Evergreen Choisya ternata will be scenting the area with its white flowers and the Camellias will still be holding their pink flowers above glossy leaves. Magnolia liliflora ‘Nigra’ will still be in flower frosts permitting.
Broad Beans, an early maturing vegetable have been planted in double rows in the vegetable garden and the volunteer gardeners will have made a start on sowing Brassicas and Leeks in the seed beds. Rhubarb is ready for pulling this month and sticks will be available to purchase from the garden. A few rows of early lettuce may be just showing above ground.
For a bit of a warm-up on cold, showery days pop in and look at the range of exotics which require winter protection before being put out in the Mediterranean garden after the threat of frost is past. You may also find seed of Runner Beans and other tender vegetables being started in the warm conditions. Please remember, if the door is closed to shut it again behind you.
New flowers are showing on Polyanthus and related Auriculas are beginning their display in the Auricula Theatre. The Fernery is showing the first bright, green fronds soon to unfurl.
Leave the Garden by the Arched Gateway
Follow the path opposite into the Sunken Garden noticing swelling flower buds on deciduous rhododendrons, which will be at their best in May, and onto the Dee Estuary Viewing Point. A few lingering flowers on daffodils and the first flowers on Bluebells will provide some colour as you make your way past the Ice House. As you leave this area, using the path to the Orchard, look to your right for flowers on Malus floribunda in pink and white
Pruning will have been completed earlier in the year and now the apple trees will be showing swelling, pink-tipped buds, a promise of fruitful harvests to come if the pollinating insects have good weather for their essential work. The Medlar, growing at the bottom of the sloping ground, will perhaps, be in full flower looking like a small, white, single rose; it is a close relative of our wild and garden roses.
- Garden Conservation