March in the garden

Garden bulbs and plant colour

Hellebores

These frost hardy plants are doing their job of filling the more shady areas of our gardens. When they are planted under an Acer you get double the benefit. There is not much to see on an Acer without leaves at his time of year, so the Hellebores are well displayed and visible at ground level. The Hellebores are then flagging when the Acer produces its leaves. A very pretty variety is Fritillaria meleagris (snakes head fritillary) with its white and pinkish bells and checkerboard markings.

Forsythia and Ribes

These are a couple of the early flowering shrubs. The prolific display of the Forsythia yellow is complemented by dark red tubular flowers of Ribes sanguineum Pulborough Scarlet (flowering currant).

Amelanchier lamarkii

A striking large small tree. It produces starry white flowers in profusion before the leaves emerge. There is an added bonus of stunning autumn leaf colour.

Spring bulbs

Daffodils, crocus, Narcissus, Erythronium, Anenome and many other bulbs planted last Autumn, are now on display. The verges are coming alive where the councils and local groups have had the foresight to get together and organise community activity to enrich the open spaces for all of us passers by to see and enjoy.

Clematis armandii Apple blossom

This evergreen clematis will cover any bare fence or pergola. It produces large sprays of waxy white flowers at a time when few other climbers are flowering.

Daphne bholua 

A slow-growing evergreen shrub – “Jacqueline Postill” has intensely fragrant clusters  of pretty pink blooms. Plant one close to your front door and enjoy a scented welcome for you and visitors.

March jobs to do in the garden.

Potting

Re-pot pot-bound plants using fresh compost and check for vine weevils. If you have a greenhouse, it’s a good place to keep containers planted up with bedding for later in the year. Keeping them in the greenhouse for a few weeks helps the plants to get well- established in the containers before exposing them to the weather. Vegetable and bedding plants need to become accustomed to the harsher outside weather gradually.

Dead heading

As soon as they look untidy, deadhead daffodils by removing the flowerheads and seedpods behind them. Never cut the foliage away.  Weed and tidy your borders before the onslaught of the coming months. Lift and divide herbaceous plants on a dry day. When you replant them, they will be raring to go. Don’t forget to water them in.

Frost damage

Go around the garden checking for frost damage. Cut back any affected stems. Do not be tempted by a short warm spell to plant summer annuals.

Soil preparation

Prepare the ground for planting by digging the soil and then levelling it. 

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