My Top Ten March Blooms.

Well, I suppose spring is here. Sort of. And very wet and soggy it is too. And it is being very capricious and threatening to flounce off again at the weekend.  I am late in the month to show my  favourites, but after so much cold and ice most of them seemed reluctant  to put in an appearance. And who can blame them? But at last my favourite March shrub Stachyurus praecox is displaying its dangling yellow beads. I love the way these flowers appear on dark brown branches before the leaves. I used to have one with creamy variegated leaves called Stachyurus chinensis ‘Magpie’ and that solved the problem of a dull looking shrub in summer. I haven’t seen it offered for sale for a long time.

Stachyurus praecox

Flowering currants are coming into bloom now. But I don’t count the ubiquitous pink Ribes sanguineum as a favourite. I have a white one which is much prettier in my eyes. It is Ribes sanguineum ‘White Icicle’. I like it with the ghostly white bramble Rubus biflorus behind. The ‘ghost’ on the left of the picture is my Edgeworthia chrysantha which is draped in fleece to protect it from ongoing frosty nights.

Ribes sanguineum ‘White Icicle’

Ribes laurifolium
is a very special flowering currant with clusters of  creamy green flowers. If you want to buy this plant then look out for the one named ‘Mrs. Amy Doncaster’ as it is the best form. It is very floriferous and more compact. These plants do tend to sprawl and so they look lovely trained up a wall. The flowers are slightly scented and they don’t smell of old tom cats like the pink one.

Ribes laurifolium ‘Mrs. Amy Doncaster’

My favourite blossom tree is at its best in March. Prunus ‘Kursar’ is a small tree which is laden with small dark pink flowers.

Prunus ‘Kursar.

Another cherry looking good in March is the winter flowering Prunus x subhirtella ‘Autumnalis Rosea’. In milder winters it blooms throughout the winter months, but not this year.

Prunus x subhirtella ‘Autumnalis Rosea’

My third March blossom tree is the one which lives in the old greenhouse. (Not the shiny new one, obviously. ) This is an apricot, Prunus armeniaca and bees are busy working it  and ensuring me a good crop of apricots this year. It is supposed to be a dwarf but has ideas above its station and keeps making a bid for freedom through the upper windows. I have had to cut it back this year.

Prunus armeniaca

Cornus mas has clusters of little yellow flowers in March and a full grown one is a glorious sight against a blue sky.It has edible fruit in autumn.

Cornus mas

March is daffodil time of course, I have inherited carpets of these in the orchard. I don’t know the names of any of these large flowered ones as they don’t excite me enough to bother learning them. I love the dainty, small ones. In the greenhouse I have the exquisite, pure white Narcissus ‘Xit’. I am sure it would be tough enough to live outside but I like it at eye level so that I can croon over it in comfort.

Narcissus ‘Xit’

When Wordsworth waxed lyrical about his ‘host of golden daffodils’, he was talking about our lovely native Narcissus pseudonarcissus which seeds around generously. I love to grow it with primroses.

Narcissus pseudonarcissus

Narcissus ‘February Gold’ is another good early one for naturalising. It is badly named though because it never blooms until March.

Narcissus ‘February Gold’

To go with all the yellow in March it is lovely to have some sky blue flowers spreading into little lakes. Chionodoxa luciliae does just this. Its name means  Glory of the Snow , ‘chion’ is ‘winter and ‘doxa’ is  glory. It grows just below the snow line in the mountains of Turkey.

Chionodoxa luciliae

For years I used to confuse chionodoxa with little Prussian blue Scilla siberica. I had to remind myself that chionodoxas put their chins up and scillas look down. Actually scillas are a much deeper blue.

Scilla siberica

I also have a very pretty little starry form of scilla called Scilla biflora but it does not spread as fast as Scilla siberica. I read in Bowles ‘My Garden in Spring‘ that if you grow scillas and chionodoxas together you get seedlings of a bi-generic hybrid called Chionoscilla, so I shall give that a go.

Another little blue treasure with striped flowers is Puschkinia scilloides var. libanotica which is a long name for such a diminutive flower.

Puschkinia scilloides var. libanotica

Chionodoxas come in pink too. This is Chionodoxa forbesii ‘Pink Giant’ which is pretty but not as special as the blue one.

Chionodoxa forbesii ‘Pink Giant’


OK, you are thinking that I am featuring more than ten blooms,  and I admit that I am cheating a bit by counting all the ribes as one, all the prunus as one and all the little blue and pink jobs just mentioned as one. I know it is stretching it a bit, but I do need space to feature one of my absolute favourite March blooms and then there are three more in the greenhouse that I want to show you. So a little sleight of hand is necessary.

Corydalis is Greek for ‘crested lark’ and what a lovely name for these little darlings. Corydalis solida comes in red, ‘George’ Baker’ or pink, ‘Beth Evans’ . I also have the pretty creamy white one called  Corydalis malkensis , mauve Corydalis cava and Corydalis pumila. They all grow together and hybridise in a delightful way. One hybrid is the delightful  named Corydalis ‘Blackerry Wine’.  They soon make little tubers, but in summer they disappear from view so you have to be careful not to put a fork through them.

Now for three pretty plants in the greenhouse. Clematis cirrhosa might sound like a horrible disease, but it is a winter- flowering clematis which is supposed to be hardy. But I don’t really believe it could come through a winter like this one unscathed and so Clematis cirrhosa. var. balearica  lives in a pot on a shelf in my new greenhouse where it can cascade downwards and delight me with its  unblemished creamy bell-like flowers.

Clematis cirrhosa var. balearica

And now for something completely different. Its flowering is eagerly awaited every spring. It is the Chilean Nasturtium, Tropaeolum tricolor which grows from tubers. Each winter it puts out very fragile, wiry stems which need something to grow up. I have a friend who grew this successfully in a very sheltered courtyard garden, but I have tried it against a warm south facing wall and lost it, so now it lives in the greenhouse where its bright red face with a gaping yellow mouth edged with black lipstick can be enjoyed at close quarters. I have recently acquired the  closely-related,yellow flowered Tropaeolum brachyceras and I am eagerly waiting to see its flowers.

Tropaeolum tricolor

As it will be Easter this week end I shall finish with a plant that is known as the Easter Broom. It is called Genista x spachiana,  although there seems to be some confusion as to its name and it is sometimes listed as a Cytisus. I have seen this growing outside but I prefer to keep it safe in the greenhouse. It is  so deliciously fragrant that I would recommend it for its scent alone although it is very floriferous.

Genista x spachiana

Next month I shall need to use even more stratagems to feature just ten favourites because there are so many treasures just waiting for a bit of sun to claim my attention and compete for the title of favourite April blooms. In the meantime, I would love it if you would share your March favourites.

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67 Responses to My Top Ten March Blooms.

  1. Peter Herpst says:

    I loved seeing every one of your blooms so am glad that you weren’t strict in showing only ten! A crafty gardener always finds a way. Your success with Tropaeolum tricolor is impressive.

    • Chloris says:

      The secret with Tropaeolum tricolor is to protect the first shoots from slugs and then make sure they have something to climb up, they are very fragile. It is the prettiest thing imaginable and always full of flowers.

  2. mrsdaffodil says:

    Our weather is much the same as yours – bouts of cool temperatures, rain and wind. The garden wants to burst into bloom, but holds back. I smiled when I pictured you crooning to your white Narcissus.😊

  3. Heyjude says:

    Hahaha… I had to smile at your “….they don’t smell of old tom cats like the pink one.” One reason I have never grown those flowering currants! Lovely to see all that is blooming in your garden. It is looking very spring-like.

    • Chloris says:

      Actually I don’t mind the smell of flowering currant because it reminds me of my childhood. Still, I’d rather have the pleasantly fragrant one.

  4. Ali says:

    So many lovely blooms here, Chloris! It has taken me a long time too to learn the difference between scilla and chionodoxas, and then I think I heard that they have been reclassified so that chionodoxas are now part of the scilla family! I agree with you about sweet little narcissi. I love that Chilean nasturtium!

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Ali. I had’t heard that chionodoxas had been bunged in with scillas. Still, it gives me a good excuse for putting them all together and counting them as one of my ten favourites.

  5. Pingback: Top Ten for March. |

  6. Brian Skeys says:

    I do regret not planting the white Ribes here having previously admired it in a wonderful plantswomen garden. I did however choose ‘Pulborough Scarlet’!
    Tree blossom from now, through out the spring months are a welcome sight. We have a self sown Cherry tree on the other side of our hedge which has flowered for the first time, a welcome surprise.
    I have posted my Top Ten for March here Chloris:

    • Chloris says:

      Oh yes, Pulborough Scarlet is a good one. I love how the cherry blossom comes in waves and then we get pear and finally apple blossom.
      Thank you for joining in and sharing your March favourites Brian.

  7. snowbird says:

    How wonderful seeing your many treasures, I love how you always have such special varieties of everything. Oh my….Tropaeolum tricolor is utterly splendid! I am besotted!!! Sadly, I have lots of smelly old tomcats flowering around here, all self seeded, they are also indestructible!xxx

    • Chloris says:

      Welcome home Dina. Yes, ribes does self seed everywhere , I am quite ruthless about getting rid of them but I keep one pink bush because when it blooms you know spring has finally arrived.

  8. janesmudgeegarden says:

    Lovely to read about your March favourites and I have learnt about some plants that are new to me- just one of the terrific aspects of reading gardening blogs. That Chilean nasturtium is pretty special!

  9. A great lineup of spring blooms. The very idea of having a top ten favourite March blooms made me smile, Chloris. Thanks for the post. We have only one bloom in March: Snowdrops. But I visited a friend in downtown Toronto and noticed she had witch hazel blooming in her garden, so that makes two!

  10. Kris P says:

    Despite how miserable your winter has been, you’ve got a LOT of pretty selections to share. I’m most envious of the ephemeral bulb blooms and the Corydalis. With the exception of the tougher Narcissus, the bulb blooms you show are well out of their element here. On the other hand, the problem with the Corydalis really comes down to its water requirement. Your photos having me wondering whether I should tempt fate and try growing one of these in my lath house with some other thirsty specimens.

  11. Eliza Waters says:

    A delightful collection, esp. in the greenhouse with the Clematis and Tropaeolum tricolor.

  12. Nidhi says:

    Keep sharing🤗i love it!!!

  13. Sam says:

    Your enthusiasm and delight in your favourite plants is infectious – I’m impressed you have so many. The Chionodoxa are gorgeous; there used to be a huge swathe of the blue ones at Kew Gardens which was a lovely sight (not sure if it’s still there). I love pretty much anything that is blooming right now, but it’s all ordinary stuff here (muscari, primroses, daffs, pulmonaria). Hope the weather improves and we all get to spend lots of happy time gardening this weekend. Happy Easter! Sam x

  14. Beautiful are your March flowers. Unfortunately, not so much flowers here in southern Germany.
    Greetings Arlene

  15. tonytomeo says:

    Oh boo hoo! We do not have the ‘White Icicles’! I have not seen it for years! I prefer it to the pink, of course, because it is WHITE! I really do not know how we ended up with so much pink. It is nice too, but I would like to add white.

  16. croftgarden says:

    Lovely to see the Corydalis flowering in the garden.

  17. Pingback: March in My Hesperides Garden – in like a lion – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  18. Christina says:

    A lovely choice of blooms Liz. I don’t think I have more than 10 but I didn’t count very carefully! Here’s my link:

  19. I don’t blame you for stretching out your 10 blooms, and I’m sure that any judge would uphold your reasoning as within the letter of the law. Besides, it’s so hard to narrow a list when it comes to flowers. Have you ever seen Tubergen Squill (it has an impossibly long species name)? It looks quite a lot like the Puschkinia.

  20. Annette says:

    Is it us or is it true that it’s a tough start to spring? I don’t know but I’ve enough of the cold. Opened the pool yesterday, there’s no way back, dear spring 😉. Stachyurus is one of my favourites too, Liz, and I’ve underplanted it with Chionodoxa Pink and Blue Giant. Sadly my Ribes died, I think it hates the summers here. A friend gave me Corydalis seedlings and I hope they’ll like it here. such gems in your garden! Have a sunny Easter 🐰🌷

    • Chloris says:

      Hello Annette. Happy Easter to you too. It has certainly been a long, cold late winter and spring and everybody here getting repeated colds and coughs.
      Not many people seem to grow stachyurus and I can’t think why as it is so beautiful. How lovely to underplant it with chionodoxa.
      Good luck wuth the corydalis, they are little gems.

      • Annette says:

        neither can I especially as it has really 3 seasons counting the autumn colour and the promise of spring in its buds all through winter 🙂

  21. rusty duck says:

    I should reinvestigate Ribes, especially with my now declared interest in moving more toward shrubs. We inherited a garden full of the most garish large daffodils which prove resistant to eradicating. This year most of them have come up again, in spite of my efforts, mostly blind but at least I can see where they are and have another go. I was at Rosemoor the other day and they have carpets of a dwarf variety, so much nicer. I will need to go again with more time and seek out the name tag.

    • Chloris says:

      I thoroughly recommend R. White Icicle it is very pretty. Yes, shrubs are the way forward.
      I don’t mind the big daffodils for picking but I would never plant them. At Wisley I have seen carpets of the dainty hoop petticoat Narcissus bulbocodium planted in the Alpine meadow. Gorgeous!

  22. Another wonderful collection. Every single, more than ten of them, a corker.

  23. Pingback: March flower delights – Colour returns | Frogend dweller's Blog

  24. Cathy says:

    Your garden is such a treasure trove Chloris! I love all your Corydalis, and thanks for the tip about identifying Scilla vs. Chionodoxa – I get them mixed up all the time. The daffodils planted among primroses is for me a very lovely and very English scene which is rare in this part of Germany. Thanks for sharing… I hope to join in next month once I have a bit more choice! 🙂

  25. I love how we sauntered through delicate spring blooms, pink and white and pale blue, then WHAM! That tropaeolum smacks you in the face, magnificent!

  26. Cathy says:

    I have really enjoyed wandering through your March garden, Chloris – that white ribes is especially pretty, as is the corydalis. I shall definitely be investing in some of the latter and am visually scouring the garden for a spot for the former – how much sun do you think the ribes needs? You have seen my March blooms already, I think, at Thanks for allowing to see your March favourites and giving us the opprtunity to share ours

    • Chloris says:

      Ribes ‘White Icicle’ needs either full sun or partial shade. It starts blooming earlier than the pink ones and is altogether much prettier.
      I have found that the red Corydalis ‘George Baker’ is not as long lasting as the others. The pink ‘Beth Evans’ is more reliable. I love the way you get seedlings of all shades of pink and purple. The blue ones flower later. If you fancy a blue one try to find C .’Spinners’. It is a cross between flexuosa and elata and much more reliable and longlasting than either.
      Thank you for joining in and sharing your blooms too. I hope with a bit ot warmth the April blooms will get going and I can post about them earlier this month.

  27. Pingback: Blooms Bringing Pleasure in March | Rambling in the Garden

  28. How nice to see your selection of shrubs and trees. When I look around to choose favourites it is all too easy to overlook them. Stachyurus praecox is very elegant and looks Japanese. I can imagine painted on plates. I had no idea Corydalis came in so many forms. I must keep my eye out for them.
    Here are my top ten flowers for what has been an unusually wintry March:

  29. Pingback: My Top Ten March Blooms | Hortitopia

  30. Yes, you are very clever with your flower count, but who can blame you with so many beauties? Our weather has been kinder by comparison and I’m glad to say I have something to show for it at Nonetheless, your garden is still tops!

  31. I love your March flowers and am very envious! Have you ever grown Tropaeolum caeruleum in your greenhouse? I tried one about two decades ago in my “alpine house” but it succumbed to a hard freeze combined with a failed heater. I really should try it again, if I can find seeds for sale.

  32. pbmgarden says:

    Oh goodness, what treasure you have. Narcissus ‘Xit’ is definitely worth keeping close at hand. The Chilean Nasturtium is pretty amazing. Enjoyed seeing what’s happening in your world.

  33. Benjamin says:

    Thanks for the tour ’round your March garden! Especially love the Corydalis and that Chilean Nasturtium is spectacular! Well done, you! Cheers, Ben

  34. Indie says:

    What gorgeous spring blooms! Mine are under snow at the moment. I have long admired Narcissus ‘Xit’ and finally bought and planted it last fall. I just hope it’s tough enough to be outside here despite our harsh, wet winters. I put it in a more protected and well-drained area, so we shall find out. Your clematis is so pretty, and that Chilean nasturtium – beautiful!

  35. Awesome blog! I am happy you are sharing this! I am just getting my garden going up north. I hope to have blooms and all kinds of vegetable harvests very soon!

    Spring Cheers,

  36. Thank you for sharing your blooms. This certainly was an enjoyable visit. How does one share their blooms of the month with your blog?

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