Garden moodboard: April

After nearly a year of photographing these monthly garden moodboards, I’ve come to realise that getting the main shot is a little like taking a group family photo.

Garden moodboard April | Wolves in London
Spring has sprung!

You line everyone up neatly, check they’re standing in a good position, look through the lens, go back to the group, move someone a little, ask someone else to take off their glasses and, click, take what you think is a great photo. And it’s only when going through the photos later on your computer that you realise someone always had their eyes shut, or someone’s hair is blowing in the wind, covering up the face of the person to their left. And you scroll through all the photos, to discover that though you have one in which every individual person is looking good, there isn’t one of them all looking good together…

(My family are notorious eye closers. From all the events of the past few years — four weddings for each of my siblings, new babies, first birthday parties and so on — there is not one single photo where we all have our eyes open…)

This month, it was the artemisia letting the side down. Look at that photo above, everything looks magnificent except for the bit of slightly wilty green foliage, snuggling a little too close to the blossom and just generally looking a bit drab. But, the artemisia is a glorious little plant really, here it is showing off its colours with a little more panache.

Artemisia | Wolves in LondonArtemisia 'Powis Castle' | Wolves in LondonIt’s got lovely silvery foliage, covered in fine hairs, and it smells absolutely wonderful rubbed between your fingers. This cultivar is ‘Powis Castle’ – it’s growing in my front garden, but looking a bit bedraggled, overall, after being buried under scaffold planks and who knows what else for the most of the winter. I think I might need to take some cuttings and hope to start again with a sturdier plant now.

But it’s full on spring outside now, so there are plenty of lovely flowering plants as well. I’ve got two different types of bluey / purpley bulbs that I can’t identify. A big prize for anyone who can give me names for these two (small print: no actual prize will be forthcoming):

Update: a huge thanks to Philippa from Mini eats and Natalie from Slate grey, lime and hay for identifying both of these bulbs for me as, respectively, Scilla forbesii and Ipheion ‘Rolf Fiedler’

blue bulb | Wolves in London
Lovely blueish bulb flower. Is it is a scilla, perhaps?
Purple flower | Wolves in London
I had one solitary flower of these, but I didn’t feel too bad cutting it out, since it was at the very back of my garden completely out of eyesight

Others are more familiar to me. The gorgeous grape hyacinths are nearly over, but I managed to find a few still poking their heads up, though the bottom flowers on the stalk are already shedding seeds as you can just see here:

Grape hyacinth | Wolves in London
The bottom flowers are spent already, the middle ones have seeds waiting to spill…

The yellow primulas are still going strong as well. I know I showed you these last month, but I’ve since dug out my macro lens, so I thought they deserved a better close up photo this time round:

Primula | Wolves in London
It’s the colour of spring, isn’t it?

Ditto the last of the magnolia flowers, from next door’s front garden. I was reading something in my RHS magazine this month (uh huh, I’ve just subscribed, I’m getting serious about this gardening lark!) from a garden designer who said that in a small garden, every single plant has to perform to the fullest and provide interest in every season of the year. So he wouldn’t put any plants into a design that only had a short season of interest — no matter how appealing they were in that time. But the magnolia! I immediately thought to myself. How could you miss out on such a wonderful couple of weeks, even if it does very little for the rest of the year?

Magnolia stellata | Wolves in London
Magnolia stellata. A few weeks of glorious display, only, but fully worth its place in the flowerbed, in my opinion…

I planted lots of Leucojum aestivum bulbs (common name, Summer snowflake, says the RHS) in the front garden when we first moved in, though only a few have come through again this year. In the back garden, though, I’ve suddenly got loads around the pond, which is really beautiful. They look a lot like snowdrops, but grow on much taller stems.

Leucojum aestivum | Wolves in London
Just like a snowdrop. But not.

Most pleasing of all, though, is the proliferation of blossom on my plum tree. I hold out hope for a good plum crop this year, unlike last.

Plum blossom | Wolves in London
So delicate and so hard to photograph!

And for a little variety in colour, I had to show you a little of my forced rhubarb with it’s heavenly pink stems…

rhubarb | Wolves in Londonrhubarb stalk | Wolves in London…and these (what I think are) miniature tulips, with their red-and-yellow flowers:

Tulip | Wolves in London tulip | Wolves in LondonBut back into the front garden again for my last two plants. My batch of white snap dragons from last year have self-seeded back into the same pots and, so mild has it been, some have even started to flower, a good three or four months early:

Snapdragon bud | Wolves in LondonFinally, a little look at another silvery foliage plant, this gorgeous ‘Silver Dust’:

Senecio cineraria 'Silver Dust'I grew it from seed a few years ago and am amazed at how it’s continued to thrive, despite usually being grown as an annual in this country…

Once I’d finished photographing all these little beauties, I bunged them into a tiny jar so I could continue to admire them. Sweet, no?

garden flower jar | Wolves in London
A thimble full of cuteness

Joining in, as every other month, with Karin and Asa.

Related articles:

  • If this is your thing, lots more moodboards to be seen here: Monthly garden moodboards
  • You can also see my pick of my fave photos from mine and others’ moodboards over on Pinterest

16 thoughts on “Garden moodboard: April

    1. Wow, magnolia vinegar! Incredible sounding… Thing is, I don’t know if I could bear to sacrifice the lovely flowers even for the vinegar. Maybe one day when I have a gigantic garden and more than one magnolia tree I could give it a go…

  1. I love your pictures, little beauties. next month, I’m going to stop poncing around and simply put my finds on a blank white background! My garden lacks colour, yours doesn’t. I love Magnolias and only today thought how I’d like one, but not a good idea in a tiny walled garden. I also love. Forsythia, although short lived, I think it heralds Spring beautifully! Loving you blog Wolfy!

    1. It’s funny, because if you looked at my *actual* garden it wouldn’t seem that colourful at all! But when I wander round with a pair of secateurs, I always find lots of lovely things hidden away under all the rampant foliage. Definitely planning on getting some more conspicuous flowering plants in there this year though — have just ordered a whole batch of seeds to get started!

      Forsythia is so spring-like, isn’t it? All those lovely yellows that start popping up at this time of year can’t help but put you in a good mood…

  2. Stunning pictures.

    I’m pretty sure you’re correct in identifying it as a tulip. Possibly Tulipa ‘Berlioz’ (no good images on google images unfortunately, but my reference book’s picture looks very similar), or maybe some cultivar of Tulipa humilis. I’ve really fallen in love with T. humilis these past couple of years – ‘Persian Pearl’ and ‘Little Princess’ are definitely favourite cultivars.

    1. Ooh, thanks for that! I’ll go and take a look at those in one of my books and see if I can find a match… It’s a lovely little flower, it opens right up into a star shape, I’ve since discovered, would be great to find out exactly what it is, many thanks indeed!

      1. opening up into a star shape sounds like T. humilis. Does it have normal tulip leaves? If it has the normal tulip-shape leaves but with purple streaks/mottling then it is almost certainly the ‘Berlioz’. If it has narrow leaves more like a snowdrop (albeit not glaucous) then it won’t be a Dutch tulip like the T. ‘Berlioz’ but a species type such as the T. humilis.

      2. It has really narrow leaves, yes, rather than the normal tulip-shaped leaves, so I think it definitely sounds like ‘Humilis’ — I’ve had a little Google but couldn’t find an exact match but I think I shall go and pore over a tulip book in the library and see if I can find it!

        Thanks so much for all the info, I really appreciate it…


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