Whats in bloom in April?

posted in: Gardening | 18
What’s in bloom in April in my Perthshire garden? Well lately patience has really become a virtue when it comes to waiting for spring. In fact we’re never quite sure when it will arrive. Astronomically speaking spring arrived on 20th March 2013 with the vernal equinox. While for meteorologists it arrived on 1st March. For the gardener here in Scotland it probably feels like Spring just arrived in the past few days. Everything in the garden is so late at coming into growth as nature stood still and dormant for the latter half of March and early April.

We had snow and the harshest Siberian easterly wind I have ever felt.  Many seasoned gardeners  have told me that that’s the way March used to be here in the early 1960’s.

Anyway we all know that there’s going to be an explosion of spring colour here in the not too distant future. Those buds on the trees will be soon bursting into bloom. While migratory birds will be visiting again now that the wind direction has changed.

In the meantime here’s what’s in flower in the leavesnbloom April garden.

Just like in March the perennials such as Crocus, Snowdrops, Spring snowflakes and many of the Hellebores are still in flower. While newly planted Spring bedding – Ranunculus, Bellis daisies and Violas are giving colour to the planted containers.  My choices of bedding plants are not  ‘bee friendly’ nectar plants. But once the weather improves all the containers will be filled with flowering herbs. As a result their flowers will provide a rich nectar source for the wildlife during the summer months.


adopt the pace of nature … her secret is patience ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Whats in Bloom in April


blue Iris reticulata - Whats in bloom in April?
What’s in bloom in April – Iris reticulata

Iris reticulata seem to like this part of the garden. They keep coming back year after year in the same spot under the Weeping Pear Tree.


yellow Primula veris 'Cabrillo' cowslips - Whats in bloom in April?
with heuchera red leaves, yellow Primula ‘Emily’ and Tete-a-tete daffodils in the background.

The Primula veris ‘Cabrillo’ are slowly starting to elongate their long stems topped with umbels of fragrant yellow flowers.

Witch hazel

pale lemon Hamamelis x intermedia 'Pallida' flowers - Whats in bloom in April?
Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Pallida’

Two of the Hamamelis x intermedia are still in flower – ‘Orange Dream’ and ‘Pallida’.  This is Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Palida’ with the last of it’s fragrant  lemon spidery blooms.


Pink Erica carnea heather flowers - Whats in bloom in April?
Erica carnea

The winter/spring flowering heather is  providing a rich source of nectar for any brave bee that ventures out of the hive. (I’ve only seen two so far this year!)  It grows below the conifer Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Filifera Aurea’.


Pulmonaria longifolia 'Diane Claire' - Whats in bloom in April?
Pulmonaria longifolia ‘Diane Claire’

I’ve many different types of Pulmonaria starting to bloom.  This one is probably the strongest and most vigorous grower – Pulmonaria longifolia ‘Diane Claire’ and eventually all the white spots on the leaves will merge to turn the leaves silver.



Pink Daphne mezereum 'Rubra' flowers - Whats in bloom in April?
Daphne mezereum ‘Rubra’

Saturday 6th April was the day I spotted my first butterfly of 2013 for my yearly phenology reports. The Peacock butterfly kept coming back to feed on nectar from this Daphne shrub all afternoon. I refused to be tempted to go and get the camera as once I had that camera in my hand there would be no more power washing done.


yellow Narcissus Tete-a-tete daffodils with Euphorbia mysinites which normally is in flower at this time of year.
Narcissus Tete-a-tete daffodils with Euphorbia  mysinites which is normally in flower at this time of year.

Is it my imagination or do the daffodils seem to have shorter stems than normal  this year?

A female blackbird in flight with nesting material

Caution – Under Construction

Nesting season for the blackbirds and sparrows has really got under way.

As usual the sparrows prefer the eaves of the house for their nests.

While the blackbirds have chosen a conifer in the garden behind our fence.

I don’t mind her foraging for moss in the borders but my coir hanging basket liner is a luxury I really would prefer that she left well alone.

Low flying female blackbirds while weeding in the garden is something to be aware of. This one had a near collision with my head on Saturday afternoon!


A View from Above

Here’s a birds eye view of some of the garden taken after a morning of heavy rain on Sunday 14th April.  There are still three other parts to the garden that I’ve not photographed yet.  

The centre ‘circular’ area next to the patio is where most of the winter and early spring flowers are grown together.

The lawns always look a sickly patchy green after the winter especially after being scarified. I lightly applied some ferrous sulphate on Saturday as it’s good at removing Peltigera canina | dog lichen which is a rapid coloniser and grows in patches on acidic lawns during the autumn/winter (read more about dog lichen and how to remove it on the RHS site).

The kidney shaped lawn hasn’t been cut yet while the ‘circular’ lawn and edges had their first trim on Saturday.

A view of various parts of the leavesnbloom spring garden - Whats in bloom in April?
Whats in bloom in April?


Follow Rosie Nixon:

Photography Tutor and Gardener

Rosie is a garden photographer, writer and nature lover. She enjoys soaking up nature and is easily distracted from doing the weeding by anything that flutters, flies, buzzes, creeps or crawls! She enjoys sharing the beauty of creation through her photography. Rosie has been featured on TV on BBC2's The Beechgrove Garden and she uses the outdoors as her natural light studio. Her work can be seen at one of Scotland's only photography galleries - Close Gallery, 4b Howe Street, Edinburgh. She also writes and shares her nature images on www.irelandbirdphotography.com

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18 Responses

  1. Kalantikan

    Hello Rosie, now at last you got the high temps of spring and the flowers are blooming. You have a nice garden, i bet your hands will be full in the next few days. I smiled of the term 'cowslip', to me the leaves look like cow's tongue rather than lips, hehe! Happy gardening.

  2. elaine rickett

    I looked back at your last April photos – goodness what a difference a year makes. I should think everything is about a month behind at the moment. My cowslips are nowhere near as far advanced as yours. I was surprised at the size of your garden – a lot smaller than I imagined.

  3. Mark and Gaz

    Love the shot of the Narcissus with the Euphorbia myrsinites, and the scent of that Daphne must be heavenly. Great to see other parts of your garden too, it's shaping up nicely!

  4. Gardening in a Sandbox

    I enjoyed a look at your garden today. I am used to your close ups of your beautiful flowers but now I have a sense of where they are situated. I would like to see more. Valerie

  5. Vigdis i Romerikshaven

    I enjoyed watching your beautiful April flowers.
    I can see that you are also interested in birds. Migratory birds are coming back to Norway these days, love it! Wishing you a lovely spring!

  6. NellJean

    Happy Bloom Day. Lots of Spring lovelies to see in your garden this April, and the wide views are great. I am a fan of wide views.

    There's no second story here so I don't do aerial views but I've considered getting out a ladder, probably not a wise move for an old lady.

  7. A Garden of Threads

    Wow Rosie, your garden is gorgeous…the birds eye view was a fantastic idea. When I read it was GBBD I though no can't be too soon. But again I missed it…where is time flying away to!!! But then there is not much blooming in my garden, winter will just not give up. Take care and have an awesome week. Jen

  8. Angie

    Rosie – isn't it great that we are finally getting a bit of heat! You are right about that wind – it was a killer! Nice to see the birds enjoying spring time as much as we are.
    Lovely blooms going on there – I think the extended cold weather has made some things last a wee bit longer – particularly the Iris retics. I've still a few buds to open!
    Happy Bloom Day!
    p.s. I love that circular bed you have cut out your lawn. It was nice to see your garden as a 'whole'

  9. Janet/Plantaliscious

    How nice to have the aerial views to help put everything in to context Rosie. That is a very erect pulmonaria, I am new to the plant and I didn't realise they came like that! Mine is much more prostrate, but lovely nontheless. I can't believe your withc hazel is still blooming, mine finished weeks ago, but without anything much to replace the colour thanks to the beastly easterlies. But as you say, we should have a sudden explosion of colour soon, which I for one am certainly ready for.

  10. John Willis

    Nice to see what's happening in Scotland. We're planning a two week trip there this June with the expectation of visiting a lot of gardens… 🙂

  11. Rose

    Spring has been slow in coming for us this year, too, but there are signs of it all around at last. Love those iris reticulata–I must, must plant some of these! Happy Bloom Day!

  12. Anna

    Spring is about at the same stage too in north west England Rosie ie only just arrived but perhaps even more appreciated than usual. I can just about remember the winter of 1962 but was more interested in making snowmen than I was in flowers then. Your witch hazels have certainly earned their keep this year!

  13. Carolyn ♥

    Lovely images as always, Rosie. So glad you got a little sunshine. Our Spring is dampered by Spring snow and below freezing temps (24°F in my gardens this morning). We need more sunshine to coax our buds to begin to bloom. Patience.

  14. VP

    The cowslips have just exploded into life on the verge on the way into our estate. I'm pleased to see they're spreading 🙂

  15. Bernie H

    Spring may have been late in coming, but you've got some rather pretty springtime flowers on show. Gorgeous photos, as usual. Butterflies and nesting birds … sounds like Spring is well under way.

  16. Alistair

    Hi Rosie, it is good to see an improvement in the weather. Its still running hot and cold here, well not exactly hot. Mind you turning my head and looking out the window, not a cloud in sight, garden bathed in glorious sunshine, fine in the sun, in the shade brrr. Good to see the blooms in your garden, thing are also progressing here at last. Funny enough the Tete e Tete was not even six inches tall when the blooms first opened, I think they are now looking even better having reached ten inches, I wouldn't be surprised this year to still see Daffs in the garden come June..