A shortlist of reasons to visit us in April would include: daylight, morels, bulbs and alpines.
According to my calculations the days are as long in April as they are in August although the weather can offer a mixture of thrills and bitter disappointments.
Nonetheless without setting foot outdoors, the wonderful workings of spring in the garden can be enjoyed from the drawing room window.
I don’t like yellow daffodils, but we plant white or creamy narcissi such as “Thalia” or “Rippling Waters” wherever we can. Apart from tulips which are our big thing for late April and early May we get so much pleasure from less common bulbs. Ipheion (pictured) flowers in the most unpromising gravel throughout April, and some shady spots are covered with white and blue anemones or Star of Bethlehem. Crocus, chinodoxa, and primroses are everywhere. Equally spectacular is the display of alpines in our Mediterranean border which are typically at their best in the third week in April but I admit that a twenty yard dash from the house is needed to get the best view.
For gourmets, April can be challenging but the morel mushroom is a great consolation. Apart from our rare and delicious St George’s mushroom, morels are the only edible fungi from the wild that pop up in spring. Aaron Patterson can be relied upon to work his magic with them at this season.
Otherwise, the longer days give plenty of time for long walks around the peninsular and in early May the bluebells in Hambleton Wood are spectacular. We are hoping that the nightingales might return.