possessed and at the point of exchange just a single fat bud) and then later she dropped off some mange tout and French bean seedlings. This week another chum Mary left two pots of young acanthus plants (bear’s breeches) in the porch, ideal candidates for the guerrilla garden where they are now happily settling in.

April’s other big gift was a good two weeks of sunshine, and although some days came with a cruel east wind, the sky has been blue, blue, blue and the apple blossom delicious. And though we are now back to chilly wintery weather at least we have had some rain which was also much needed. (I never thought I’d be saying this after the autumn-winter deluges). And cold or not, the garden is definitely saying ‘SPRING’.

One unintended consequence of seasonal upsurge has been the sprouting of my willow obelisk. Back in March I was given a big bundle of stems. After consulting The School of YouTube, I had a go at making a pot support for sweet peas. It worked out fairly well, but this month it has started growing – along with the sweet peas and some climbing French bean seedlings.  Ah well. I’m thinking the greenery will provide a good ‘backdrop’ for the sweet peas, though I may need to do some serious pruning. I made another smaller obelisk this week. In due course I could have a willow forest.

This month has also meant much labouring at the allotment – four rows and a raised bed of spuds put in, three different sorts of climbing peas and two short varieties planted out; beetroot seedlings in; parsnips sown; weeding, edging, path mowing, compost turning, digging all accomplished. Three cauliflowers have been devoured, while a fourth remains to be made into cauli and potato curry; lots of greens in the polytunnel which need to be eaten to make room for the peppers, tomatoes and aubergine plants. On the home front the conservatory is bursting with seedlings.

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And I also managed to finish re-working a short story – praise be to the deities of creative writing!

The last of my April gifts is the opportunity it has given us for reflection and observation. As I was coming home from the allotment the other evening I noticed how very lovely the hawthorn blossom is when caught at close quarters. I don’t remember every peering into the flowers before. They are quite exquisite. They have a faint dusky scent too. So I picked a sprig and then found some lilac in the hedge along the field path and when I got home popped them in a vase on the kitchen cupboard.

 

 

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The Changing Seasons: April 2020

52 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons ~ April Inside Looking Out

  1. Gardeners really are good people! It is so nice to read your post and see your photos Tish. I take such great vicarious pleasure in your garden and allotment. Congratulations on reworking the story too.

  2. Home thoughts from…England.

    Oh, to be in England
    Now that April’s there,
    And whoever wakes in England
    Sees, some morning, unaware,
    That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
    Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
    While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
    In England – now!!

    And after April, when May follows,
    And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
    Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
    Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
    Blossoms and dewdrops – at the bent spray’s edge –
    That’s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
    Lest you should think he never could recapture
    The first fine careless rapture!
    And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
    All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
    The buttercups, the little children’s dower
    – Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

  3. The hawthorn and the lilac together look so pretty and I can almost smell them. Your post is a treat, good to see how kind people are. I have just come back from a leg stretch through the village and the allotments. The plots never looked better and the same goes for the gardens. I tried to order plants and seeds online through Norfolk’s garden centres, the demand is so high there’s no chance coming through. In the end I ordered periwinkles from a big online-garden centre so fingers crossed that the far end of the garden will be covered by the end of summer.

    1. It has been a game ordering garden stuff. But you’re right Dina – gardening has been happening with great diligence, which is lovely to see. And perhaps plants will be easier to get in a few weeks time. Our garage is actually selling some bedding plants at the moment. Stay well, Fab 4.

  4. Oh your beautiful plants and garden, Tish! Your post is such a treat – I had to go back twice for the smell of that bouquet…I love hawthorn, and I love lilacs – but they are not ready here yet. And the joy of exchanging plants – great neighbors.

    1. How very lovely of you to visit twice, A-C. I think both the hawthorn and the lilac are very early here this year, but also extrememly exuberant. The joy of small things – or not so small when you think about them 🙂

  5. Your garden is always beautiful and green. You even had some sunshine, something that I’m beginning to think we will never see again. It has been such a strange year. We have had plague and always war, but I think here in North America, famine is next on our list. I don’t remember how many evils are biblically listed, but I think terrible government should be added to the rest.

    1. I agree on listing government along with plagues and famine – ours as well as yours. Since both are still creating death and destruction in many war theatres. (Ours just looks polite and well-cultivated. ) The UK’s ex-ambassador to Uzbekistan, now activist, Craig Murray has just written a piece on this very subject -i.e. 4 horses of the apocalypse: ‘Backing the wrong horseman’ https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

  6. What an immensely satisfying month it has been for you Tish. I can see the fruits of your labour will be so rewarding in months to come. I think the gardening craze has gone world wide, a very good outcome of this isolating giving people time to do these productive things. The hawthorn and lilac do look so pretty together.

    1. Gardening is definitely a good craze to cultivate. I wonder how many of us will find ourselves with new hobbies and habits when confinement relaxes.

  7. Such a productive month for you Tish. I envy you your green veggie fingers, I wish I could grow them – veggies that is not fingers. I am going to have a go with some seeds I bought just before lockdown, but I’m not very optimistic. The S&S here have a voracious appetite. Love the hawthorn and lilac bouquet, though my mother would never allow lilac in the house. Blackthorn didn’t last long this year so I wonder how the hawthorn will fare.

    1. Yes the dreaded S & S. I’ve seen very small ones mostly so far, some in my polytunnel which is most depressing, but also heading for my outdoor caulis. They’ll be even more active after the rain. And yes, they are dispiriting critters, but they don’t seem to eat leeks or onions if that’s any consolation consolation.

  8. I’ve come back for a proper look at your post, Tish. So glad I did. Hawthorn is such a weed here, but the flowers in your post look so beautiful. No wonder, settlers wanted to bring some of home with them. Your vase of hawthorn and lilac flowers is a stunner. The allotment garden looks so productive. It must get a lot of love. Happy gardening, Tish.

    1. So happy to have your happy gardening wishes, Tracy. Interesting hawthorn is a weed with you. I wonder if the original settlers didn’t bring it with them because of the medicinal properties of the berries – used for all manner of circulatory conditions, heart and gynaecological problems.

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