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March Notes on Lions, Lambs and daffodils.

In like a lion, out like a lamb. Or vice versa. A little traditional weather lore prediction there for March. On account of it being a changeable month, one moment clear clement spring like weather, the next, roaring storms of wind and rain. Like we need more unpredictability this year? Nope, me neither.

So I will clutch onto the little boat that is gardening, in the capricious and frankly unnerving waters of 2022. If there was ever a time to take solace in a packet of seeds, I am going with now.

Whether you have a greenhouse or windowsill, allotment or pots by the front door, seeing the progress of some hardy annuals growing from tiny leaves to a flowering plant never looses its enchantment. Seed sowing can begin in earnest this month, with cornflowers, calendula and snapdragons being hardy enough to grow outside. Waiting until the end of March for ‘half hardys’ like cosmos, nicotiana and zinnias that must be grow with some protection until the danger of frosts is past (late May for us). Don’t forget sweet peas, or any peas for that matter! These want long roots to be establish so choose a deeper pot or plant straight into the ground keeping well watered. That little seed, will all it needs within it to grow once given a little light, soil and water. There is a metaphor there somewhere.

Outside Spring is shooting and I am really excited about the many new narcissus varieties I planted last October. Unlike the tulip, when cut, they are still able to return stronger the next year. I don’t know why we have forgotten about this bulb and accepted the bold yellow version as the only one on offer. Whilst I love the ubiquitous Daff, there are beautiful varieties with subtly different colourations and shapes that flower between February and May giving months of Spring delight. Once you have seen these, the narcissus expected of future Mother’s Day, I assure you, will be a much chicer version.

Like September, March is another of my pivotal points of the year, the days lengthening, soil beginning to warm and buds swelling. In the borders I clear away last years growth protecting crowns of plants over winter. Now those shoots need air, light and water, the insects no longer needing sheltered protection that the leaves provide. Whilst I am at it, I lift and divide grasses or late summer perennials, replanting smaller clumps. With rapid growth, we know that these plants will root and gather pace quickly in this month.

It’s the last few weeks now of planting bareroot roses, shrubs and trees. Plant for the future you to enjoy - you won’t regret it. Plenty of compost for a good start, keep well watered this year allowing the plant to establish.

A new season, a new start, another go at it. It may still be a little chilly with the sun low in the sky but the clocks going forward on the Spring Equinox mark an optimistic time in the garden. All to hope for, with much reward for caring attention. I don’t care what animal the month is behaving like by then, I know we are out of Winter and heading towards longer brighter days.

Originally Published in Cambridge Edition March 2022

1 comment

1 comentario

04 mar 2022

Thankyou Anna. You do me good, brighten my day and inspire my lazy mind 😘

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