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April’s the busy month, the month that grows… (poem)

A brief poem by Vita Sackville-West about the growth occurring during the month of April.

children gardening

Photo: Zentralbild Klein, 1953

Children gardening with their mother, 1953.

Vita Sackville-West (1892-1962) was an English garden writer, and she wrote the following poem. It celebrates how easy and satisfying she thought it was to grow annual flowers from seeds.

April’s the busy month, the month that grows
Faster than hand can follow at its task;
No time to relish and no time to bask,
(Though when indeed is that the gardener’s lot,
However large, however small his plot?)
April’s the month for pruning of the rose,
April’s the month when the good gardener sows
More annuals for summer, cheap and quick,
Yet always sows too thick
From penny packets scattered on a patch
With here a batch of poppy, there a batch
Of the low candytuft or scabious tall
That country children call
Pincushions, with their gift
Of accurate observance and their swift
Naming more vivid than the botanist.
So the good gardener will sow his drift
Of larkspur and for-get- me- not
To fill blank space, or recklessly to pick;
And gay nasturtiums writhing up a fence
Splotching with mock sunlight sunless days
When latening summer brings the usual mist.
He is a millionaire for a few pence
Squandering Nature in her gift, exceeds
Even her own demands.

This poem and others are available in the Royal Horticultural Treasury of Garden Verse.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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