End of month view for March

Slightly belatedly, here is the end of month view.  March has been dry, the driest for years. And the last few days have been warm, so that even these photos don't show what is in flower now.  Every time I go out something else is flowering.  That is what happens in Spring in a garden full of bulbs!
Here is the side garden.  The hellebores are still flowering, still beautiful after weeks and weeks.  The daffodils are out but since this photo was taken lots of tiny red tulips (Praestans) have popped up like scarlet flames. Pulmonaria is in flower too.  I love pulmonaria.  This is one of my favourites, Diana Clare, with silvered leaves which are beautiful in themselves and a vivid flower.

Out in the field the little orchard is beginning to fill.  The native daffodils have been flowering away for about three weeks and now the Thalia are coming to join them.

Up behind the swing the February Gold have flowered now and are beginning to go over.  The jonquil Sweetness is still in flower.  Daffodils have been a discovery for me since we came here.  I used to have a pretty broadbrush approach to daffodils: didn't like great big yellow trumpets, did like small delicate ones.  That was about it.  Then I started planting narcissus obvallaris, the native Welsh Tenby daffodil, moved on to the delicate white Thalia, fell in love with the old double variety, Tellamonius, and now love Jack Snipe, with its swept back Piglet ears, Narcissus pseudonarcissus, smaller and less sturdy than my beloved Tenby daffodil, and now Sweetness, with a clear, light, scent that smells of Spring.  I wonder if I can stop now or if next autumn will find me surreptitiously ordering in more?

At last something is happening in the cutting garden.  These yellow and red tulips are just coming into flower.  They are meant to be for the house but it is so lovely to see them there that I haven't cut any yet.  In one quarter the echinacea is just emerging from the soil, including, thankfully, the new echinacea White Swan, which I bought last year and thought I had lost in the cold.

Down on the native tree walk, the snowdrops are finished but more have been planted in the green.  I have put in winter aconites as well and the bed is being doubled in size to accommodate another witch hazel (Pallida), a Daphne Bholua (Jacqueline Postill), and an eleagnus for an evergreen "stop" to the border.  Still to go in are a viburnum farreri and another dogwood, Cornus sanguineus Midwinter Fire to balance the two which you can see in the foreground of this picture.  There are two hollies in here already and I think that another one will complete the shrubs and trees.  It is a big area and at the moment there is a lot of bare soil.  It is a bit of a leap of faith, planting trees and shrubs and holding the picture in your head when your eyes show you twiggy sticks and acres of soil, broken by the odd snowdrop and the inevitable creeping buttercup.  When the shrubs are all in I shall move loads of self sown forget me nots, alchemilla mollis and the wilder ground cover geraniums and see if that makes it all feel more furnished.

Here is the sunny bank, the quince tree coming into leaf, the daffodils in full flower.  The grass has had its first mowing since I took this picture so it all looks a bit more intentional!

I can't show you the kitchen garden as blogger seems not to want to upload any more photos right now so I will come back to it in a day or so.  This is the tidy time for the kitchen garden although more and more weeds are sneaking in.  I have broad beans planted out now and about half of the onion sets.  I need to sow salad stuff in the greenhouse and get started on peas and beans.

Whenever I go out I am assailed on all sides by things to do.  I know this happens every year in April and May and I feel almost overwhelmed by it all.  Doing this end of month view and writing this blog has been surprisingly soothing.  After a snatched hour in the garden this afternoon I was full of what needs to be done.  Reading this I am reminded of what we have done and of what is already happening, and what will happen whether I do it or not!  The next month will see an explosion of growth, both on this side of the hedges and out there on the other! The whole of the countryside is fountaining with life around me.


  1. It all looks so very fresh and green. We're seeing signs of spring here now - albeit nearly a month late.

  2. Beautiful Wales!
    I love it.

  3. See the changing seasons from your house is wonderful,
    the colors are amazing, the Welsh countryside is a dream.

  4. I have the same thoughts as you about the little twigs and sticks we plant with such faith in such huge spaces never trusting that they'll grow into them. (Which reminds me of the over-large school blazer I suffered as a child which lasted from age 11 until 15. The shame.)

    We plant for the future and get pleasure fro the 'now'. It's a wonderful time of year simply exploding with life. Somebody said yesterday they had seen a swallow!

  5. I love your tree walk, I'm sure with forget-me-nots, alchemilla and geraniums helping to cover some of the bare soil the "what it will become" will be less of a challenge to "see". It is an act of faith, isn't it, plantings like that.

    I chuckled when I read your comment about feeling assailed by "things to do" every time you venture outside. It is the time of year that I most resent having to do ANYTHING other than garden, and simultaneously fight feeling nagged by the garden too. I can't any longer remember when Spring wasn't like this, and wouldn't swap it for anything. I survive it by taking time out to enjoy the latest surprise showing - this morning the first of the dark purple tulips. Look forward to seeing your kitchen garden.

  6. a bit of rain and ours went haywire, all the flowers barging out in a bit of a chavvy rush. Blingy and bold and just gorgeous.
    Come autumn, let's face it, you'll be at it at the catalogues, sureptitious as you like but most def there. And well done on being firm about the sticks. Am uber rubbish at believing in growing distances and shove it all in. Never learn. Hence the chavvy riot come Spring. Love it though.

  7. I know from years of going to Wales at this time of year that it is so much further on than the rest of the country - I bet there are swallows galore whereas we have only two here and will probably wait another few weeks for more to arrive.

  8. Wow! You have been so busy! Fascinating to see your photos, and see how far ahead you are down there compared to us in Edinburgh ... It all looks so colourful already!

  9. The garden is looking great! Does one of those photos show our campsite pitch from last year?

  10. Pondside - I think your spring is normally earlier than ours. I remember envying you warmer weather in cold, wet March in other years!
    Chris - it is beautiful. do you know Wales?
    Angela - I try very hard never to take for granted the beauty of where I live but it is easy to get used to it. At least the changing seasons make you take notice!

  11. Mountainear - it is very hard to keep the faith about the space and scale of new planting! We did see swallows here today for the first time. I almost fell off my chair with excitement.
    Janet - ah you too! I know what you mean about loving it too. it is very important to notice dark tulips.

  12. Not having a garden now, I live through your photos and description of yours vicariously. I always look forward to your posts and always read them, even when I'm to tired to read other blogs.I get a kick out of yours.

  13. I bow down in amazement at your talent, Elizabeth, which you would find strange, no doubt but for me gardens happen (or more often don't happen) by accident. I plant things which die. I buy plants because they have pretty blossom and then I make space, usually in an inappropriate spot. So little grows that I hate digging anything up - even Yuccas.
    Is there any hope left?

  14. 'The countryside is fountaining with life...'

    Yes it is, isn't it. I've noticed so many more bees and insects this year which is good sign too. First blue butterflies today.


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