Month of Wonders

No matter what the weather brings in March (and it can bring anything), this is the month for me when the garden really wakes up. New growth is bursting from every corner.

Knautia macedonica: spring foliage

I might be busy at work for a couple of days and not get out into the garden. When I reacquaint myself, there are surprises everywhere. Peony shoots grow an inch a day…

Peony ‘Coral Charm’: spring shoots

Rhubarb always delights me. It is about to burst its breeches!

Rhubarb shoots

This is aquilegia. I love all of its different greens, an the slight overlapping of lobed leaves.

Aquilegia foliage

The new leaves are perfectly coiled, like a little cabbage.

Aquilegia foliage unfurling

Nature has perfect spacing. Each leaf knows just where to position itself so that it makes best use of the light, without encroaching on others.

Hemerocallis foliage, in spring

These wallflowers stand poised and ready. They will burst into flower with the tulips.

Erysimum (wallflower) about to burst into bud.

The forget-me-nots just couldn’t hold it inside any longer.

Myosotis (forget-me-not) with Aubreita behind.

Whilst I was avidly watching the dwarf irises, these Muscari (grape hyacinths) snuck up on me.

Muscari (grape hyacinth)

And then Scilla siberica! These are the most difficult-to-photograph flower ever. They are utterly stunning. They sparkle like sapphires. They dazzle! But get out a camera and they start turning their heads away, and muting their colour, and pretending they are nothing special.

Scilla siberica

Another diminutive beauty is this little crocus, ‘Spring Beauty’. You have to crouch down to see it.

Crocus crysanthus ‘Spring Beauty’

Suddenly there are the great clarion calls of hyacinths! They are blasting out all over the place! Here is ‘Jan Bos’:

Hyacinth ‘Jan Bos’

‘Woodstock’ is my favourite. I love its deepest, darkest shades of plum-purple. If it is possible for a hyacinth to look sultry, it is this one.

Hyacinth ‘Woodstock’

This seems to be the time for blue. Here is pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’:

Pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’

And here is Anemone blanda ‘Blue Shades’:

Anemone blanda ‘Blue Shades’

My biggest surprise this week was from the apricot. This is trained up against our house wall. Here it is at the bud stage, with a cropped leather jacket on.

Apricot blossom, about to burst.

And here it is bursting out! How did those petals and anthers fit into that tiny little bud? How do they emerge looking so fresh and unrumpled?

Apricot blossom

This penstemon makes the garden look like early summer. It is probably time now to cut it back to the lower leaf buds. This will stop the plant from becoming woody, and it will stimulate lots of fresh new growth. Penstemons are slightly tender, so during the coldest months they benefit from having old foliage around to protect the new shoots.

Penstemon foliage

I just pruned back my dogwood, Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’. The red stems have cheered me all winter. If I am to repeat the display next winter, I need to prune it back hard to stimulate new growth. It is the new shoots which produce the glowing red colour.

Last year, I stuck a few prunings in the ground (the right way up) and they sprouted new plants. This year, I am wondering if I can use the cut stems as plant supports in my cut flower patch? I will have to put them in upside-down. Once I used pear prunings and they rooted. You can stick almost anything in the ground right now and it will start sprouting leaves.

Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ pruned stems.

Is your garden taking off? Have you noticed new growth around you?

It is only going to get better! We are revving up for the tulips. And wallflowers and gladioli and alliums and geums!

If you want to see more wonders as they pop, then click on the ‘Follow’ button at the bottom of this page. You will receive an email notification when I publish a post.

There are wonders all around if we have eyes to see them.

51 Comments Add yours

  1. fredgardener says:

    Many of these plants & flowers are also in my garden at the moment and it‘s a real pleasure to see them flourished . I was especially surprised to see your apricot in bloom !! I’ll go take a look at the mine ….

    1. It really took me by surprise, Fred. Our peach is now in flower too.

      1. fredgardener says:

        Yes, 1st peach tree flower today 😃

  2. Emma Cownie says:

    I have barely been outside this week because of the dreadful weather, yet in your corner of the world, amazing things are happening!

    1. It has been horrible, hasn’t it? It was so much nicer today: very little wind and some sunshine.

  3. It’s snowing up here, think we must be at least a couple of weeks behind you in the garden. I love the photo if the rhubarb – it looks like a little brain! ☺

    1. That’s what it reminded me of too! It’s amazing that it crinkles up like that, isn’t it? I love that patterns in nature repeat themselves.

  4. Ann Mackay says:

    Lovely exploration of your spring garden! It fills me with joy to see the plants coming back in mine – full of life and hope. 🙂 And I know what you mean about the scilla – plants can be naughty when you’re trying to photograph them, hehe!

    1. They are the most beautiful spring bulb, but photos never do them justice.

  5. It is so fun to see all of your beautiful color! Makes my heart sing!
    Have a great weekend!

  6. Heyjude says:

    It’s all happening despite the gusty winds! I even have tulips flowering and they are not supposed to until April/May – obviously not even the cold wind is keeping them hunkered down. It is very worrying. I used pruned winter honeysuckle as plant supports and also to keep the neighbour’s cat off my beds and have found several have rooted! Oops! better make sure they are upside down next time 😀

    1. The tulips are incredibly early, aren’t they? I have one or two out as well. I think they are a month earlier than last year.

  7. bcparkison says:

    It is the ‘bursting out’ that amazies me. The wonder of Nature.

    1. Yes; the energy is incredible.

  8. sgeoil says:

    What’s not to love about spring! Your garden is inspiring, mine is still covered with snow, but yours reminds me of what I have to look forward to!

    1. It’s nice to know winter comes to an end, isn’t it?

      1. sgeoil says:

        It certainly is!

  9. Thank you, Ali, for inspiring me with spring hopes! Your little bulbs blooming now look like my front bed in a week or so as the snow continues to recede at long last. But, oh! the exposed lawns here look grey. Is the grass dead?

    1. Grass recovers from almost any assault by weather.

  10. croftgarden says:

    I also find Scillas difficult to photographs, but they are an amazing genus and great “doers” in the garden.

    1. They are fab little flowers, aren’t they. Possibly my favourite blue!

  11. Christina says:

    Exciting times Ali. At the moment I’m virtually watching the wisteria buds growing. From tiny buds just a few weeks ago, now they grow in front of my eyes.

    1. The rate of growth once it starts is incredible isn’t it? I have often wanted to measure it with a ruler!

  12. Jane Lurie says:

    Such promise and beauty, Ali. That rhubarb sprout is amazing! Terrific photography.

    1. Thank you Jane! The garden is making it easy for me!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Really enjoyed reading your post. There is such hope abounding from the ground at this time of year!

    1. I am very pleased you enjoyed it. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.

  14. Brian Skeys says:

    The garden certainly changes very quickly this time of year. You have some wonderful spring colour.

    1. It is so lovely to see colours again!

  15. Cathy says:

    I love this time of year too because of all these little surprises popping up and am now waiting for a host of new autumn purchases to appear. Great photo of aquilegia’s little cabbages! I have been eyeing up my cornus but put off cutting them because of how good they look! I struggle to get my penstemon to reflower but each year I am hopeful – any tips apart from cutting back to new foliage?

    1. That’s all I do, Cathy. I had one that I thought was done for, but it just took a long time to re-sprout. I am going to try to get into a proper routine of taking cuttings so that I have replacements just in case, but I don’t think I have actually lost one to winter. The one that has died was out-competed by neighbouring Geranium ‘Azure Rush’. I think penstemons are such good value for late colour and prettiness.

      1. Cathy says:

        I don’t know why I have never been successful. At least this year I have a couple of plants that have come through the winter almost unscathed (they were new last year) so are looking really healthy to begin with. I will cut them this week. They also provided some really healthy cuttings too

      2. We all have a few plants we can’t seem to grow, don’t we? Mine are echinacea and bergenia. I love them both, but they don’t love me.

      3. Cathy says:

        Echinacea doesn’t like me either 😉

  16. It’s fabulous to see all the new foliage emerging Ali and sometimes unbelievable how quickly it takes off. I’ve used cornus prunings as supports at the allotment. If I recall they provided a useful frame for peas.

    1. Ooh, that is really good to know! I will have to google ways of making plant supports. It has not been something I have excelled at, so far!

  17. Things are really waking up your way! I went on a walk in a cemetery the other day, and I saw Cherry blossom trees ready to bloom. I was so excited! I really loved the wheelbarrow pic in this post. So excited to follow your blog through another summer, Ali!

    1. Aw, that is lovely to know, Shelly! Thank you x

  18. Gorgeous growing everywhere. I love that crocus, so pretty

    1. It is a lovely one, isn’t it?

  19. Jane Brewer says:

    Spring is so magical! The rebirth is a joy after the bleakness of winter days. Thanks for sharing its bright pleasures with us.

  20. Ali, I really enjoyed this post. You are so far ahead of us in bringing in the spring! Loved the color and the new buds. Thanks!

    1. It’s my pleasure, Carol!

  21. your Post is a like an essay on beauty! Amazing!

    1. What a lovely thing to say! Thank you, Nedra!

  22. Indira says:

    Wonderful! Life and cheer is springing everywhere!!

    1. It is such an optimistic time of year, isn’t it?

  23. Annette says:

    Such a joyful spring post! Your love of nature and the garden oozing from the lines and I absolutely feel the same sense of wonder each year when the cycle starts again. Isn’t it a gift every single time 🙂 Wishing you very happy spring days, Ali, and thanks for your nice words. I’m much better x

    1. Aw, thank you, Annette, for your lovely words.

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