April is here and everything in the garden is kicking off. It used to strike me as odd that the whole garden burst into bloom in the spring, leaving the rest of the summer a bit dull. But of course the idea is to flower at the start of the season to make seeds for the autumn which will grow into new plants next year.
So what about the Roses, bedding plants etc. that flower all summer. Why do they bother? Well its down to man meddling, so that the garden looks good, bringing plants from other countries with different climates, then cross breeding them all to make a very confused little plant that does not know when is the best time to flower and produce seed.
There is a cunning plan which some species use. They flower a bit earlier or later than their rivals, so that they pick a time when the bees are having a quiet time, and their flowers are sure to get pollinated. This is Mother Nature making sure that the bees live up to their name.
So how do you get colour throughout the year? Well you can study books or the internet and pick something for every month, but this is a bit tricky as flowering times vary up and down the country. The best way is to pick something that is in colour when the garden is looking dull and plant it in your garden. Then in twelve months time it should flower again and the gap has been filled.
Winter Pansies are the flowers that amuse me the most. Flowering happily through the winter with their delightful honey scent, not a bee in sight, but somehow they produce a few seeds. They have such happy faces, but you have to conclude that they are jolly nice chaps but not terribly bright.