I dip into my copy of Karel Capek's The Gardener's Year for my amusement rather than for any gardening advice. I love his quirky drawings and eccentric views on gardens and gardeners. Click on the picture below for an example of his style.
Having spent most of yesterday morning visiting garden centres and spending far too much on bedding plants and shrubs, I recognised the accuracy of this observation in the chapter entitled The Gardener's April:
Apart from germination, April is also the month for planting. With enthusiasm, yes, with wild enthusiasm and impatience, you have ordered seedlings from the nurseryman without which you could not go on living; you have promised all your gardening friends that you will come to them for cuttings; never, I say, do you have enough with what you have already got. And so, one day, some hundred and seventy seedlings congregate at your house which need to be planted; at that moment, you look round your little garden and find with overwhelming certainty that you have nowhere to put them.
This corner of the garden was looking very bare when I ordered the geranium and fuschia seedlings a few weeks ago. Now the bluebells are springing up everywhere and the lilac is about to flower so I don't know where I will put them. As well as the seedlings, I have 4 new shrubs, 7 pots of herbs and 10 trays of bedding plants, and several (well, perhaps, rather a lot of) packets of seeds so perhaps the cuttings from generous friends should be declined.
The warm, sunny Easter weather has transformed the garden and for once I have managed to get a picture of the apple blossom. The forsythia and magnolia are past their best but I'm delighted to have this record of my little apple tree, all that remains of what was once a large orchard.
I had planned to download the Andrews Sisters singing Apple Blossom Time but I remembered this Pat Boone gem from 1957, the year I started at my convent high school. In those pre-Beatles and Rolling Stones days, my sister and I spent our pocket-money on trips to the cinema to watch Pat Boone, Howard Keele and Gordon McCrae. Nan, at least, will enjoy this: