April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
TS Eliot From The Wasteland.






I know – everyone quotes this as April arrives, for a dozen different reasons.

I beg to be excused: I love The Wasteland, because I studied it for ‘A’ level at school. It reminds me of the joy and reward that comes from close study – in that case of a text. Just think what riches there are out there, which I have subsequently neglected. We could gain so much for studying a garden like that – but it’s only ever our own garden that obtains anything like that kind of scrutiny.
And the problem there, is that when I venture out in April I expect to discover disasters rather than rewards.  This is a garden considerably of my creation and in my mind that does not bode well.  Especially in April. Because April is when I begin to scour the garden to discover what has or – here’s the rub (ah – Shakespeare, there’s another neglected treasure trove) – what has not survived the winter. 
This has been a winter and so far a spring of relentless rain. So I wonder whether plants have rotted off or drowned. Did they like it? Did I heed too much the doomsayers telling me to plant for drought? (No doubt that will arrive soon). Then I think of the reputation Ireland has, which catches a great deal of our rain as it bashes in from the Atlantic: the ‘green Isle’. So maybe lots of plants have been sopping it up in thirsty joy. We hope.

I go and look. 

I look for some tiny decorative ferns, which I used to line an edge.

Minature ferns copyright Anne Wareham

Yes, a bit out of focus – it’s the bending down that makes it hard to take a pic….This is last year.

Yes, I can see some. 
Minature ferns spring 2024 copyright Anne Wareham

Three out of six or seven.

This is only a partial relief, since I’m focused on Doom. But look! Is that a tiny brown frond??? Phew. Yes!!
New Frond of fern copyright Anne Wareham


But what about the others??? Sigh….

I examine some pots.

Now just how is this possible when they’ve been sitting next to each other? (Is there something ominous lurking in that pot??) 
Carex copyright Anne Wareham

Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ . Well, it has one stem….

Last autumn I experimented with a different – to me – way of taking cuttings.

I have a nameless hydrangea which I love, so I stuck some of its stems by the edge of a wall. Most of them vanished. But one put out a couple of sweet little hopeful leaves! Yey! Next time I looked they have also vanished. It is now in a temporary sort of greenhouse, and my fingers crossed:

And yes, I do use organic slug pellets and if only I’d used them earlier.

One of my favourite things in the garden is the arrival of the Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow‘:

Front Garden at Veddw copyright Anne Wareham

This is it in full swing.

That’s two beds full of it.  Now I want all four beds full of it. Just in case you’re wondering if such fullness leads to emptiness later, it doesn’t:
Bird Bath at Veddw copyright Anne Wareham

Plant thugs and they fight it out.

So I look to see how this mega vigorous thug plant is doing after three years in another bed. Hm.

Euphorbia Fireglow at Veddw

Well, it’s alive.

Last year we went garden visiting and stopped for tea on the way home.

We had tea in a small walled garden and in that garden were dozens of pale pink valerian. I love valerian and I had never seen that colour before.

Valerian at Veddw Garden copyright Anne Wareham

A small sample of my valerian. 

I have no pale pink, so gardener like, I have to have one. So I nicked some of the copious seed and came home and sowed it. It grew like mustard and cress – mega delight and much showing off to Charles. 

Today? Well…. 

Bit sparse.

Not much there, is there? I peer at it every day in hope that more will pop up. What if those that have survived don’t then survive planting out??? 

Well, to quote another poem “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley.” (Robert Burns).

That quote could have headed up this post, really. So, are you out there gloating, or grieving??