April for me is the month of geums. There is just something so adorable about their
drooping heads and bright green leaves. Geum ‘Bell Bank’ is one of the spring flowering geums that provides a wealth of colour just as daffodils and tulips are starting to fade. And I just adore the peachy- pink colour petals.
Geums are really easy to grow and extremely hardy plants. They grow well in pots and are suitable for all soil conditions except dry and heavy clay. If you have clay soil, you can still plant geums in the ground, I would just recommend that you add plenty of organic matter before planting as well as a mixture of grit and compost.
Geum ‘Bell Bank’ is more suited to being planted in more moisture retentive soil in dappled shade however other spring geums are more tolerant of full or part sun. Read more at: tinyurl.com/mecuyck.
I have started to ‘collect’ geums and grow at least ten different types in our garden. What plants have you started to collect?
April’s plant of the month at is the glowing Geum ‘Moonlight Serenade’. I adore the creamy-yellow flowers that float above silver-haired stems and leaves. This plant really does brighten up a shady spot. Find out more at: suburban-garden
At the moment our garden is slowly becoming a world of colour. The kerica japonica is awash with yellow while the tulips are once again putting on a vibrant display. An unnamed pulmonaria plant that every year tries to sprawl across one of our terraces is proving to be a real bee magnet. Then right at the back of the garden underneath a slow growing conifer is a pale pink bergenia that has also captured my heart this year. What plants really make your garden come alive at this time of year?
It is easy to dismiss a garden in January but there are some signs of spring evident even though it’s a bit early! You just need to want to keep your eyes open and know where to look.
Our garden is currently going through an overhaul. We moved in at the end of 2013 and last year was a ‘do as much as you can year’ in order that we got some of the benefits this year. And it seems to be paying dividends even through some of the plants were established way before we arrived on the scene.
Last Sunday we did a bit of tidying up in the front. As well as making the plant pots that stand outside our doorstep a little neater and replacing the top layer of soil in them with some fresh compost, I also sorted out the hollyhocks.
I persist with hollyhocks even through they are prone to rust because I couldn’t imagine a summer without their tall blooms waving about in the wind. I removed any dead leaves and any that showed signs of rust. We are lucky that we have a large beech tree in our back garden and I gathered some of the leaves and packed them in and around the hollyhocks, taking care not to damage the roots. Eventually the beech leaves will decompose and hopefully give the hollyhocks some much needed nutrients. Anyway they already look much healthier, so that’s good enough for me.
Here is a little flavour of what else is going on in our garden at the moment:
I think the ‘Cally mix’ Hellebore featured as my main image is simply stunning. It has really brightened up a dull part of the garden. The clematis is still going strong and I know once it passes its’ best then the silky seed pods add another dimension to the trellis support.
The snapdragon has been going strong all year. Again I just tidied it up a bit by cutting off the seed pods and any straggly leaves and branches. The yellow ranunculus ficaria was one of the first signs of spring last year although since then we’ve disturbed a lot of the soil at the back. As a result we’ve probably lost the carpet effect that all these plants created last year but I’m not going to worry about it; these plants are considered invasive.