The old saying ‘April showers brings May flowers’ is usually true of this month. Expect the inevitable heavy downpours as well as sunny often chilly days… and beware of frosts. With summer just around the corner, April should be an exciting month as plants bursts into life again in the garden; there are lots of seeds to be sown and young seedling to be potted. Warmer weather means that these are more vulnerable to drying out so keep a watchful eye on them. A good piece of advice is to work with the weather and your local microclimate and above all use common sense, remembering heavy clay soils are slow to warm up in spring compared with lighter sandy soils.
Some of our loveliest plants flower in April. Many are deciduous shrubs that produce their blooms on bare stems. Magnolias are perhaps the most magnificent of all and the sight of these in full flower is truly breathtaking: no garden should be without one. Other notable decidous shrubs are the delicate Prunus incisa ‘Kojo-no-mai, a charming Japanese bush Cherry and the lovely Amelanchiers (Snowy Mespilus). If you want drama in your garden, Camellias certainly have the wow factor, producing their richly coloured blooms against glossy evergreen foliage. Add to the mix some late Narcissi, Wood Anemones, Dog’s Tooth Violets and Snakeshead Fritillaries and your garden will be guaranteed to be full of colour.