April highlights in the Gardens
WHAT’S LOOKING GOOD AT BRESSINGHAM IN EARLY APRIL?
Early April has two main colours in our gardens: Pinks and Blues. Looking down at ground level, strolling around the gardens you can see large drifts of Chionodoxa (Scilla) luciliae, an incredibly pretty, early spring flowering bulb, which produces open sprays of star-shaped, gentian blue flowers amongst the slender, strap-shaped foliage. At Foggy Bottom and especially in Rosemary’s wood, you will find thick carpets of Scilla bithynica, the turkish squill. Originally coming from the cool shores of the Black Sea, this squill naturalises extremely well here, enjoying most woodland conditions and some moisture. Of a similar size to our bluebell, it spreads in the same way to provide a carpet of blue but a month earlier, and is loved by insects.
Looking up you will find most nuances of pink, from the palest pink of Magnolia x soulangeana to the confetti pink of several Camelia williamsii, to the purple pink of our early rhododendrons.
Jason Bloom’s Favourite April plant selection
Agapanthus Silver Moon Young variegated leaves just emerging. New release this year. By far and away the best variegated cultivar we have tried and tested at Bressingham. Vigorous, brightly variegated strap like foliage is followed by a stunning display of large headed, mid blue umbels held aloft on stiffly upright stems. Such a flowering display is rarely seen on other variegated cultivars.
Campanula Moonlight Large green mounds. New release from Adrian this year. Makes a mound of light green foliage which is filled with china blue, fading to white flowers. The colour as with many plants, changes with the light. Flush of flowers in early summer and again in autumn.
Campanula Purple Fountain Large green mounds. New release from Adrian this year. Low growing habit, purple tinged leaves early in the year, and stems bearing purple, white centred flowers, a striking plant.
Veronica gentianoides Barbara Sherwood In bud, Outstanding and delicately beautiful perennial forming a neat clump of glossy green leaves at the base with tall stems bearing wonderfully elegant spikes or powder blue flowers with distinctive deeper blue veining. Easy and trouble free.
Actaea James Compton Purple black leaves just emerging. Darker even than Actaea ‘Brunette’, this clump former produces strong stems bearing large, feathery, dissected deep purple-black foliage with long, white bottle brush flowers in autumn. Partial shade and moist fertile soil.