We seem to have arrived at the end of April and what a month.
April is known for being unpredictable here but I think we've beaten all records. I can't remember when it last rained. Certainly no April showers. The ground is dry and watering has become the priority when I should be focusing on sowing, planting and potting on. Established plants are fine but the newly planted and pots and trays need constant vigilance.
Added to that we've had high temperatures, early in the month we were out in shirt sleeves and needing sun protection. Temperatures fell again and we had frosts, then on Tuesday night a fall of sleet/snow which settled and froze overnight. That added to the drought has resulted in a few things looking worse for wear though, mostly, I think they'll recover.
The plants are confused and so is the gardener.
In spite of all this the garden is blooming. I picked this branch of Clematis montana and brought it in hoping it would open more quickly. I've been looking at the fat buds outside for 2 or 3 weeks. They are just starting to open now but this came out in a couple of days.
We had one of these in our previous life. It grew up the front of our house and was threatening to go under the roof tiles.
Mr C pruned it one day to within an inch of it's life. It was never the same again and he has not been allowed to do pruning since, except under close supervision. I sometimes wonder if that was the intent?
I salvaged some of last weeks vase. Mr C remarked on the height of the nameless plant, which had continued to grow all week, and said he liked it. This was unusual as he rarely notices flowers at all.
I salvaged that and the aquilegias and created this blue and pink concoction.
I love these colours and I'm so glad I took a photo so I can remember to use them again. The pink tips on the aquilegia picks up the pink bells beautifully.
Flat leaf parsley which is a brilliant bright green filler.
Pink bells which have followed on from the white and blue.
The nameless plant.
For inventive and creative vases from around the world visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden - In a Vase on Monday.
We've been building a chicken fortress for about 3 months now. It has taken longer and been more complicated than we imagined, nothing new there then. Mr C may not be a gardener but he is brilliant at construction and he's done a wonderful job.
Finally our new hens arrived a week ago. Meet the girls:
We got them through BHWT who re-home hens from commercial farms. Once we persuaded them outside they haven't looked back and are now enjoying retirement in their new home, scratching, pecking and laying. Some have more feathers than others but I think they already look more fluffy than they did last week.
It was worth the days spent out in bitter winds trying to get the stakes in the ground and wrestling with a roll of 6' wire fence!