Pot’s Growing On: 1st April and spring is well underway

Call me a total plant nerd, but Lupin leaves are pretty darn cool
Call me a total plant nerd, but Lupin leaves are pretty darn cool

After about a year of planning for our garden this year, we’re now able to get started on making it reality – I can’t think of many things better than seeing lots of it coming to life.

The last couple of weeks have seen everything in the garden spring into action. From the birds making nests to the plants shooting.

For future reference, on the 1st of April, this is what was growing:

  • Astilbe are shooting like gangbusters, going from little shoots to the first signs of spreading leaves in only a week.
  • Most of the perennials are now growing again, although only the first leaves are breaking
  • The plum tree is on the brink of flowering, one or two flowers are now open
  • The Acanthus spinosus is growing and the weird clumpy leaves that were sitting there all winter that I thought might be a disease are actually the start of the flower stalks – hooray!
  • All of the climbers and shrubs are now breaking their buds. The new Clematis viticella ‘Polish Spirit’ is growing seriously quickly now. And the Clematis ‘Avalanche’ out front is growing flower buds fast.
  • Inside, all of the seedlings seem to be doing well and are growing nicely. I’ll definitely wait until the 1st of March before sowing next year – just couldn’t help myself in Feb this year 😉 Interestingly, my little experiment of lightbox vs window has proven that a lightbox has grown seedlings almost double the size so far…
  • The five divisions I made of Heuchera ‘Licorice’ last autumn are now all growing well. Some have stronger roots than others but the leaf growth is very healthy. It’s a very beautiful plant on mass and I’m looking forward to its airy white flowers again.

So, here in Clapham at least, it seems March is the turning point, but by April 1st the race is on!

One last thing, I’m really interested in the storage organs of plants now I understand a bit about how plants work. Last year our Eryngium planum didn’t flower at all. Today I moved one, which you’re not supposed to do because the roots are fragile and deep and indeed I did snap some roots. But what I couldn’t believe was how big the main tap root had become – fat and enormous! No wonder it didn’t flower last year, it was growing that beast underground. I expect, even with the root snapping earlier, that this year it will almost certainly flower well.

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Jack Wallington

I'm an RHS qualified garden designer living in Clapham, London who loves growing plants and designing with them. Follow me on Twitter.

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