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.
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…
Rhubarb always delights me. It is about to burst its breeches!
This is aquilegia. I love all of its different greens, an the slight overlapping of lobed leaves.
The new leaves are perfectly coiled, like a little cabbage.
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.
These wallflowers stand poised and ready. They will burst into flower with the tulips.
The forget-me-nots just couldn’t hold it inside any longer.
Whilst I was avidly watching the dwarf irises, these Muscari (grape hyacinths) snuck up on me.
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.
Another diminutive beauty is this little crocus, ‘Spring Beauty’. You have to crouch down to see it.
Suddenly there are the great clarion calls of hyacinths! They are blasting out all over the place! Here is ‘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.
This seems to be the time for blue. Here is pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’:
And here is 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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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There are wonders all around if we have eyes to see them.