End of Month Review March 2018

There is a proverb that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.  March came in like a snowy cold lion and if it is going out like a lamb then it is a soggy cold lamb; it has rained a lot recently.  The temperature is slowly getting a bit warmer but I have to keep in mind we are still in the frost zone.  All in all it has been a pretty miserable first three months of the year weather-wise.

I start this month by staring at the front hedge.
The front hedge is in two parts, this jumbly mix of plants from the gate to the neighbours, and then a
holly hedge from the other side of the gate to the shed.  This jumbly side is full of various shrubs that the previous owner of the house planted in a random fashion.  This means that every now and again I become aware of something new in the hedge I have not previously noticed.  Today as I stared at the hedge I saw a glimpse of red up near the top.  I moved closer.
It is an ornamental quince.  I stretched back into my memory and I vaguely think I might have planted this as a spare from when I planted the quince hedge.  I am not 100% certain of this and if I did I have pretty much forgotten it.  Either way, there is it, waving gaily at me in a cheerful and welcome way.
The quince hedge itself is doing well this year despite the cold weather and is full of flowers.  I like this view as it also shows the puschkinias that are growing well close to the front step.  I think I planted three there about ten years ago and now they are a happy puddle of blue.
In the side lawn the wave of aconites is now just leaves, I will leave them for a while yet before mowing this lawn as I need them to get as much energy as possible ready to flower again next year.
Around to the back garden and one of my favourite views through the Whitby Arch.  The garden looks cold and dingy.
On looking closer there are signs of growth and colour, like these crinkled new leaves on the rheum.
There are many hellebores in flower and the daffodils are now in full swing. You can also see I have a bit of a moss issue, I always have moss this time of year but it gets removed as the year progresses.
In the Courtyard Garden the orange flowered edgeworthia is flowering and the Prunus Kojo No Mai is flowering really well.  This is the longest I have kept one of these prunus alive, I have never managed to keep one over more than winter previously so I am very pleased with it.  I am tempted to plant it out into the garden yet I fear that such an ambition may be the death of it.
The Spring Border is a mass of hellebores and daffodils with a hint of blue from the pulmonaria.
There is also this Acer Orange Dream, planted some years ago now.  It is a slow grower but probably about twice the size it was when I first planted it and works well in the shade of the Bramley Tree very well.
Some plants are looking rather chilly, such as this Euphorbia which is bravely hanging in there, just.
There is new growth starting to make itself known, like these buds on the Aldi cherry tree.
The roses are on the move, I shall give them a spring prune in the next couple of weeks.  I always like to prune them in autumn and then give them a further nudge just as they start growing again.
At the top of the garden the Woodland Border looks a bit sparse, it has just been weeded and the winter detritus removed.
Yet spring is emerging well in the border.  These fritillaria meleagris thrive in the bog garden part of the border.  They are slowly increasing a little each year.
The lathyrus vernus is also doing well.  This has seeded a little around too.
and one of my very favourite spring plants, the Cardomine digitata, bought a good six years ago now from the same plant buying trip when I bought the lathyrus.
The corkscrew hazel is still be-catkinned.  Underneath you can see the anemone blanda that are now just starting to flower well.
The Dancing Lawn is currently all about the daffodils now the crocii have gone over.
The Exotic Border, which is not hugely exotic this time of year, is currently all about the willow flowers that shimmer even on a grey overcast day.....
and the Prunus Ben-chidori that is all about colour and scent.
The Four Sisters have now become five,
with the addition of the Stachyurus chinensis 'Celina' bought the other day in Devon.
The Edgeworthia chrysantha has been a total joy this year.  It is covered in flowers and the scent is one of the very best spring scents.  The harsh winter seems not to have troubled it, this is a relief.
In the greenhouse there are a few plug plants that have been potted on, but no real seed sowing yet as it feels too cold and too early still.
In the darkest corner the boy who waits is surrounded by hellebores (and ivy, ignore the ivy).
The fernery looks a bit cold, but like it is bearing up ok, until .....
on closer inspection it becomes clear that the fernery is sitting in its own little puddle.  I cannot remember when this has ever happened before.  This dark corner was originally a deep sump-hole that provided water for the articifical stream that ran through the garden.  The artificial stream was removed rather quickly as I hate electricity running through the garden.  I filled in the sump-hole and it eventually became the fernery, I had pierced the lining so always knew it would be a bit boggy, but the puddle is a new addition.

It would appear I have have two ponds!
I finish, as usual, on the intended pond.  It is pretty much as full as it can get and also bubbling with frogspawn. All bodes well for a good year of frogginess.

Thanks as ever go to Helen for hosting this meme.