The Month of April
The latin name for April is Aprilis – possibly from the verb aperire: to open. This fits in beautifully with our hopes for the month – buds bursting open and windows open wide as the days become longer and hopefully warmer. In the woodland look out for anemones and, later
in the month, the first bluebells. Butterflies start to emerge, and the dawn chorus is increasing all the time. Listen for the blackbirds and song thrushes joining in the party too. Fingers crossed that at some point in the month we’ll finally be able to say that spring is here!
In the Garden
What a busy time April is for gardeners out there! Now’s the time to start planting the tomatoes, aubergines and courgettes in the greenhouse, the potatoes into their trenches in the garden and when it’s dry enough – cutting the lawn and re-seeding any bare patches.
Now’s the time to start planting the tomatoes, aubergines and courgettes in the greenhouse
Plant your summer flowering bulbs, divide your hostas before they come into leaf and the primroses after they have finished flowering. Later in the month is a great time to start planting the baskets too – but keep them safe and away from any late frosts.
In the Kitchen
We have to say that our ingredient of the month has got to be Jersey Royals! The south facing slopes of Jersey have been cropping the earliest, most tender potatoes of the season for 130 years. Today, there are approximately 20 island farmers who grow them. With light and well-drained soil, sloping down to the beaches, it warms quickly in the spring sun. With little risk of frost due to the proximity to the sea, the potatoes are planted earlier, grow faster and are dug early. Steam or boil them on the day you purchase them with a sprig of mint and some butter. There’s nothing quite like them!
Our ingredient of the month has got to be Jersey Royals!
Also in season are peas that will just be starting to come through, and the first spears of asparagus. Spring lamb will start to become available, with halibut, crab and salmon now beginning too.
Facts and Figures
April sees the sea temperature start to rise. At 9.6°, if you’re a year-round sea swimmer, you’ll begin to notice the difference toward the end of the month! The days lengthen by another one hour and fifty minutes during April, giving us fourteen hours and forty-seven minutes of daylight – such a pleasure after the long winter. The full moon on the 16th April happens 24hrs before the close approach of the moon with Venus. It’ll be low above the Western horizon from about 8.30pm. Aprils birthstone is the diamond – one of the best known and most sought-after gemstones – and the birth flower is either the Bellis Perennis (Daisy) or the Sweet Pea.
The two zodiac signs of this month are Aries (until the 19th) and Taurus (from the 20th onwards).
April birthdays include Al Pacino (25th), Sir Alec Guinness (2nd), Sean Bean (17th), Emma Thompson (15th) & Daniel Day-Lewis (29th) to name but a few!
Happy St Georges Day!