Discover articles on garden design, seasonal planting tips for your garden and other news and views from Gillian Goodson Designs.

A spring in your step this Easter

Deep pink buds of  Malus  ‘Evereste’ (crab apple)  (Gillian Goodson Designs)

Deep pink buds of Malus ‘Evereste’ (crab apple) (Gillian Goodson Designs)

Hiding your head under the pillow is no escape from the ever-increasing volume of the dawn chorus this month as it takes on surround-sound qualities. May that spring return to your step in April and as the days are noticeably warmer, may you be noticeably lighter in spirit.

Cherry blossom is understandably popular with British gardeners and the general public alike. Apple, pear and crab apple blossom never cease to blow me away and mesmerise me in equal measure each year with their beauty. One of my all time favourites, a stunning, ornamental crab apple, Malus ‘Evereste’ (5-7m) is in bud in April – glorious, deep pink buds opening to a profusion of white flowers. Take time to stand under one of these trees when in bloom on a sunny day or better still, to lie under one and stare up at the sky – spellbinding! Having multi-seasonal interest, it makes a fantastic choice for small gardens.

For a splash of yellow to lime-green, Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii (spurge) flowers this month. An evergreen, sun-loving sub-shrub which would look wonderful in Mediterranean-themed or gravel gardens or adding architectural interest in herbaceous borders.

For groundcover, try intriguing Ajuga reptans ‘Atropurpurea’ (bugle) for sun to full shade – the leaves retain their purple colour better with some sun. This evergreen, perennial has spikes of deep blue flowers from now to June. For deep to partial shade, consider Trillium grandiflorum (American wood lily). They may take some time to establish but worth the effort as the pure white flowers (consisting of three curved petals) will brighten up woodland borders.

Things to be doing this month: plant container-grown trees and shrubs; feed and mulch roses; clean ponds; repair and renovate existing lawns. The soil is warming – if you haven’t already, clear away old dead growth, weed borders and lightly fork over; a great time to plant herbaceous perennials. Pinch off spent bulb heads; sow spinach and salad leaves, broad beans and leeks. It’s time to lift the covers off forced rhubarb! Be stealth-like and eagle-eyed when checking for pests and diseases before they run riot.

Dive into your treasure chest of Easter goodies and binge until the cows come home! Have a wonderful Easter Bank Holiday weekend. We all tend to go a little crazy around this time of year with DIY jobs. Whether busy spring-cleaning or lazing on a hammock in warm sunshine, may your heart jump for joy!