View from the Rear Window - April 2023

"Sweet April showers do spring May flowers" - Thomas Tusser

A bit late with April's report, mainly down to my tardiness but I'll use the excuse that May (when I prepare April's bulletin) is always the busiest of months in the kitchen and flower garden. I'm having trouble trying to recollect what sort of month April was as we approach the end of May. I hope my memory is not playing tricks but cool and cloudy is what I recall.

At the start of the month (Photo 1), it was cherry blossom time and the beginning of the tulip season:

Photo 1: Rear Garden View (April 2nd)

By the middle of April (Photo 2), the cherry blossom had gone and the tulips had taken over with their multi-coloured blooms. The red acer tree was just beginning to leaf up and the apple blossom was starting to burst.

Photo 2: Rear Garden View (April 16th)

Come to the end of April (Photo 3) and the apple blossom was in full flow. The red acer tree was providing a strong focal point while the tulips supplied the vibrant colours. 

Photo 3: Rear Garden View (April 30th)

The daily photographs of the rear garden are collated in the timelapse video (Video 1) below:

Video 1: Daily Rear Garden Photos - April 2023

Summary of Weather Parameters for April 2023

Cooling and Heating Degree Days have been added to the list. Sunshine hours are estimated from average daily solar radiation values measured by the Davis weather station. A list of average and total weather parameters is given in Table 1.

Overall, April 2023 was a coolish, though not cold, month with average rain and below-average sunshine.

Table 1: Average/Total Weather Statistics for April 2023

April 2023

Weather Parameter



Average Monthly Temperature 

9 oC

Maximum Monthly Temperature

21 oC


Minimum Monthly Temperature

-1 oC

3rd & 4th

Number of Air Frost Days


Number of Hot Days (> 25 oC)


Monthly Precipitation

43.0 mm

Greatest 24 h Precipitation

10.2 mm

11th - 12th

Number of Dry Days


Monthly Sunshine Hours (estimated)


Average Wind Speed

3 km/h

Highest Wind Speed

50 km/h


Maximum Barometric Pressure (Sea Level)

1031.5 hPa


Minimum Barometric Pressure (Sea Level)

982.4 hPa


Average Barometric Pressure (Sea Level)

1014.8 hPa

Heating Degree Days


Cooling Degree Days


Daily minimum and maximum temperatures are shown graphically in Figure 1. Fairly consistent, if cool, daytime (maximum) temperatures. Overnight temperatures were generally low with occasional excursions into zero/sub-zero temperatures which held back plant growth and bee swarms during April.

Figure 1: Daily Min/Max Temperatures for April 2023

Figure 2 presents the daily rainfall and sunshine hours (using solar radiation as a proxy). Regular periods of rain and generally overcast (low solar radiation) with relatively few bright sunny days.

Figure 2: Daily Rainfall and Solar Radiation (proxy for Sunshine) for April 2023

Comparing April temperature parameters for the last four years (Figure 3), the anomaly that was April 2020 is immediately clear. Subsequent Aprils have been cooler and much nearer the average April temperature (8.7 ℃) for the Central England Temperature (CET) dataset.

Figure 3: Temperature Data for the past four Aprils (2020 - 2023)

Figure 4 summarises the last four years of precipitation and sunshine data for the month of April. Following a couple of dry April months in 2021 and 2022, this year's April returned to more typical values. [Note: the extremely high rainfall in April 2020 (73 mm) was distorted by a single 24-hour downpour of 48.4 mm]. Sunshine hours were predictably also lower than expected due to higher rainfall and fewer dry days.

Figure 4: Rain, Sunshine, Wind Data for April 2020 -2023

A summary, by The UK Met Office, of the UK weather in April 2023 can be found here. Herefordshire (circled) had a very average month temperature-wise (Figure 5) ...

Figure 5: UK Average Temperatures (April 2023)

... with a distinctly below average in maximum daily temperatures (Figure 6):

Figure 6: Average Daily Maximum Temperatures for April 2023

On the other hand, rainfall (Figure 7) in Herefordshire (circled) was as typical as could be this month ...

Figure 7: UK Rainfall for April 2023

... whereas sunshine was a little under the weather in these parts ...

Figure 8: UK Sunshine Hours (April 2023)

Jobs in the Garden
  • trials and tribulations getting my additional hot composting bins going as the supply of garden waste from the neighbours went up two or three notches. See here, here, here, and here for the first four instalments - more to come
  • Sowing tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines, chillies, courgettes and bell peppers in a heated propagator
  • Set up new herb 'garden'
  • Planted out garlic bulbs (started off in greenhouse) in the onion bed
  • Sow carrot, parsnip and beetroot in the onion/garlic bed
  • Start cutting/harvesting asparagus
  • Sow cauliflower, calabrese and red cabbage indoors (Rootrainers)
  • Sow celeriac and celery in trays
Flora and Fauna
  • 2 x Chiffchaffs (we hear them but this sighting was a first)
  • 3 x Blackbirds
Photo 4: Blackbird exiting bird feeder

  • 3 x Blue Tits
  • 1 x Robin
  • 6 x House Sparrows
  • 2 x Wood Pigeons
  • 2 x Crows
  • 1 x Dunnock
  • 1 x Great Tit
  • 4 x Jackdaws
  • 6 x Lesser Black-backed Gulls
  • Holly Blue butterfly
  • Comma butterfly
Photo 5: Comma butterfly on Hellebore

And, finally, a few photos from the garden in April ...

Photo 6: Tulips

Photo 7: Flowering Red Windsor apple tree

Photo 8: Blackbird & White Cherry

Photo 9: Early tulips (2nd April)

Photo 10: First pear flower to open - Comice (5th April)

Photo 11: Tulips, tulips everywhere

Photo 12: And more tulips

Photo 13: Tulip Heaven

Photo 13: Edible Cherry, Bursting Apple and, of course, Tulips

Photo 14: You guessed it: Tulip

Photo 15: Possibly not a tulip


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