Handy Hints

Plants that provide interest in the month of April

April is most notable for its blossoming bulbs: with the tulips following on from last month’s daffodils and the grape hyacinths spreading across the beds. The polyanthus are still flowering strongly and the biennial wallflowers come into their own this time of year, to fill the gap between the winter bedding and the summer annuals. Forget-me-nots, self-seeded from last year look pretty in between other border plants and shrubs. On the rockery the perennial yellow flowering alyssum contrasts vividly with the purple aubrieta. Let us not forget the magnificent magnolia which never fails to please.

Herbaceous perennials

If the herbaceous perennials have not been lifted and divided by now, then they are best left until the autumn. Management of the herbaceous border is necessary to prevent overcrowding and to provide smaller, healthier clumps of plants.

Garden alterations and re-planning

If you wish to add additional features to your garden or want to make other changes, then consult Rob and benefit from his professional expertise.

Fruit trees

It’s too late to prune most fruit trees now. Discuss any requirements with Rob.

Trees in general

Any pruning of deciduous trees should have been done while they were still dormant. All forms of tree surgery, including topping, shaping, lopping, thinning and felling should be carried out by suitably qualified personnel employed by a reputable long-established company such as Rob Blann Garden Services.

Wobbly saplings

Paying particular attention to those planted in the autumn, check for movement in the soil and re-firm any that have become loosened by March winds or frost but only do this when the surface of the soil is fairly dry or it may become compacted. With young trees, check stakes and ties, and renew if necessary. If a plant is allowed to wobble back and forth in the soil, its growth and general health will be inhibited.

Rose bushes

Spring is the recognised time for hard-pruning the rose bushes, although there is no harm done if they were pruned hard back in the winter. Roses particularly benefit from being pruned well back. Spray every 14 days with Roseclear 2 to control aphids and blackspot.

Climbing Roses

The pruning of climbing roses is different from bush roses, mainly because a framework of stems must be left and tied in. Spray every 14 days with Roseclear 2.

Beds and borders

Keep beds and borders free of weeds. Remember the old saying: one year’s seeds is seven years weeds.

Levelling a bumpy lawn

Choose a time when the soil is fairly dry. Bumps and hollows in the lawn can be levelled out by lifting small areas of the turf and either adding or removing soil as appropriate.

Laying a new lawn or replacing a bad one

This can be done providing the ground is not waterlogged. The art of creating a new lawn is in the ground preparation, for it is most important to carry out the following tasks: firstly, dig over the ground and remove any roots, large stones and any other debris; secondly, rake level; then consolidate the soil by repeatedly walking over it with your weight over your heels; and finally rake to a fine tilth before laying good quality turf. A lawn is meant to stay level, its no good if after 18 months it starts to sink in places, so do make sure the ground is well consolidated before you lay that turf. To avoid disappointment later on, call in Rob at the beginning.

Fences and sheds

 Repair or renew damaged fencing, and re-felt that leaky shed roof. When engaging the services of a contractor or company, ensure that the work will be properly carried out and guaranteed. Rob's your man.


The use of a good trellis can be an asset when positioned correctly within the garden. Heavy-duty trellis is recommended and the supporting posts should be sturdy and set 2 feet in the ground with concrete. My advice is, if you are unsure, contact me and I will come and view your garden and quote for the complete job; this service is free to you.

Archways and pergolas

Why not build an archway or pergola? If it's a natural looking feature you are looking for, Rob Blann Garden Services specialise in rustic work.


Patios and paths can be laid now. When engaging the services of a contractor or company, ensure that the work will be properly carried out and guaranteed. Rob Blann will be pleased to quote for your patio or path, and even design it if required.

Ornamental trees

If pruning is required it should have been done while the deciduous trees were still dormant. Special attention should always be given to the overall balance and shape of a tree when pruning or lopping. Remove any dead or diseased wood. Any suckers growing from the base of the tree should be snipped off. For professional advice contact Rob Blann.


Prune as necessary but be careful with certain shrubs or you will lose the coming season's flowers.


Planting of container-grown shrubs and trees can take place now..
Property Maintenance

Other Interests

Worthing Lifeboat Town
How Worthing Dome Cinema Was Saved
Local & Social History Books
National Nostalgia Website
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About Rob Blann