London in April

London in April
As David swung his car into his driveway, my eyes swivelled to the decorative plum tree which is right near the entrance. Definitely a mature tree, and over 10 years old. When they first bought the house David wanted to lop off the tree as he said it looked quite ill. I dissuaded him saying the tree had not been cared for as the previous owners were old and had left the garden to run down.
The tree was covered with an old and strong ivy which had made inroads into the bark of the trunk. I patiently pulled it all off and cut it away clearing the ivy off the tree. I personally feel that any plant that has suckers will be drawing from the host tree on which it is climbing.

The tree took a year to stabalise and this year is completely loaded with flowers which make a stunning display. Deep pink flowers with an almost maroon leaf, makes the tree a breath taking sight to behold.

The rest of the front garden seemed just waking up from its winter slumber, but the yellow jasmine was a blaze of golden blooms on either side of the front door making my welcome doubly beautiful.

We put my suitcases into the bedroom I always stay in and after a quick wash we headed into the back garden. David’s back garden is truly massive and when he first bought the house, it was in a terrible condition. A man had to be called in to scythe the really tall grass and then mow it down for them to keep it trim. These old houses had a kitchen garden area at the back where in the 20-s and 30-s the owners grew their own veggies. So the end of the garden was not smooth and seemed like patches had been made to grow root vegetables and tomatoes mainly.

Mature fruit trees stand in the back garden – three apple and two pear trees but even these trees were over grown and needed care to recover. Not knowing how to handle these trees, David checked with a garden centre and then cut back the trees really firmly. The trees have taken the pruning well and this year the pears and the apples seem to be full of better looking flowers. David has learned, again from the garden centre that one has to take off 9 out of 10 baby fruit to get a few good fruit from the trees. The front trees have table apples, while one grown like a fan along the back fence is large cooking apples.

I love weeding and working in the garden. Today I took down the flowering hanging baskets which were overgrown with weeds through the winter. They had to be thoroughly soaked before I could even attempt at removing the thick grass that had spread itself rather firmly in each basket. While one works in the garden in the UK the black birds sing from all the trees around and the tops of roofs, making it one of the sweetest sounds I look forward to on every trip.

As I walk towards the kitchen to grab a cup of tea, two black birds fly down to inquisitively examine what I have been upto. I sip my tea in the kitchen and watch them with a smile, as my eye goes along the length of the lawn which is covered with daisies popping up in the sunshine. Their white little faces contrast so marvellously with the green grass of the lawn.

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