End Of Month – March 2013

I’m trying very hard not to sound like a broken record; so perhaps I’ll just stick to the facts…

The garden seems to be in a state of torpor; Snowdrops are still blooming and have survived the recent snow where the crocuses have not. Many of the Tommies are pretty piles of purple mush.

Most disappointed.

On Sunday much of the snow finally melted, with the very back of the back garden and the entire front still under snow/ice. So, sadly there are no photos of Hellebores, Primulas, Anemones, Pulmonaria and whatever else. I’m not sure if this is showing a true picture of the current state of the garden or not. After all, the blooms are there; they’re just currently hidden/mush.

The few Kerria buds that were open have been burnt in the cold, but there are plenty more buds bursting forth too so perhaps another few days and we’ll have some more golden pompoms.

I will have to check on the Forget-Me-Nots, they’ve already been heavily damaged by the snow and I fear will now have been finished off. These were white ones I sowed last year, so will not be easily replaced by getting some off my parents. It will have to wait anyway, because the ground is still too hard to make any attempt at planting.

At least the birds seem to think spring is upon us… Watching them in the garden today; there’s loads of Blackbirds (don’t often see more than a pair at any one time), they’re fighting and gathering nesting material. There’s one male with no tail, so I’m assuming he won’t find a mate this year! The BBs are still chasing the poor Song Thrushes, Dunnocks are flicking their tails and wings at each other (mating dance), Wrens have been flitting around chasing each other too (are you noticing a theme here?). Lots of tits coming in and out, including Long-Tailed Tits and the Goldfinches are back. I’ve regularly heard Greenfinches in the trees but haven’t seen any on the feeders for a few months. I’ve even had Starlings in collecting nest material; not unusual for many of you but ours only ever visit the garden a) for nesting and b) fledglings out of the nest for a week or two, then never again.
I don’t mention the Sparrows because they’re always here, OK so they’re also chasing each other and having little fights in the hedges – I wonder if it’s like gangs going against each other as there’s often groups of them spatting.

Crocus, Tete-a-Tete and Crocus ‘Pickwick’

I wouldn’t really call Tommasninianus ‘Ruby Giant’ a giant… It’s slightly larger than Barr’s Purple or Whitewell Purple, but I wouldn’t say it’s giant by any stretch. I think overall I prefer the softer purple than these.

Crocus Tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’

There’s little point posting photos of the borders this month, most of interest are under snow still 0 such as the back borders and front garden. Those which aren’t, do have some blooms but are generally just as brown as last month.

Crocus, Anemone, Snowdrops, Iris and Tete-a-Tete

Those Crocuses which have survived look just as beautiful as before… However, it’s easy to see the mushy ones beneath… Or, most patches actually look like the right image. Not so pretty.

Crocus Tommasinianus and ‘Cream Beauty’

Copyright 2013 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden.


36 thoughts on “End Of Month – March 2013

  1. You are certainly not alone in the lack of blooms department! What you do have though are some gorgeous Crocus and your photography really does showcase them beautifully!
    Although we haven’t been affected by the snow up here – my garden seems to have come to a complete stand still!
    Here’s hoping April is not such a let down!

    • Hi Angie,

      I had blooms… A couple of weeks ago! But gone backwards – The Hellebores etc are all still hidden under last week’s snow, but hopefully they should begin to appear again soon as it’s slowly but surely thawing.
      I’m sure if we get a week of warmer temps, we’ll be back on track again… Just got to wait until this cold weather goes!

  2. I do like Crocuses but they look so sad when there is no sun and they end up lying flat on the soil. I think it is time our weather improved so that we can actually enjoy a bit of gardening again.

    • Hi,

      Oh yes I know what you mean, although they look even worse when they turn to mush! 🙂
      And yes, please please please let us have some good weather for once! Had enough now. Bored of all this. I’ve got Foxgloves desperate to spread their feet in the ground but if the soil isn’t frozen then it’s sodden and too difficult to dig our heavy clay!

  3. I was really looking forward to the crocus this year, after suffering losses in previous years (squirrels I think) Had loads of them showing colour, but now most of them resemble your last photo. Oh well, there’s always next year.

    • Hi Crystal,

      I don’t think Squirrels have ever gone for my Crocus, but they do go to the Irises… Hrm, not sure. Luckily we don’t tend to get Squirrels in this garden – quite a rare sight for them.

      It’s just frustrating that as soon as it warms up a little and the plants begin to recover, we’re hit yet again by more snow/cold temperatures. I don’t mind some cold, but I do mind it returning time and again.

  4. We have had two snowfalls since the crocuses began blooming, and they stood up to it all….until the rain came yesterday. Now, they are mushy. I did enjoy them for that short time, but I would have liked to enjoy them longer.

    • Hi,

      The first couple of times these had snow were OK too, but they’ve been snowed on so many times now they’ve eventually given up. I’d be interested to know why some survived fine but others didn’t… I would say it depends on how long they’ve been blooming for, but some had only just really started.

      There’s always next year.

  5. Seems that many of us are experiencing the same kind of Spring. Here we’re rejoicing that it’s been ten days since snow. Spring will come…

    • Hi Carolyn,

      At least much of the US had a good summer last year! We however had a shocking spring, summer, autumn, mild winter and then suddenly in late winter/early spring have been hit repeatedly with cold winds from the east and snow.
      I’m expecting some payback this season to make up for the terrible year.
      I can’t wait for spring to arrive; it’s helped with the clocks changing as the days feel much longer already; very happy 🙂

    • Hi Pam,

      The F-M-Ns do look very unhappy, but I am hopeful they will bounce back if given the chance… Just the snow keeps coming and hitting them time and again so it’s only a matter of time before they give up.
      Just waiting for the weather gods to give us some good weather; this past year has been so depressing it’s unreal. And I’m usually someone who is very positive (hate hearing people say how rubbish the weather is, even though it’s been fine for weeks etc).

    • Hi Donna,

      It wouldn’t be so bad if other blooms were taking their place, but we’re in a rut because of the wind, cold and snow. The past few days have been warm, so I’ve managed to check what’s survived… Most Hellebores are gone, and I don’t think they’ll bounce back. So unless they develop new flower stems, no more Hellebore photos. It’ll take weeks before they produce new blooms (if they do), so I’m feeling very fed up.

  6. We’ve still got a fair bit of lying snow too…and a lot of mushy flowers! The snowdrops look okay and some of the crocuses have survived. I did rescus some hellebores from the ice last week and they haven’t died yet, so there is hope! Let’s have some sun now though 🙂

    • Hi Liz,

      Eh, it’s been sunny here for days now… In fact my brother was visiting from Plymouth over Easter and was delighted to see clear skies – even if it was frosty. Today and yesterday have been lovely and warm too (in the sun, that is) and most of our snow is now melted.

      Hellebores here have largely been lost 😦
      Think I’m actually going to cry.
      They’re all very droopy, dead in the soil. One stem is rotten so that’s not going to bounce back, and others look suspiciously like their floppiness is terminal. Only ‘niger’ and ‘tutu’ have survived and look almost OK.

  7. I am so sorry the snow turned your flowers to mush. A late frost did that to my ‘Miss Feya’ lilies last year and I’m still waiting to find out if they’ll bounce back this year or not. So do you take your photos in the early morning? The light is always so nice. I need to haul my lazy self out of bed at 5 am this summer to catch some good morning light photos. Haha, maybe that will happen or maybe not. Hang in there till the white stuff melts!

    • Hi VW,

      I think your Lilies should be OK; I used to have lilies in pots that always survived, even snow. I think the only reason they’re now gone is because of Lily beetle.
      Photos are taken whenever there’s sun. But yes, in spring/summer I will go out during the ‘magic hour’ to take shots – this is usually when I take the playing with light shots of Alliums, Forget-me-nots etc. At this time of year though the sun is still at quite an angle in the sky, so the light isn’t as harsh as summer. Then, I really need the polarising filter (need to get one for the 24-70mm as it struggles with whites sometimes), to help diffuse the light a little.
      But hey, I light bright shots and am not scared to crank up the whites from time to time.

      5am??? Lol, good luck with that one… But you do have children so you’re far more likely to manage that time than I am 🙂

      • I came back to read when you take photos – so you use a polarizing filter? I shall have to try one myself. Actually I have trained my children not to wake me too early. In fact my oldest son gets my youngest son up and feeds him a breakfast bar every morning so I can catch a few more winks. The magic hour in June is just so darn early when the sun rises at 4 am or so around there. Someday I’m really going to get up and take advantage of it, though. Preferably on a day my husband is home so he can get up with the kids at 7 and I can go back to sleep til 9, LOL.

        • Hi VW,

          I only use the polarising filter on one lens, but I do want to get one for the 24-70mm as I’m going to Portugal and don’t want blown out skies/dark streets when I take photos. Otherwise in terms of garden photos, it depends on what takes my fancy; after all I do like blowing out whites, bright, light photos and the polarising filter darkens it all – can also mean I have problems taking photos in dark conditions so can get frustrating.
          Just go for magic hour at dusk instead… That way you still get your lie-in and pretty pictures 🙂

  8. Beautiful photos of your crocuses, such a shame they’ve been mostly covered in snow. Most of my hellebores seem to have survived, but the smaller immature plants have definitely suffered. Like you, I can’t wait for the warmer weather to arrive, it’s been far too long!

  9. Reblogged this on wisejourney and commented:
    I have taken the liberty of re-blogging the most divine photos from this blog….of a treasured gardenthe north of England – close to my roots.
    It is a space that is fighting to shrug off winter and welcome spring in all its glory.
    I would like you to soak it all in too.


  10. Trite as it may sound: try not to be too discouraged, the birds are feeling it, my seed potatoes are chitting nicely (in the warm of course) and I’m looking forward to being rushed off my allotment feet just keeping up with all the jobs we haven’t fitted in yet.

    Fancy a look?

    But if not, enjoy what’s coming eh?

  11. OMG I’m so tired of rain and mud and winter prolongation that seeing you still have snow almost makes me sick! I really, really, hope some real spring is going to bloom soon.
    You have some pretty flowers to cheer you up, though.

  12. Its been atrocious, hasn’t it. I am so sorry about your lovely white forget-me-nots. And the mushy crocuses. We escaped quite lightly snow-wise, but boy has the east wind been cold. Glad it has finally scarpered.

    • Hi Janet,

      All might not yet be lost; we’ll see if the F-M-Ns bounce back. There seem be be a few that are OK, but I suspect they might be blue ones rather than whites. I definitely have some Blues coming into bud in pots and at the front of a border, but then I never planted the whites in those spots.
      Waiting for the supposed ‘heat wave’ we’re going to get… They keep changing their mind and I had next week booked off but think I’ll just have a few days instead because of the inpredictability of the forecasts.

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