End of Month – March 2012

The months are flying by much too quickly for my liking… Sowing seeds one week and suddenly I discover it’s been a month since they were sown! How did that happen? What did I do with myself for all that time and never realised it?

Anyway, temperatures are back to more normal levels for this time of year now; boo hiss, as long as we have some rain I’ll be happy otherwise I’ll have the hose out (of course trying to use it sparingly).

This morning I’ve been out and floored the Buddleja in the front garden, not to worry as it’ll soon be growing back and I’ll wonder how it manages it every year.
Last weekend I extended the path border (no photos yet) but the window border is looking very nice and 100x better than previous years.

Also, the Skimmia by the door is blooming; I intend to plant it where the Hydrangea was in the coming weeks/months.

We’ll ignore the side of the house – I’m still to move the Bird’s foot trefoil and Shasta Daisies from these spots. Although the Geraniums I planted last autumn are doing well and nicely bulking up.

Moving to the back garden we have the right border – Magnolia border? Never know what to call this one… Anyway, it’s all beginning to look nice and lush, I’ve still got the problem of low and mid-level interest, but I’ve planted some Coreopsis and aim to add more grasses. I’ve noticed more new growth on the v. bonariensis… I hope the frosts next week don’t kill it off, again! I might still end up losing them all; guess it’s a good thing I bought some more a couple of weeks ago intended for the Aster border.


I’ve also fallen in love with these Tulips; I’d forgotten I’d planted them and assumed their colour would deepen to black but then I realised I also planted some ‘Raspberry Ripple’ mix which had these and a frilly one in them. It’s gorgeous! And I’m especially enjoying the combination of the fuchsia with the Muscari blue/purple and yellow of the unknown Narcissi.

Moving toward the Buddleja border which so far this year is doing quite well thanks to the addition of the Geranium Thurstonianum last year which seems to be very happy in its spot; so happy, I’m considering dividing it already. So the lower end of this border is looking good… Shame the same can’t be said of the top side… I think I need to steal more Forget-me-nots off my mum!


The Dwarf Russian Almond is beginning to bloom and inhabits a ‘no-mans-land’ between the Buddleja and Aster border, so please forgive me as it’s going to appear in two sections 😉

No real work is planned for the Aster border, other than moving the grasses I planted in autumn to over winter to their intended homes. The Flat-topped Aster is also now beginning to send up its shoots, so I need to remove the dead growth (right after the forecast cold spell and frosts end!), this year I intend to keep on top of it so it doesn’ take over the border again and will move it around the garden and perhaps plant some at my parents’!

Another no-man’s-land which is probably best described as being the lower tier, or simply tier. I’ve also been working on this area for the past few months by planting some things last autumn and more recently various Hellebores, Achillea, Anemone and Helenium.

I also can’t ignore the lovely foliage in the area at the moment, especially these beauties:

The cherry border is just amazing this year… And I need to move some of the Foxgloves before they smother other plants – I placed them too close to the front in my haste to get them moved off the tier. Although it is nice that I’ll need to move them due to there being so much else going on!
I do need to plan more for summer and autumn too, as once the Anemone and such are gone it may look quite bare.

Finally, the Upper Tier… a couple of days ago I noticed new growth on the Aconitum and look at it now! Honest; there were literally three or four leaves just peeping out. Can’t believe it!
Pleased to see I didn’t kill off Clematis ‘Willy’ last year and look forward to its pretty bell blooms.
Note to self: check if that’s couch grass with the campanula, I was sure I’d checked it well before moving it up here!

Copyright 2011 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden.

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20 thoughts on “End of Month – March 2012

    • Hi Donna,

      I need more Dicentra… I’m thinking I might put some in the front garden…. Perhaps I ought to save the space for summer or autumn blooms instead? There doesn’t seem to be many later blooming shade lovers though 😦

  1. Hi Liz

    Thank you for sharing your garden Liz, it is looking a beautiful Spring garden. I don’t understand why but my crocus, daffodils and tulips have let me down badly this year, so some time is needed to redevelop a Spring garden. I have very few forget me nots their year also so must make sure that when the are over I shake the seeds from the dried flowers all over the garden.

    I am particularly taken with the Skimmia Rubella and may just have to seek one out. I think the pink tinge to the flowers is so pretty, mine are just plain white.

    The anemone photo is fabulous and would make a wonderful card. 🙂

    • Hi Ronnie,

      Last year my Irises, Crocuses and Tulips were poor too (I didn’t have many Daffs/Narcissi then) so this autumn I did a lot of bulb planting to replace all those lost 😦
      I left all my F-M-Ns in situ to self seed but as always, they didn’t so I’ve had to dig some up from my parents and sow seeds that I collected of the white ones which are doing quite well at the moment but not close enough to blooming quite yet. I sitll need to get more off mum though, so I think I’ll make a trip either tomorrow or next weekend to get some.

      Thanks Ronnie 😀

    • Hi Elaine,

      I just hope the borders maintain their interest for the rest of the year! I’ve always been a spring person and just cannot help myself with the spring bulbs, yet seem to foget about the rest of the year…………………. 😀

  2. What a wonderful tour round your garden, everywhere is looking so lush in spite of the drought! Your flowers are all looking so pretty together, and your new foliage complements it all.

    • Hi Pauline,

      I think spring plants in general are used to thriving in poor conditions (cold, less light, snow etc) so perhaps do better than if it was a summer drought with more fussy plants that need near perfect conditions! That’s what I’m assuming, anyway…
      Think I’ll have to post about some strange plants I have coming up and no real idea what or where they came from! They look like grass, sort of. Almost like couch grass, but not. Anyway, I tried digging up one and it seemed to have a bulb type shape and I noticed it smells like onions. Only I don’t remember planting any like these or in these spots. At the moment I’m holding back pulling them all up to see if they do form a bloom, but I also don’t want it taking over if it is grass!

  3. Your garden is looking beautiful. We really do need some rain though, the ground here in Wales is parched and I haven’t had to say that too many times since we moved here.

    • Hi,

      Thanks very much 🙂 It’s very dry here too… I watered the garden on Saturday evening and I swear the Lady’s Mantle appeared today! I don’t remember seeing any leaves yesterday and was wondering whether I’d managed to kill them off and today we’ve some fresh leaves! So although the garden is looking nice and green; I’m thinking it could be even more so!

  4. I enjoyed studying your combinations in your borders. You window border is wonderful! You have so many pretty blooms, but I especially love the checked fritilaria and your dwarf Russian almond. I keep waiting for my bleeding hearts that I planted last year to return. I suspect that what I thought was summer dormancy was actually death!

    • Hi,

      Are your Dicentra in a sunny spot? In general they like shade – the one in these photos is in too sunny spot and it’s struggled for the past 4 years or so, but I’m too scared to try to move it as their roots are so brittle, so it slogs on but never does particularly well. This is the first year I have more than one branch on it and I’ve had it at least 4 years, but I know I brought it with me from a previous house so I think it must be closer to 5 or 6 years old now…

  5. I have a soft spot for fritillaries, it is such a shame I can’t manage to keep f. imperialis alive for more than a year and I gave up on them because they’re so expensive! I love your f. meleagris, I’ve planted a few too but only 5 chequered managed to flower, no signs of the white ones. Fritillaria uva vulpis is the only reliable one, shame it is rather shabby. I looked up for Geranium Thurstonianum on google, it is very nice! I want more geraniums too this year as mine are doing pretty well on heavy clay, I didn’t know that!
    Your tulip is fantastic near those muscaris!

    • Hi Alberto,

      I think Frits are best bought in the green, at least my success of planting the bulbs/corms is also poor – out of a pack of I think 50 or 100 not a single one came up. These were all bought in the green and come back every year… Although sadly I missed this year’s to buy some more so no more to add to my collection next year 😦

      Geraniums are great plants for pretty much any site or soil you can imagine. They’re doing well here and we also have clay – very heavy clay in parts of the garden which is solid yellow stuff. The only ones I haven’t had much luck with so far are ‘Ballerina’ and ‘Anne Folkard’, but the Phaeums all do really will and I absolutely adore ‘Orion’ which is quite tall, has a beautiful colour and loads and loads of blooms. The only issue is it can get mildew, I’ve moved it late last year and hopefully it’ll get more air around its leaves and I won’t see any issues.

      • G. Orion looks really good, I already have some blue ones but i’ll have a look for it anyway: I love tall geraniums amongst roses. I wish I could have some dark centered ones though so I may try Anne Folkard anyway.

        • Hi Alberto,

          The Orions usually come up to the top of my leg – not quite to my waiste though so they’re fairly tall but not the tallest! The purple is just so beautiful and I can’t wait for mine to bloom 🙂

          I’ve tried Anne in a number of places and she still doesn’t seem too happy… Not sure where to try next 😀

  6. Scary isn’t it – a third of the year gone! Beautiful soft spring colour in your garden Liz including some mutual friends. Like you hoping for rain in the next week – you could once be guaranteed buckets of the wet stuff in north west England but not now, well apart from Cumbria.

    • Hi Anna,

      You’re the second person I’ve seen referred to it as being a third of the year having gone! Shocking when we think of it like that!! Eeeeeek, where do the weeks and months go now? They always pass by in a blur when working, living for each weekend doesn’t leave a great deal of time left spare 😦
      I watered the garden on Saturday evening – a quick water rather than a good ole drench as we’re promised heavy rain… Although judging by today which was meant to be cold, grey and grim but turned out to be hot, sunny and clear skies I’m not so sure if i’ll believe the forecast. I popped out to B&Q mid-afternoon and my car said 19C! Aircon is my friend 🙂 Poor little car struggled home with 4x 100l bark chippings in it, coming up our hill I had to go into first gear for the first time ever heehee

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