Six on Saturday | April Blues

April has been a funny ole month – a northerly cold wind blew throughout most of the early days with some wintry showers thrown into the mix, but most days have been sunny and dry, although temperatures barely reaching double figures and down to 0°C at night, but fortunately no frosts here. I have managed to get some wires strung along my fence for my three new clematis and an old rose to climb along. Said rose has been clipped and tied in so I am hoping that this year there will be more flowers and not all at the top! And my hellebore seedlings from a few years ago all have new pots and new compost and the dozen or so slimy assassins hiding in their roots have been exterminated.
Doing this monthly is a little tricky now that there are lots of things to show, but here are six pretty things that appeared this month. Above you have the view of my new shady bed from the back of the garden with many of my favourite colours appearing – the golds and greens and buttery coppers and the blues.

1.  April is not April without the masses of Forget-me-Nots that explode into frothy heads of cerulean blueness. No matter how many seedlings I remove in the autumn they are everywhere as you can see, even in some of my pots! But they are such a beautiful foil for the narcissi and tulips that I really don’t mind.

2. The next blue is unexpected and must have just been in the compost that I used to top up my raised Bee & Butterfly bed. A mixed bag of Anemone coronaria ‘De Caen’ corms were bought a few years ago and I really must buy some more for next year as they really are stunning. Try looking up the individual varieties.

3. The third blue has a flower very similar to the Forget-me-Nots, but a very different leaf. In fact the flowers are that tiny bit smaller and tiny bit stronger colour. This one is Brunnera ‘Sea Heart’ with its silver green-veined heart-shaped leaves.

4. Another paler shade of blue in the garden at this time of year is my Pulmonaria / Lungwort. I thought maybe I had lost it this year because last month there was barely a sign of the leaves. I have to cut them back in the autumn because they always get mildew and go black. But no, here they are again. Possibly ‘Opal’, but I didn’t plant them so that’s a guess. Again, nice spotted foliage, for now.

5. Moving away from the blues now, let’s have some contrasting colours. Wallflowers. An old-fashioned favourite, I like to use these plants as toppers for my tulips. Old ones were planted on the Cornish wall where they are flowering again, but I bought some new plants last autumn which are just beginning to show their colours.

These should be bright enough for Becky’s bright squares too.

6)  Calendula officinalis / pot marigold. I sowed some seeds directly into this bed last year and some have continued to flower throughout the winter. I had a lovely dark one called ‘Indian Prince’ which may return if it self-seeded, but I haven’t seen any sign of it yet. Calendula are cheerful flowers and I have some new seeds to sow in a month or so’s time in my herb bed. See how perfectly the photo-bombing blues surround this flower?

There are of course dozens of tulips in my garden now, but quite a few of the older ones have gone over already. I shall be doing a post about the bulbs soon – too many for a sixer – but I will be back next month to join the party with some more pretties. The header photo was taken from my upstairs window on April 1st with the willow trees just coming into bud.

As always, if you want a peek over other people’s garden walls then please pop over to our host, the lovely Jon, AKA ‘The Propagator’ where you find links to many more wonderful garden enthusiasts from all over the world.

See here for the participant’s guide.

Six on Saturday

57 Comments Add yours

  1. The calendula is perfect with the forget-me-nots, I agree that they are always cheerful. The shades of colour in your shady border work so well together, the tulips in the background (what kind are they?) pick up the colours of the heuchera and the golden-leaved plant next to the stone so well.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I am lucky that the forget-me-nots tend to spread themselves around and actually look as though they are meant to be there! The tulips are Ballerina – one of the reliable ones and my favourite colour, plus scent – Cairo or Brown Sugar.

  2. I love to peek over your garden wall to see what’s current — today, mostly a case of the blues, a delightful kind of blues, that is. My latest blues, the grape hyacinths I wrote about last week, are playing themselves out, sadly, and they’re looking spindly, and the crocuses are long gone. Lavender and Russian sage remain grey with winter. Violets, however, are going strong, especially edging my herb garden walkways. The irises will have to wait a bit longer.

    1. Heyjude says:

      My Muscari (grape hyacinths) are coming to an end too which is why I ignored them. I do like them though as there are many different colours. Crocuses don’t last long here – a couple of weeks in February, but very welcome. Sounds like your summer garden will be full of blues!

  3. Beautiful blues. My Calendula succumbed to the wet in the winter so I’ve sown some more on modules in case the dropped seeds rotted as well. Someone else had those Anemones a few weeks back. For some reason, I’ve never grown them but must try next to remember for next year.

    1. Heyjude says:

      The anemones are definitely worth growing. I shall get some in the autumn. My Calendula sometimes self-seed, but often don’t. Probably the young seedlings get eaten.

  4. Ann Mackay says:

    Your garden is looking really pretty. I like the brunnera for its leaves but haven’t seen it in flower before. What a lovely blue they are! Things are a bit later than usual here too.

    1. Heyjude says:

      The Brunnera is very slow to spread, but I do like the leaves.

      1. Ann Mackay says:

        One for the ‘to buy’ list!

  5. Beautiful photos Jude – I’ve been a bit absent on the blog for a couple of weeks. We had a very busy time over the school holidays but now I will have plenty of time for blog work as we are back in lockdown (since Friday). Another hotel quarantine breach and it’s got into the community (fingers crossed can be contained pretty soon). The spring colours are so pretty 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Rosemary. How long is your lockdown for? I know that Brisbane had one for only 3 days! Quite different to our 3 months. I wonder what will happen once your international borders open up. My son says vaccination is slow over there.

      1. Yes we are really very lucky here Jude – I would personally much rather have a short sharp lockdown to stamp out the latest outbreak than have months of stay at home orders. Our lockdown was what they call a circuit breaker for 3 days so just like Brisbane’s. It gives the authorities time to assess the scale of the issue and track and trace contacts. We have had it confirmed this afternoon that the lockdown will end at midnight tonight as planned but there will be another 4 days of strong restrictions. Mask wearing will be mandatory outside the home and venues such as gyms, clubs and the casino will stay closed. There are reduced capacities in cafes, restaurants and pubs and you have to be seated. A few other things too such as no spectators at community sports. So far only 2 cases of community transmission since the original case have been found – a close friend who the first case stayed with once he came out of hotel quarantine and a man who sat at an adjacent table to them in a restaurant. We had only just started the 2 way travel bubble with New Zealand, which allows for quarantine-free travel between the 2 countries. It has currently been suspended between WA and NZ and also people from the Perth and Peel regions here in WA are currently barred from entering most other Australian states. I can’t see our international borders being opened up for some time (unlikely at all this year). It will probably happen gradually so that initially there will be more travel bubbles with countries deemed low risk such as Singapore. Of course we don’t have the cases that you do in Europe and so it is not so imperative but even so the vaccination programme has been taking a while to get going. People are cautious too. I guess we just have to be patient and wait for this to pass (fingers crossed).

        1. Heyjude says:

          It’s terrible for families who can’t get back into Australia though, and so many Aussies have family abroad. I’m not sure I’ll ever manage that flight again.

        2. It’s really tough Jude I know. Whilst we’re lucky to have our kids and grandkids here we have no way of knowing when we’ll see other family members in the Uk again (eg my dad who’s nearly 88). We have a very sad situation unfolding in my husband’ s family at present and he will not be able to travel over. I have friends who are similarly affected saying goodbye over Zoom, not seeing newborn grandchildren etc it’s been really hard. Fingers crossed the situation will improve – epidemics do normally burn themselves out from all the reading I’ve done hopefully it doesn’t take too long with this one.

        3. Heyjude says:

          We live in hope Rosemary. We’ve missed out on our new grandson and we live in the same country!

        4. Do hope you’ll be able to see him soon Jude – it must be very hard. Fingers crossed it won’t be too long till you can meet him in person 🙂

        5. Heyjude says:

          Hope to, but people are staycationing this year and I’m afraid that demand on holiday homes / B&Bs etc is going to be high. Maybe we can meet them half way in the summer.

        6. Hope you can work something out Jude – even a half way meetup would be lovely I’m sure 🙂

  6. BeckyB says:

    Bright enough indeed, and what a stunning post. So happy to have been part of Six on Saturday.

    You are so fortunate not to have had the frosts, even Mum got caught out in Somerset this April. The dry though I think is doing even more damage, can’t recall when we last had rain

    1. Heyjude says:

      Somerset can get very cold temperatures and also hotter than us. Surrounded by sea makes a big difference.

  7. Cathy says:

    Your new shady bed looks good with the contrasting golds and blues. Your anemone appearance is a happy accident – I really struggle to get these to grow so perhaps I should just try planting them in the compost heap…

    1. Heyjude says:

      I planted some new ones last spring for summer flowering and none came up, so they are fickle. This shady bed is becoming quite lovely, though I have noticed my Geum has died.

      1. Cathy says:

        I haven’t had much success with geum in recent years (no idea why), although I do have a healthy looking Mrs B returning this year

        1. Heyjude says:

          Odd how some plants just die off for no apparent reason. I don’t have much success with Heleniums.

        2. Cathy says:

          Yes, that’s another no-no for me too, along with other daisy-type plants like echinacea and perennial rudbeckia! But generally I now don’t consider it an issue with the gardener and her techniques… 😉

  8. All very pretty. I do love how the forget me nots just reappear and their colour is so gorgeous. I thought I’d lost all mine but this summer one plant grew. I’m waiting for the seed heads to dry and I’ll scatter the seeds.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I just shake some of mine around the garden when I pull them out.

  9. Dina says:

    Your garden looks stunning for this if the year, Jude.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I think I specialise in spring colour Dina. Always been my favourite time of year. It’s looking a little dry at the moment though!

  10. Gosh! Your garden is looking fabulous, and you are right about the blue flowers providing the perfect foil for other colours. The Jack Frost is beautiful! I’d forgotten about it and was going to try and purchase a plant for myself.

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