Garden Views-04-April 2023

After the gloomiest and wettest March, it was a huge relief to emerge from a Meadows Group meeting in Llangain on April 1st to see sunshine and blue sky for the first time in ages.

A couple of glorious days followed when at last we could do some serious work outside and some lunch guests and a long-planned group of garden visitors could enjoy the garden in some lovely light.

The daffodils, Magnolia stellata and Camellia have never looked better, given the lack of any harsh frosts to damage the flower, just light air frosts on a couple of mornings.

For the first year, the daffodils that have grown from saved seed around the shepherd’s hut have begun to bloom – over 50 flowers in 2023, with large numbers of seedling leaves hinting at greater delights in the years ahead. Lambing began with a couple of sets of twins following on from an abortion of twins last month, but we had the added and unusual disappointment of one of the twin ewe lambs dying overnight for no obvious cause.

A real delight was the early arrival of a pair of swallows on the 7th, and they even posed perfectly for photos on Easter Sunday.

The weather then deteriorated with more very wet days, and cold winds after 2 lovely days over Easter. The ground was once more saturated, and the garden took a bit of a battering.

However, more benign weather became more of a feature by mid-month, with better light, and gradually warming temperatures.

As the month wore on, a pattern of occasional spells of dry weather were interspersed with modest rainfall. But a feature was cold daytime temperatures, but being spared severe overnight frosts. the consequence of all this was that the tulips and daffodils were lasting really well as we headed into the last week of the month, and many of the orange centred cup forms, like N. ‘Actaea’ and ‘Merlin’ weren’t scorched by hot sunshine, as often happens.

For once we’ve had a few garden visitors who’ve come during April and been able to appreciate some of these delights. usually, for some unknown reason, no one comes at daffodil time.

With the Camellias and Pieris also putting on a wonderful show this year, it’s a huge compensation for all the rain in March and often gloomy skies.

However we do yearn for even mid-teen temperatures, which so far have hardly ever materialised in 2023, to match the promise of seeing the sun rise beyond Adrian’s farm buildings, just after 6.00a.m.