Gardening Magazine

An End To March

By David Marsden @anxiousgardener

I’m taking a short break from ‘The Anxious Gardener‘ but, after months of winter drear, it seems a shame not to share some images from the last days of March.

An End To March

Daffodils aren’t around for long but The Priory’s brief show is hearty.  I’m so used to their regular, faithful appearance that I don’t even bother photographing many of them any more.

An End To March

(But I made an exception a month ago for Narcissus ‘February Gold’ – which lived up to its name with about a day to spare).

An End To March

I’ve written before about the dozen or so varieties I’ve planted since 2008 but many Priory daffs pre-date my arrival and, names unknown, continue to thrive.

An End To March

I have an irresistible urge to show the bank below the greenhouses at this time of year.

An End To March

Other than now-over crocuses and snowdrops, I haven’t added anything to this slope.  But unlike the previous gardener, I don’t strim it until the autumn.  How he strimmed this splendour is beyond me.

An End To March

As I’ve said before – and will undoubtedly say next year – I love this bank in March and April, especially as I do nothing to it… other than that one autumnal strim.

An End To March

The big weeping willows are coming into leaf and another irresistible urge is to lie down underneath and, fighting to keep my eyes open, clear my head for a few moments to appreciate scale that most gardens can’t accommodate.

An End To March

A month or so ago, I cut off all the leaves on my bergenias.  You don’t have to but I don’t like the black-splotchy old leaves and prefer to start the season with a clean slate: fresh green leaves, clearly visible flower stalks.  But do as you like – I shan’t judge.

An End To March

I’ve only ever known one Magnolia stellata intimately.  The Priory’s is a little tree and only reaches my chest.  It has barely grown taller during the nine years of our intimacy.  In the past, its flowers have been browned by frost but this year they are unblemished.

An End To March

Other than giving it an ericaceous feed (about now), a winter mulch of leaf-mould and keeping its planting square free of weeds, I leave it be.  I’ve never pruned it.

An End To March

It’s a beauty and when I finally settle into a house for good, with no plans to move, I shall plant one (with lichen too).  And honestly, there aren’t many trees or shrubs I can say that about.

An End To March

Male pheasants make an awful racket in March.  It is particularly their loud, short, territorial proclamation that makes me jump and sets my teeth on edge.

An End To March

These two were having a protracted battle for the Bird Feeder Territory.   The scatterings from the feeders make this the must-have territory.

An End To March

Their sporadic fighting drifted back and forth across the lawn, including a dunk in the pond.

An End To March

I don’t know who won the war but I suspect whoever did, will end up the fatter of the two.

An End To March

Wood anemones are another rich reward for not mowing and not strimming – though you can see where I cut a path to the bridge when mowing starts again.

An End To March

Every spring, at least one pair of Canada geese arrive to pooh on the lawns and honk repeatedly.  They honk a lot, Canada geese.  And pooh.

An End To March

Their arrival is as much a spring marker as any number of daffodils and anemones.

An End To March

By the greenhouse, one of my few auriculars flowered on Friday.  I love auriculars – as perfect a flower as I could wish for.  And I love how they almost stare back at you, demanding your approval.  An approval I give readily.

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