Mid to Late April
This is when the garden really comes to life starting with the carpet of fritillarias beneath the white Himalayan birches by the drive. Now the first cherry blossoms are in flower, lovely white anemones, hyacinths, dwarf daffodils, primroses and a wealth of colourful tulips.
Several late daffodils offer displays in the containers and borders. Narcissus ‘Pipit’ is one of the best with its lemon petals streaked with white. It is multiheaded and scented and naturalises extremely well. Early clematis such as Blue Eclipse add zing to the scene, along with blossoms and spring herbaceous plants. Scented perennial honesty Lunaria rediviva, white dicentra and Solomon Seal are all emerging. The dicentra looks wonderful in pots; so does pretty pink bellis daisies, cineraria and violas.
Then in late April come the blue camassias, underpinning the orchard trees flowering at the same time as the apples are in blossom. Everything looks so fresh and inviting.
White tree peonies are a favourite flower here and a special visit to Phedar Nursery in Stockport has resulted in some wonderful specimens planted beneath the white stemmed birches…a match made in heaven. More recently we have created an Itoh intersectional peony border nearby. And now even more intersectional have now been planted, their flowers are stunning but I also enjoy their strong burgundy shoots and leaves at this time of year.