I was going to do a post on my ten Favourite Blooms for March this weekend. And then of course this happened.
We had a glorious day on Friday but apart from that, spring appears to be cancelled this year. We have had so much rain so far, that now we are waiting for a plague of frogs or boils. It’s jolly frustrating for gardeners. I have been scraping the barrel finding things to do out there. I have spring cleaned my summer house and painted it.
It’s a pity the roof is covered in snow, because it means I can’t show you the beautiful cedar wood shingles. My son-in-law, (obviously the world’s best) gave up so much of his precious free time last year to give my old summer house a new lease of life with a smart new roof.
I have also finally cleared up my plant pot shed. Clearly, I was really desperate to do this on a freezing March day. Actually, it had got to the point where I couldn’t shut the door. It was so full of plastic pots, a towering monument to my extravagance. I wrote about my pot shed before and mused about what I might unleash when I reached its bowels.
Actually, what I found was just more and more pots, not all mine, my predecessor left enough to create a whole new landfill site. Surely pots could be made of some slow bio-degradable material. We gardeners like to think we are helping to save the planet, not carpeting it with plastic pots. Anyway, I got rid of loads of them and the lovely Pianist put up some shelves for the rest.
No, several friends have already asked me, as you can see I didn’t wash them before I put them away. I will wash them as I need them. The Pianist wonders why I need to keep so many. ‘Oh reason not the need’ as King Lear would say. I have already taken so many to the dump that I am getting funny looks when I go there.
Anyway I digress, this is about the greenhouse as that is where the blooms are to be found at the moment. Cathy at RamblingintheGarden asked me which plants I had in there for winter colour. Earlier there were hyacinths, little irises, crocuses and snowdrops. Sarcococca, skimmia and pieris will be planted outside when they have finished blooming as will the hellebores. Primroses come in every colour imaginable and certainly keep the colour coming. Of course apart from the jasmine, lemon and mimosa most of the plants are hardy but in the greenhouse they bloom earlier and are quite unaffected by ice and snow.
At the moment I am enjoying some diminutive daffodils. This little Narcissus cyclamineus ‘Cecil Nice’ is just 4 inches tall and was named after a head gardener at Nymans.
I think pale lemon Narcissus ‘Gypsy Queen’ is even prettier. Next to it is the late- flowering reticulated Iris ‘Scent -Sational’ which is slightly scented.
Next year I shall grow some little hoop petticoat Narcissus romieuxii which flower in winter in the greenhouse.
Amongst the larger ones I have a couple of pots of the fragrant Narcissus ‘Bridal Crown’. ‘Tete-a- tete’ and ‘Jetfire’ are useful for early flowering, but next year I shall try out some different ones. I love the fluffy heads of ‘Rip Van Winkle’ which dates from the nineteenth century.
Muscari are nice in pots and next year I shall grow more of them. For instance I have the little ‘Pink Sunset’ in the garden but it never shows up very well. I think it would be lovely in a pot. This year I have ‘White Magic’, two -tone Muscari latifolium and pale blue Muscari ‘Jenny Robinson’. I have to have this as Jenny lived just down the road and had the national collection of muscari. She found this one in Crete. It is very similar to ”Valerie Finnis’. It is just coming out in the photo below. Behind it is a lily of the valley and a campanula.
In the garden under all the snow I have lots of corydalis as I am very fond of them and they seed around quite promiscuously. This one in the greenhouse is Corydalis pumila.
I have packed as much of my succulent collection as will fit in here, the rest still has to live on the bedroom window sills.
This one, Crassula multicava is in bloom and looks good with Helleborus ‘Anna’s Red’
As well as all the primroses, auriculas look wonderful in pots, I have just one in bloom so far. A double purple one.
Outside in the garden I am worried about the not quite hardy, Edgeworthia chrysantha, although I have given her a fleece hairnet. This year I bought a small red- flowered one called Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Red Dragon’. I am not going to risk it outside until it is much bigger.
So there we are, loads of colour and just as importance, fragrance to keep me sane whilst the garden stays monochrome. Winter wonderlands leave me cold. And I have quite a few treasures coming on to show you next time. But before that, I hope the snow will go and I will be able show you my Ten Favourite March Blooms in the garden.