End of Month Review - March 2024

March has mainly been rainy, this Winter has largely been rainy and Spring is not looking very different.  Thankfully we have had a couple of dry days recently which means that the lawn has had a mow and there has been some weeding; but generally it has been rain stop play.

Then, as the last days of March appear, so does the sun.  In the front garden the Magnolia is looking rather wonderful.  So far the scarcity of frost this year has been a bonus for it and long may this last.
The Cypress trees in the Knot Garden could do with their tops taking off and now is the time of year to do this.  I will get to it.
The Quince Hedge is also in need of a trim and this too will happen.  I am pleased to see that the hedge is almost reaching the height of the windowsill which is what I had given up hope it would ever do.
In the back garden it is a joy to see such a lovely blue sky.  The wind spinner has come out of it's Winter storage and the garden is looking green and ready for Spring.
In the Coal Bunker border the cardoon is starting to emerge.
There has been a bit of a reorganisation and repotting in the Courtyard Garden.  
The peonies are budding up,
and the first of the tulips are flowering well.
The Conservatory Border, which is in serious need of de-alliuming, (work in progress) suddenly has a definite gap by the back fence.  I noticed it the other day and could not resist deciding what to plant in it.
If you peer very closely you will see the flash of pink of that is Camellia 'Donation', a timely email  offer made a purchase irresistable.  It had to be a camellia here as I do like a bit of rhythm in the garden.
There is a red camelllia in the Spring Border,
a pink camellia is on the border line between the Spring and the Conservatory Border, so this new camellia makes three, and three is a good planting number.
This Doronicum repeats along these two borders as well.  I love it when they start to flower.
Some plants however only appear in one part of the garden.  This Erythronium 'Pagoda' is only in the Spring Border.  It has gently clumped up and I will try and remember to divide it once it has finished flowering.
The Spring Border is looking good at the moment, 'so it should' I hear you mutter, otherwise why call it the Spring Border!  Good point well made.  You can see the red camellia referred to above but you cannot really see the pink camellia as it is hiding behind the Bramley tree.  
You cannot quite see this wonderful epidemium, which has lovely big leaves.  I confess I forget about this plant with great regularity until this moment when it suddenly flowers and I thank myself for planting it.
Another plant I thank myself for planting is this Aldi acer, one of two I bought from Aldi for about £2.50 not long after moving to this house 17 years ago.  It was about 2 foot tall when planted but now it has become a fine tree.  A good example of the joys of an impulse buy.  
The Amalanchier was not an impulse buy, but was afflicted by the Poplar tree that fell into the garden, which when I looked back to see when this was, it was ten years ago.  The Amalanchier has become a goodly sized multi-stemmed tree.  I now look up to see all the blossom that always cover it.  When people ask for a good small tree for a garden I always recommend an Amalanchier, they do everything you would wish from a tree; they don't get too big, they are covered with blossom, they have berries that birds will enjoy and good Autumn colour.  Seriously, what is not to love?
and this is a picture of work in progress.  This part of the garden is in a state of change.  These were the three Prairie Borders.  The furthest border that runs by the side fence is still a Prairie Border, it needs an input of more Stipa Tenuissima but it is generally in good order.

The middle border became the Butterfly Border a couple of years ago and is still doing well.  The nepeta did not last long because the cats would not allow that and I have added some additional plants.  I remain happy with this border.

The closest border is a bit of a mess and in the midst of being in a state of flux.  It is partly returned to lawn and has been mowed, it also now contains various shrubs/small trees.  Watch this space to see how it develops.
I end as is traditional on the pond, which is unsurprisingly rather full.  It does now have some frogspawn as well but not as much yet as in previous years.  The newts tend to eat the tadpoles so I have not had many for several years now, but I live as ever in hope.

Take care and be kind.

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  1. The changes through spring are so hopeful, aren't they? You are just a bit ahead of us this year. The Tulips, Epimediums, and many other plants are on the edge of blooming...just a few warm days and we'll be there. I wish I could grow Camelias here--they are so beautiful! Happy April!


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