End of the Month Review March 2022

Well it all seemed to be going so well didn't it?  We had warmer sunnier days and then BAM! just to remind us that Spring is still in its early days and frost is still possible; we had a couple of frosty nights to stop us from getting complacent.

Of course most years we have frost around about this time and also into April, so I am not going to pretend I am surprised.  This is what weather does.
In the front garden (before the frost) I have given the cypress trees a bit of a prune.  They were getting rather tall and I don't want them overshadowing the house.  I am much happier now they are a reasonable height and I shall endeavour to keep them at it.
One of the great delights of this time of year is the Magnolia soulangia in the front garden, photographed here pre-frost as we know that magnolia flowers turn to dirty dish rags in the cold weather.
I pause briefly to inspect the buds on the lilac by the side of the house.  I generally prune this lilac badly so some years it has lots of flowers, others virtually none.  This year it has quite a few.  The house is about to be painted so it needs to flower quickly as I want to prune to make the house easier to paint.  Flower lilac, flower!
As I wander around to the back of the house I smile at this bedding Bellis.  They are so pretty and look good against the black shed door.
The Courtyard is still in dissaray, not for much longer hopefully.  You can see the Prunus kojo no mai flowering its little socks off.  I am very fond of this tree.
The Magnolia stellata in the foreground in the Conservatory Border is flowering very well this year.  Like all magnolias it took a little while to settle in but is now flowering routinely.
I look over briefly to the Coal Bunker border and quickly look back.  The lawn needs mowing and edging.  The invastive alliums need removing (again) from this border and it has the flat/scrappy look that means the winter detritus has been removed but the real growth of the year has not yet begun.
So I look down and smile at the anemone blanda that has popped up in the lawn.  They self-seed easily here and turn up all over the place.  I carefully avoid treading on it.
The Spring Border looks Springy - this is good.
At the back of this border the camellia that sulked for a few years before flowering is now a reliable moment in my Spring Border.
The Prairie Borders are at their worst this time of year.  They have had their haircut and look a mess until the grasses start to grow properly again.
So I look past them, to the Iford Cherry near the top of the garden and think that I like this view.
I pivot and look across the Dancing Lawn to the Magnolia Leonard Messel and I think how much I like this view too.
I take a moment to say hello to the Muscari Stream that runs down the Wild Garden.  It is more of a trickle than a stream really....
At the top of the garden the multi-stemmed amalanchier is just opening its first blossom.  This is one of my very favourite moments as it is such a great tree.  Always worth finding room for I tell people ad-nauseum whether they want to know or not.
In the Exotic Border the tree ferns are looking a bit frost damaged.  The crowns have been stuffed with hay for most of the winter, I let them breathe a bit this week but with the return of the cold they are now restuffed.
and in the greenhouse the Musa bajoos are starting to grow again already.  This is very exciting.
and the early tulips are now opening.  These are always the first ones to open in the garden and they are moments of sheer joy.
In the Accidental Shrubbery the Cow Parsley is emerging well.  You can see if you look carefully a Fritillaria meleagris and the Acer Phoenix is gleaming as the sun hits the emerging foliage.  I am not sure it is the best acer I have, but there are moments when it very definitely worth its place in the garden.
The Edgeworthia has just about finished flowering but the scent is still very strong.
The Edgeworthia is underplanted with snowdrops that are over now and the primroses are taking centre stage.  From just a couple of plants they have spread nicely.
The buds are forming well on the standard white wisteria, so let's hope the frost does not damage them too much.
I finish as ever on the pond.  The frogspawn is developing well, it is not at the wriggly stage yet.  We have had so much rain that the pond is fairly full too.

So that is March, we are rocketing through this year already.  Next stop: April.

Take care and be kind

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