Here Keith Wiley picks the gardens which will be in full bloom this month. Don't miss his feature on the best April plants.
April gardens to visit 2022
For me April is the month I primarily associate with erythroniums. In the south of the UK this will be during the first half of the month, but further north it is more likely to be towards the end of April. Here in the South West we are blessed with several gardens in which to see these beautiful flowers. One of the best is the magical Greencombe Gardens near Porlock. This small, three-and-a-half-acre woodland garden is completely organic, and as well as holding one of the National Collections of erythroniums, it also offers many ferns and trilliums. Greencombe Gardens, Porlock, Somerset TA24 8NU. Tel 01643 862363, greencombe.org
Further west in Cornwall is another little-known garden at Bosvigo House. Created by artist Wendy Perry over a period of more than 50 years, this woodland garden is carpeted in spring with drifts of erythroniums. hellebores and wood anemones. Bosvigo Lane, Truro, Cornwall TR1 3NH. Tel 01872 275774, bosvigo.com
However, if you want to see these wonderful plants on a larger scale you’ll find more extensive naturalised groupings at the National Trust garden at Knightshayes, near Tiverton, which provides 50 acres of woodland gardens. Bolham, Tiverton, Devon EX16 7RG. Tel 01884 254665, nationaltrust.org.uk/knightshayes
You’ll also find extensive plantings at the Garden House in south Devon. This ten-acre garden is made up of different themed areas, with on-site nursery and tea room. The Garden House, Buckland Monachorum, Yelverton, Devon PL20 7LQ.thegardenhouse.org.uk
In April this year, you might want to combine your trip with a visit to my own garden at Wildside, which very near the Garden House, and is opening on those days for erythroniums. Green Lane, Buckland, Monachorum, Yelverton, Devon PL20 7NP. Tel 01822 855755, wileyatwildside.com
Scottish Rock Garden Club
I wouldn’t want you to think that the South West is the only part of the UK to see erythroniums this month. Aberdeen-based Ian Young is a passionate devotee of all things bulbous whose Bulb Log on the Scottish Rock Garden Club website is both a delight to read and the best source of advice on where to see bulbous plants in the north of the UK. srgc.net
Crûg Farm Nurseries
April is also the ideal month for looking around nurseries and discovering new plants with which to refresh tired planting palettes. Top of my list to visit is always Crûg Farm Nurseries in North Wales, which re-opens this month. From their extensive plant hunting expeditions, owners Bleddyn and Sue Wynn-Jones have introduced so many new plants into cultivation that a visit to their nursery is always inspiring. Crûg Farm Plants, Griffith’s Crossing, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, LL55 1TU. Tel 01248 670232, crug-farm.co.uk
Ideally, I would break any journey to Crûg Farm at Ashwood Nurseries, timing it so I can include a look round owner John Massey’s private garden, which this month opens on 12 April. Ashwood Lower Lane, Ashwood, Kingswinford, West Midlands DY6 0AE.
Tel 01384 401996, ashwoodnurseries.com
Keith is a proponent of the ‘new naturalism’ movement in gardening and runs Wildside in Devon. He has written several books and lectures on both sides of the Atlantic.
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