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  • Writer's pictureThe Blooming Old Gardener

I still believe in the Easter Bunny

"I still believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and true love. Don't even try to tell me different." – Dolly Parton

Well, I hope everyone had a visit from the Easter Bunny last weekend. I’m still eating my way through a pile of chocolate. I’m hoping that helping in the Bloomers garden will work it off. There’s lots planned to get the garden set up for the summer. So plenty to do to keep us all fit. Of course, you might just want to sit and enjoy the garden. Have a look at the bulbs and shrubs that are flowering at the moment. Perhaps pick a cabbage. You may even catch sight of a bunny or two.

Well, it’s April and so far it’s been fairly dry, but the phrase ‘April showers’ is often used because of sudden downpours. The Romani name for April is ‘Brishindeskero’ or ‘month of the rain’. It can also be sunny and one of the driest months.of the year. I find the rain and sunshine make it a great month to sow seeds as this is just what they need. But we’ve been getting some cold nights so I keep seedlings indoors at the moment. I need more window ledges though.

We don’t have a green house. So I’d put last years cuttings in a couple of cold frames in my garden for the winter. I have just uncovered these to see what has survived. Well, I’m pleased to say that all the alpines are ok. And most of the other small shrubs and herbs are too. The strange thing is that there are several that are growing, but don’t seem to have rooted yet. Very odd. I can give some of these (rooted) plants to Bloomers or other community gardens if anyone wants to contact me.

According to the moon, it’s time to prune. So, I’ve been gradually cutting back shrubs and pulling up those that did not survive the winter. It’s easier to see where to cut back now that there are buds sprouting. We are coming up to new moon too, which is supposed to be a time to make plans and a time for fun and creativity. So it’s the ideal time to be planning the next theme for the garden. Watch this space

We’ve had our last Old Town Bloom Connects session for now. Meeting other community gardeners has been interesting. And the making sessions have been fun and educational too. I’ve bird feeders hanging in my garden, wildflower bombs all over Runcorn Old Town, herb seedlings on my window ledge, some tradescantia on my bookshelf. And of course, some Quirky Bird drawings lying around.

I’ve been learning a lot about bees recently. It’s made me sow a lot more herbs and wildflowers at home and for the Bloomers garden. This way the worker bees get a regular supply of flowers. I’ve also had a rethink about the honey that I buy. Apparently, the cheap stuff that isn’t British or from the EU can be hardly honey at all. It can also include honey from bees that commonly have a virus (not COVID for bees!). If our own bees feed from it, they can contract the virus too, which would be a disaster for the hive. So I have thrown out my cheapo honey and am now buying Cheshire honey. Much more flavour. I get mine from Monks in Runcorn Old Town and from a small Runcorn business called Katies Kitchen.

Tim, who mows the lawn, has done the first cut of the year. He has left a patch of grass uncut, so we can have a wildflower area. I know a couple of people who have tossed a wildflower bomb into the patch to see what grows. But by leaving the grass uncut, it gives plants that are naturally there, the chance to grow. I’m really excited to see what happens. We are hoping to be able to do signs to identify some of the wildflowers that come up. I’d better get my I Spy book out. (That shows my age)

Talking of wildflowers, have you heard about the ‘Great British Wildflower Hunt’ run by the charity Plantlife? Download the app onto your phone, and when you go on a walk in the countryside, garden or in town, you mark which plants you see. There are 4 different hunts for different times of the year. I’ve done my first hunt, in Runcorn Old Town. I found it a really good way to learn the names of wildflowers I found in the kerbs and grassy areas. It makes your walks more interesting too.

The Blooming Old Gardener

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