March in the garden

An Instagram retrospective of March 2017

While the garden enjoys a drizzle of much needed rain after a glorious start to April, I’m using my Instagram gallery to take a look back at March. Why not pour yourself a cuppa and join me for a brief flick through the month’s captured moments?

I’d left the towering cardoons as long as possible over the winter, but, in all honesty, they were starting to look a bit ropey. Possibly even a bit sinister. I think my clients were just too polite to mention, but really, it was time for them to go.

Michelle Chapman over at the wonderful VegPlotting blog ran a weekend dedicated to the #mygardenrightnow hashtag, which gave us all the opportunity to reveal the present state of our gardens at the end of winter.

Bonfire bound. #mygardenrightnow #tw

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Meanwhile, in the greenhouse, a bit of an SClub7 moment as the sweet pea seedlings sprang to life...

I've got you and you've got me, so… #reach #tw

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...and in the potting shed, it was take the dahlia tubers out of storage, check them over for damage, and pot them up.

The flowers appearing on the willow are a milestone in the year, marking the moment at which bumblebees emerge from hibernation in search of nourishment, before flying off to set up their hives and nurture their broods.

I tried my utmost to like daffodils...

...and decided that there’s only one for me.

Signs of life began to push themselves up through the mulch, and it’s been encouraging to see the variety of foliage and flower begin to make a return to the garden.

It’s been particularly dry recently, so it was good to welcome some rain, even if I happened to be orientated in the least fortunate direction as it arrived.

I’m always surprised – in the most pleasant way – by the strong scent of the skimmia flowers in March. Quite an arresting experience as I inspect the borders for signs of growth from the herbaceous perennials, ever grateful for the year-round work of the evergreens.

Skimmia wafting wonderful honeyed scents around in the morning mizzle. #march #tw #iphoneography

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Both astonishment and delight arose from the discovery that, this year, the snails haven’t got to my wonderful Trilliums, which came from the Garden Sage nursery near Hassocks in East Sussex. You can read more about Ed and Josie’s nursery here

Finally, I think I’ve cracked the overwintering pelargonium thing – simple if you have good window ledges, a warm space like a conservatory, and good light over winter, all rather lacking in our house, sadly! However, a good peat free compost has really helped this year – I’ve been using SylvaGrow, the only peat free compost recommended by the RHS – and it needs to be one which doesn’t have large chunks of unrotted wood in it, as you want your growing medium to be gently nuturing your plant’s roots over winter, rather than busily doing its own thing with decomposing material. For an even better mix next winter, I’m going to try the same brand with ‘added John Innes’, which essentially means it has an element of soil (loam) incorporated.

The clocks went forward, and the days have lengthened, bringing a greater intensity of light. My tulips are on the brink of opening.

Sun's back COME ON NEW TULIPS!!! #mystoryoflight #peninpractice

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It’s time to get into the prairie planting, trim the grasses and cut down all the seed heads we left for the birds over the winter. But first, we need to get to it over the lawn, which is growing with gusto.

How was March in your garden? Let me know on twitter, or in the comments below.