As we entered the month of March we looked forward to increased temperatures both during the daytime and at night .We thought with luck the danger of frosts would be diminishing, although this year we have had few to talk of and none deep enough to cause many problems.
So let’s have a look at my Garden Journal for the month of March.
“Early in March we treated ourselves to two new Hellebore hybrids to add to our dozens already adding colour to our borders”
One displays simple single deepest red flowers and the other pale green petals edged with a picotee fringe in deep plum and in the centre a similarly coloured collar of petals. Let’s look at the simpler one first.
In complete contrast the “colarette” Hellebore shows so much more colour and variation.
Pleased as we were with our new purchases we were even more pleased to find a chance seedling Hellebore which has sneaked its way into our Rill Garden. The problem is that it has settled in tight into the base of the stone wall of our raised pool. “We were also surprised to discover a beautiful new self-crossed hybrid in the Rill Garden. Each petal is a subtle combination of blush pinks and pale greens, its centre the deepest yellow.” It really needs moving out to replant it where it can be appreciated properly. This photo shows it in its chosen home. We love it for its subtle combination of pink and green with delicate spots, and of course for choosing our garden to grow in. What do you think of it?
My journal moves on to look at the first tulip of the year, this beautiful species one with such unusual colour combinations within its petals. “Our first tulip is out, a beautiful deep red-blue colour. Each bloom is so delicate it seems the gentlest breeze will disperse its petals.”
I reveled in the challenge of representing its flower, shaped like the flame of a candle, in watercolours with pen and ink detailing. I had great fun mixing so many tints of blues and reds together and even brought in a touches of green.
The bird life at Avocet starred next in my journal. “Wrens and Robins are becoming dominant in the garden. Robins are developing territorial traits resulting in chasing and flouncing. The nimble Wren hunts in every nook, crack and cranny for insects, spiders and their eggs. They still roost together in the pouches we have, scattered throughout our garden. Soon they will be considering them as potential nesting places.” It will be interesting to observe the changes in behaviour and attitudes towards each other when this change of emphasis occurs.
I quoted a further passage from Jenny Joseph, “March is certainly coming in like a lion – a roaring beast. After the gale had torn wider and wider the covering to the sky to let the blue in, it was a bright sunny enticing outside world.” In my journal I wrote “But for us here in Shropshire we have had no strong winds at all, just sunny days alternating with cloudy damp days and cold nights.” But March was to prove these words to be dreadfully premature, for as the month was preparing the way for April to follow in its footsteps we did indeed get gales lasting several days and taking us into April. This strange atypical weather isn’t helping the garden, and definitely not helping us as we prepare for our first opening for the year on 16th April. I noted this in the journal, “This is confusing the garden. It doesn’t know which way to turn. Plants are behind where they should be. Few Tulips or Daffs have displayed their blooms. Leaves on the Acers are showing little inclination to burst from their buds.”
As my journal closes for March we are preparing for our April opening and we could do with some help from the weather and from Mother Nature herself! We can only wait as spectators and see what April brings with it.