Gardening Magazine

End of Month View: March 2013

By Ronniejt28 @hurtledto60

Oh goodness me, I wish I hadn’t just looked at my End Of Month View for March 2012.   It has made me realise how very delayed everything is this year.  It’s still very cold and we are no nearer to any signs of the Spring warmth.   It was unseasonably warm in March 2012 and the plants and flowers shed their Winter hibernation and burst forth in full splendor.  The other day, when the temperature was just above zero, the weatherman happily reminded us that it was 20C on the same day in 2012.  No wonder the plants are not doing their thing yet.

For example, the Kerria was in full bloom, covered in yellow pom-poms, but today there are only a few feeble little buds trying to break through.

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The Montana Elizabeth Clematis was a mass of leaves and pink buds.  This year I have had to hunt for any sign of life, in fact, I almost thought it had died, so was cheered to find a few leaves – all is not lost.

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I can’t even start to show you the blue Anemones, the Pieris in flower, or any tiny Violas as there are none – yet.

However, on a more cheerful note, the Forget-me-nots are beginning to flower and will soon spread some pretty colour in the flower beds.

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About a month ago, with the help of a friend, we managed to reduce the ivy at the bottom of the garden down to the height of the wall.  Actually, he did the majority of the work, I just chopped it up and put it in the garden waste wheelie bin.  The intention was to then have a go at the ivy to the left of the garden, but with the weather been so appalling we are yet to get out there again and tackle the next stage.   It is amazing the extra light that is in the garden now and how much more there eventually will be once it is all down to wall height.  You can see from the photo below how much needs to be removed.

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There are a few more signs of Spring, albeit slow.   The Forsythia is covered in tight yellow buds with just a few beginning to open out into flower.  The extra light it is receiving now has clearly made a difference.

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I think the Spirea Firelight is also benefitting from the no longer being stuck in the shade of the ivy.  I love the bronze leaves on this plant that appear in Spring, it’s like a back to front plant, because the colours are what you would expect to see in the Autumn.

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And the Ribes is dripping in pink buds.  During the Summer, when it does absolutely nothing, the thought is always that I should remove it but then when Spring arrives and it flowers I am reminded how pretty it can be, despite the unfortunately cat-like smell that follows in a few more weeks.

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The other plants that seems to be doing well, despite the cold weather are the Peony (I do hope it flowers this year) and the Erysimum.  The foxglove is looking as though its going to do something soon too.

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The front garden is slightly ahead of the rear, this is because it is drier, lighter and receives a little more sun, when it comes out.  The tete-a-tete daffodils are a colourful welcome underneath the front window.  They are totally unphased by the snow and icy cold days, but at the moment are the only daffodils in flower, all the others are still thinking about it.

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I have a number of pots of Spring plants, including tulips, down the side patio, all placed so that I can see them from the kitchen window.  Some of the pots I had to cover with chicken wire because there was a little critter that kept digging up the tulip bulbs.  It was suggest it could have been a squirrel.  Anyway they seem undeterred and if I look carefully between the tulip leaves I can see some flowers beginning to shoot up.   They should be oink and white striped and apricot tulips so will be lovely to look at whilst washing up.

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Fingers crossed that the April End of Month view will have a lot more colour and feel of “Spring has arrived”.  I expect like me you are desperately in need of some warmth and sunshine.   This EOMV is a few days early, as they are usually posted on the last day of the month, but at the end of the month please hop over to Helen’s blog The Patient Gardener who hosts this meme.  There you will find a number of posts from other gardeners with an update of how their gardens are faring at the end of March.

Bowel Cancer update:

It’s felt good to get back into writing gardening posts, the last few have been about the bowel cancer I have been recently diagnosed with.   As a brief update, the lung specialist confirmed that it has not spread to my lungs, which is a huge relief as you can imagine, not only for me but for my family and friends.  The next step is for a CT guided biopsy on Wednesday (3 April) on the enlarge lymph node deep in my abdomen, which I am told is about the size of a hen’s egg.  You would think I could feel something that size wouldn’t you?  Once they have that result which is the final piece of the jigsaw, I will be told what treatment/surgery I have ahead of me.   The waiting is horrendous, but made much better knowing that my lungs are ok.   Now, all I need are some good days to make it possible to get out into the garden while I can.

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