Mad March

Well, it’s arrived – March, that is. The sun finally peeking over the backyard fence (note the reference here 😉 ) to flood a corner of the patio for a few hours of a morning. In a few weeks’ time it will fill the area completely. And, with relief on my part, at the end of the month in the UK the clocks move forward. Yay! It’s easy to remember: clocks spring forward in Spring, and fall back in the Fall (although I do wish they would do away with this fiasco).

100_6848Which all means it’s time to get working in the garden again (another Yay!) and start bringing it to life for the summer. Of course, there’s already plenty signs of it out there. We’ve had snowdrops in flower since the start of January, an early flush of daffodils with lots more to come out but the crowning glory is our front lawn, which is a wonderful splash of colour from crocuses.

100_6855Every year my husband puts crocus into pots and planters for spring. Once they’ve gone over, he replants the bulbs in the lawn. Over the years, the display increases, to our utter enjoyment and the delight of many passers by. Even children stop and admire them, smiling and pointing as they all walk past on the way to school.

Meanwhile, over in the back garden, the current delight is the hellebores. I’ve several different types in flower; my favourites being a very dark maroon one, which has been in flower for weeks and a lovely plum coloured one whose flowers face up, instead of down like most. I’ve also a pink tinged white one that is in full bud and about to burst open, and several pure white ones. These light up the otherwise boring borders until the hyacinths, followed by bluebells and everything else  appears.

100_6859100_6857

100_6862I never put the garden to bed for winter. I always leave it as it is once summer’s over, never removing dead plants or stems, no pruning or tidying, much preferring to let nature take its course and look after things itself. I mean, Mother Nature doesn’t prune shrubs and sweep up dead leaves, does she?

I firmly believe leaving everything alone helps plants survive the winter; the long, dead stalks and stems protect the base and roots of plants from the frosts, nipping these first rather than attacking lower down. The birds and insects appreciate things left as they are too. It might all look a bit messy and unkempt, but it is worth it if not just for the many species of birds that visit every day. They’re always hunting and foraging amongst the brittle stems and detritus which provide winter shelter for many insects. Also, starting the regime of hacking and cutting back and clipping now provides me with much needed exercise after being cooped up indoors all winter.

This year, howeve100_6860r, plans have had to alter slightly in that during a recent gale, one of the fence panels was destroyed. The whole fence was only replaced three years ago following wind damage. It belongs to our neighbours but we have taken responsibility for repairs this time because Steve is very ill and his wife, Claire, is far too petite and, let’s be fair, far too concerned over looking after Steve to worry about things such as gardens and fencing. Their garden is tidy, and with no dogs or children to worry about, so it’s not a problem. The trouble is, until the panel is replaced, I can’t really begin putting in new plants and shrubs to replace what was damaged or destroyed because they will only be trampled and crushed during any fence repair, so I’m busy racking my brains what to do with that area for the time being. Any suggestions?

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9 responses to “Mad March

  1. Your garden is wonderful and I love the pictures. I wish I had a green thumb. I’ve been working at it. Like you I don’t do much cutting back for winter. I sort of wind down about that time but love being outside in the spring. I went out yesterday and planted some roses and some other plants that can do the early weather. Or at least I hope they can. And I so agree with day light savings time I’d rather they just left the time alone.

    • There’s no excuse nowadays to keep altering the clocks and it certainly doesn’t help people like me with SAD. But the garden coming back to life certainly makes up for it. I plan to plant more roses in my garden this year. Used to have a long bed of them but they were too near the drive and kept scratching the car. 🙂

  2. I’m not great with suggestions for what to plant. I’m usually the one asking others what I should be doing. But I LOVE the crocuses in the grass thing. That’s awesome. We change our time to daylight savings time this coming weekend. I wish we just stayed the same all year long.

    • Thanks, Laurie. The crocuses look beautiful when the sun’s on them and they open in their full glory. Shame they only last a few weeks 😦 but a lovely start to the spring.

  3. Valerie J. Patterson

    What a great idea your husband has with planting in the lawn…but how do you mow? I would hate to mow under all those lovely plants!

    I agree about not planting until after the repairs. No point in that. However, I’ve no suggestions for repurposing while awaiting the repairs to be completed.

    Let us know what you decide to do, Kit!! 😛

    • Ah, Valerie…the grass doesn’t need cutting for a while yet as stops growing in winter. The crocuses will all be finished and have gone over by the time we need to mow the lawn again. A lot of effort planting them, but well worth it. Jury still out on what to do about the planting by the fence. 🙂

  4. Hellebores! So that’s what they’re called. I’ve been seeing them everywhere and didn’t know what they were. Gorgeous. What a great idea to put crocus in the lawn…they look amazing! Your garden always looks amazing, Kit. I’m looking forward to photos of this year’s display 🙂 I’m sure whatever you decide to plant by the fence will be great.

    • Thanks, Tricia. We’re still planning this year’s garden. We have the plants and the seeds, the big problem is what to plant where. All part of the fun and helps bring summer that much closer.

  5. beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing such loveliness.

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