April sowing and roses in bloom

Prepare for summer with bright yellow plants in your garden

In her Vosges garden, Cathy Thompson advises on tomatoes and roses

Although I live in the north of France, this is the month when my garden really starts to get hot – making our sunny slopes not the best place on earth for the vegetables that I’m increasingly keen to grow.

Handling killing summer heat is one of the trickiest vegetable juggling acts to master in France. The key seems to be a good choice of variety – ask your neighbours what does well for them and copy... at least at the beginning.

Sowing at the right time is the second step – and only experience of your own garden will help. For instance, my days of sowing spinach and peas in April are long gone. Now I warm the soil with horticultural fleece in early March and make sure I get them in the ground fast, weather-permitting.

If I want to sow fresh, spinach-like ...

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