Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Labour of the month: April

My Labour of the Month for PPPs this April has to be garden related – this is the peak month for sowing and planting, that window of opportunity when the soil warms up, the hours of daylight lengthen and frosts are few and far between (and hopefully gone until late autumn).

April is traditionally the month of heavy showers, when the sky turns an inky grey and the rain pours down drenching the soil; then the sun comes out again and the air smells fresh and drops of water glisten on the leaves like diamonds . . . yeah OK I'm dreaming!

This April, have we actually had any rain at all? I've been trying to remember when it last rained and I can't recall even a short shower – did it perhaps rain a teeny bit on Mother's Day on the 3rd April? So the laborious labour of the month has to be . . .

Watering the garden

We have three large water-butts in the vegetable garden,
the one next to the greenhouse is almost empty
so I'm now using water from the two linked butts
which take water from the house roof.

Everyday there is more to water!
More seeds sown and plants getting larger
and needing potting-on.

The sunshine is gorgeous,
it's lovely to wander around in sandals
– but I would like some help with the watering!

If it rains on the parade on Friday
please can my garden have some too!



  1. I apologize. I've taken all your rain. It is here. Everyday. Soon the goats will look like sloths, covered in green growth. I'll bring the rain back to you when I visit. I hope it will not be too late.

  2. oh I feel your pain! I've tried everything to try and keep a little moisture in the ground at my lottie- it's gradually turning to dust, if the wind blows it will all be gone- I've even taken to watering the chickens! Bring on a day or two of rain (though maybe before the bank holiday!)

    Holly x

  3. it's damp & humid here as well. hope the rain remember us in july & august...

  4. I've run out of rain water totally, and actually filled one butt up with the hose pipe so I don't have to cart watering cans up and down the entire garden to the veg patch as it's about 150ft from the tap! ideally I'd like it to rain over night and be sunny during the day!

  5. Celia, I would have been delighted to share some of our many April showers with you! I also must add that we are lucky not to have experienced any of the tornadoes that had caused lots of wreckage across many parts of the States.

    Enjoy that sunshine, and your sandals! xo

  6. It is dry isn't it Celia. Herself being a professional gardener spends a lot of time working in gardens on chalk in east Wiltshire, for weeks now it's been like a dust bowl there, with no appreciable rain since the beginning of March. She's just e-mailed me to say she's home and at one garden today on the Berkshire border, the summer flowers are out and all the roses in full bloom. Bizarre.It's quite serious for all gardeners, and lets not forget the wildlife too.

  7. Celia,
    My normal response to your plea would be 'you should live in Wales!' but even we have had very little rain. We had some gentle stuff the other day but the ground is quite parched already and it's that time of year when you can almost watch things grow in front of you isn't it? Find a local dowser and look for a local water source perhaps? Lesley

  8. I've taken to tethering myself to a stout tree to save from falling down the deep crevasses which have opened up all over the garden. Dire, isn't it?

  9. I've already emptied one of my two water butts so am longing for some rain to refill them. Though I'm with Su - rain overnight but staying sunny in the daytime would be lovely!

  10. I'll gladly trade our rain for your sunshine. It's been gloomy and rainy and very cold this April! I really hope it doesn't rain for the Royal Wedding.

  11. My water butts are nearly empty so I am saving the rain water for the blueberries. Watering takes longer and longer each evening, and although we were promised rain this weekend they've gone and changed their minds again. Ah well, at least I won't hit summer proper with quite the normal level of pallor.

  12. It has been incredibly dry here too. We don't expect to see cracks in the clay soil or the lawn until July or August. We've never had them in April before. Definitely out with the watering can and the hose!

  13. Oh at last I can post to your blog again. Blogger was being very unfriendly! We too have been very dry and we also lost two buts during the winter storms so have even less water. I was thinking about putting out some seedlings this weekend but felt so scared for them I left them in the warm and wet greenhouse!

  14. I know what you mean about the watering - our water butts are empty, the grass seed we have sown for grazing in the orchard desperately needs some rain, we are talking about extra lengths of hosepipe - and it all takes so much time!

    Pomona x


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