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April Garden Journal

Posing in the propagating tunnel, my favourite office. As I write this a few weeks later, there is standing room only as we juggle the seedlings and trays of optimism for this summers flowers.

April is always good fun, seed sowing, potting on, planting out. And repeat. The gardens are softened by the new lush growth sparkling in the quiet sunshine of longer days. I love it!

Tunnels of ranunculus in the walled gardens.

We’ve been splitting up our stock of dahlias and potting up to sprout. The dahlias will be planted where the ranunulus are right now so we pot up to get a head start. They need to be protected from the frosts. And this month we've had unprecedented low night time temperature. We've noticed that it seems to dip just at dawn and anything that isn't under cover, and fleeced has been bitten by it. The days aren't that cold but jack frost is definitely nipping off any fresh growth overnight.

In the tunnel, the new dahlia cuttings are rooting fast on the heat bed. These get covered by fleece every night also.

Meanwhile we‘re emptying the compost heaps and spreading around the newly planted perennials in the long border and the kitchen garden. Look at those worms! This frees up bays to turn the newer heaps.

The ranunculus beginning to bloom.

The garden feels refreshed with the hoops and tunnels off the beds now.

This month has been especially exciting. We opened the gates again and dusted off the outdoor kitchen to welcome our ‘Grow Your Own’ course members.

Sharing the garden really brings the space alive. We were thrilled to be together again and simply be in the garden. I love teaching and being tested with questions! It pushes my learning too and constantly keeps our thinking about growing and our ethos in review.

Splitting echinops in the Braybrooke garden.

You can see we experienced all the seasons over the three days! From freezing wind to bright t shirt weather!

Sharing our pricking out and transplanting techniques.

Practicing splitting dahlias and potting to sprout.

Chrysanthemum cuttings.

Pruning roses.

Alex’s famous Apple Tart.

In the studio we have been obsessed with narcissus. It seems to have been a fantastic year for them. They began flowering in mid February and we still have a couple going now.

Our ‘Year of Flowers’ bud vases from Kate Spence have been the perfect vessel for showing them off. We’ve already got our wish list ready for next years bulbs.

Cissy and I are so excited to have launched STANDARD FLOWERS and delivery flowers again. Here you can order ready to arrange buckets of flowers and bouquets for delivery.

The trolley with buckets ready for delivery.

The huge table is used for everything from lunch, potting up, dividing dahlias and sorting buckets.

The first ranunculus sorting into buckets.

Cissy’s compote bowl of fritillary and narcissus. Delicious.

And we are loving making vases up for delivery. It’s like we've never had the winter!

Those heavenly narcissus.

Feels so good to have the studio full of buckets of flowers and shooting arrangements again.

Next month we are back on with weddings and the first of this years ‘Flower Sessions’. More friends in the garden and more beauty. That’s the thing about plants and gardens. They will return to flower no matter how harsh the winter. I do my little bit to help but mostly I am lucky enough to be still here to enjoy it.

Amelanchier flowering in front of the propagating tunnel.


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