Singing the blues-end of March

March is howling out on a Greenland storm, tearing at the newly opened  blossom on the Cherry Plums, battering the daffodils and ripping branches from the Corsican pines. One of the trees has sustained two major branch losses and we feared the whole crown would be ripped out of the tree, but it has thus far survived. It may be time to have the tree taken down before the inevitable happens; you can see in the image how gappy the crown is compared to the other tree and the whole top growth os supported on a partial stem.

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We spent March working to clear away part of the hedge boundary so we can begin to integrate the meadow properly into the garden. It has been very hard work stripping meadow turf, disposing of it and turning the soil, removing couch grass spade by spade. The hardest part was removing the supply of buried bricks and stone from under the grass-none of it much use, unfortunately. The bricks are old, but every one was broken. We needed to level sections of the bumpy meadow and lay new turf where the brick debris was.

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It takes few words to say what we have done, ans may hours labour to achieve it. This is the view from the meadow looking back to the house, with the fork of victory stuck in the levelled bed. I have planted one Stipa gigantea as a trophy! From the other direction, the view looks like this:-

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The borders are beginning to colour up despite the cool weather, and the colour is blue. Anemone blanda, chionodoxa, Forget me Not and Pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’ are weaving through the beds as brightly as patches of sky. I’m delighted by the spread of the chionodoxa, seemingly at home in a realtively shady border, and the forget me nots promise to turn into a river of colour. They are beautiful at the start of the season when the leaves are fresh and tidy and  the whole plant is compact. Blue Ensign is a lovely pulmonaria and although the leaves are plain green the clear colour of the flowers is rewarding. Another plant to spread through the garden.

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Of course March is about daffodils and the Daffodil walk is looking splendid. There are quite a few blind bulbs this year so perhaps it will be time to replant in the autumn.  I suspect part of the planted area may be too dry and shady to sustain the bulbs for more than a couple of seasons.

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Primroses are flowering on the sunny bank and beginning to spread from the seed grown plants I put in last year. Another patch is seeding happily through the gravel in a shady part of the garden near the house-not the soil conditions that make you think immediately of primroses, but the plants obviously haven’t read the manual. Its great when the plants choose where to place themselves.

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And similarly, this gorgeous clump of Red Riding Hood tulips has decided a position in sun in gravel is ideal, I planted the bulbs after they flowered two years ago and last year they did nothing at all. It was a pleasure to watch them  appear this year, first the leaves like little hostas and then the scarlet flowers. The speed of change displayed by this  clump was dramatic, as it is in little patches all round the garden. Spring is definitely waiting behind the lion’s roar.

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8 thoughts on “Singing the blues-end of March

  1. I love the way the view opens up, and having cleared couch grass etc myself can admire the hard work represented by that bed with its victory planting of stipa. And what a great place to plant one, it I’ll look amazing with the light filtering through it come autumn! I have rivers of forget-me-nots about to blast me with colour, but my chionodoxas are a bust, I will have to try planting them elsewhere as I love them.

    1. Ooh, do plant chionodoxa again-they are so lovely. I thought the Stipa would be great there- I’m imagining swaying and dancing in the light too. We hope to extend that bed all down the new meadow and around the corner, when we can face hard labour again..

      1. I will, they are such lovely bulbs, I think they just didn’t have enough light. Your extension plans sound exhausting but ultimately rewarding, if only for the exciting planting opportunities represented by such a wonderfully generous sweeping border. Can’t wait to see it coming together, but very glad not to have all that hard work to do…

  2. I too have primroses seeding in the gravel drive, you would think that they’d prefer a better soil wouldn’t you? You have been very busy with all your digging, what a feeling of satisfaction it must have given you to finally stick your fork in the border.!

    1. The primroses are adventurous, aren’t they? Within reason I am more than happy for plants to set up home in the gravel, although weeds seem to flourish too! I have sometimes wondered about dumping difficult to grow seeds in the gravel- it seems to work for most things, so it might work for more choice beauties.

  3. You have achieved a fair bit and it’s all looking great. As Pauline say, satisfaction!
    I love those blues and P. Blue Ensign is one of my favourites at this time of the year.

    1. There is a great sense of satisfaction, if only knowing we haven’t got to move any more turf this Spring!
      Pulmonarias are brilliant, aren’t they? I feel the need to add more to my collection ….

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