The Beth Chatto Garden throughout the seasons: April

Three weeks since our last visit. Three weeks which would normally see one of the greatest transformations in a garden, from winter to high spring: not this year though, when unseasonably warm spells in both mid-February and early March lit the flames of spring very early, and the cool northerlies of early April then held its advance at bay.

But the daffodils were largely over, their place being taken by fritillaries and Erythroniums…

…  Epimediums, Archangel and Uvularia.

Time for interesting angles and close-ups…

… and celebration of the spring greens, punctuated and highlighted by splashes of  colour.

From beds and borders, unfurling ferns rearing up like cobras…

… and Alchemilla leaves bedecked with dewdrop pearls, some magnifying the russet tooth tips, others reflecting the sky, before coalescing into the mercurial pools which give rise to the name of the ‘little alchemist’:

As always keeping our eyes open for the animal inhabitants, the more sheltered areas produced an array of basking bugs – Squash Bug and Green, Hairy and Gorse Shieldbugs:


… and beetles, including an almost spotless Harlequin Ladybird, and Rosemary Beetles, here transferring their allegiance to sages:

As befits the season, love was in the air for pairs of Green Shieldbugs and the large, wing-marked crane-fly Tipula vittata:

A few butterflies were on the wing, including our first Green-veined White of the year:

And of course, with insects showing, their predators were out and about, with Zebra Spiders well camouflaged on lichen-covered walls, and a Heliophanus jumping-spider waiting with hi-viz palps raised, ready to leap upon a suitable morsel.