I can’t believe we are in March already, where did winter go? I have been so busy with so many things, and in my garden winter is one of the busiest times so I have tried to get a bit done now and then when I have been feeling up for it. The weather has slowed work though, it has been an unusually cold winter here in the South-East, but an hour here and there outside with 3-4 layers of warm clothes and good shoes and I can get a bit done. There’s LOTS still to do in my ‘new’ garden, but I am slowly getting there :-)
When it comes to the inside of my house – with adaptations and renovations, a few things have been done since last time i posted, but only minor things. I have spent an incredible amount of time writing emails, letters and making phone calls to move things along – but there’s still the biggest job left to do, which is the renovation of my bathroom. I am so looking forward to having it done....and I am so dreading the process of getting it done! I still haven’t got a start date so no idea at the moment when I can expect everything finished, but I have waited a looooong time now so it should be my turn soon.
In my garden the biggest event in March will hopefully be to put down an automated watering system. I will need help to do the installation so when it will be finished will depend on how many people I can mobilise for the job. And in the middle of all this I am still recovering from torn chest muscle and slipped discs from last year. Yep, never a dull moment around here!
The last few days it seems winter has decided to show off one last round of anything and everything – we have had all sorts of weather starting with the storm Doris which really could be felt here in London. And after Doris the temperature has plummet again and we are back in single figure day temperatures. Today we even had a 3 minute hail storm! But the cooler weather is only for a few days, spring is definitely here and I can already feel the sun is getting stronger.
Rhododendron ‘Bo Peep’ has been flowering since beginning of January, in this cool weather the flowers last much longer than later in the spring – a great advantage with early flowering plants.
The flowers of ‘Bo Peep’ are pretty pink with freckles.
But it is when you see the flowers against the sun that they really are at their most exquisite – with tissue-paper-thin flowers and a sparkly surface they look like little jewels.
OK, so the rhododendron might have flowered for almost 2 months already, but the Iris reticulata have let me wait this year – they are all rather late due to the cold winter.
But once they emerge they are very quick to open their beautiful flowers. I have them spread around the garden and they are usually flowering before any crocuses or daffodils – and to me the Iris reticulata are announcing spring.
The hellebores are late to the garden party this year too – very late actually. I usually have hellebores in flower before Christmas but this year it was early February before any flowers opened. This ‘Picotee’ is a beautiful one, I am glad it managed the move from my previous garden – some of its cousins did not, I am afraid quite a few of them died the first summer cooped up in my pot jungle.
Another pretty hellebore from the Lady Series, give them all another 10 years and this woodland area will be absolutely covered in hellebores. Well, that’s the plan at least!
I have a few Helleborus niger and they flower earlier than Helleborus hybridus.
Most of these Helleborus niger have been flowering since early January, and as long as the temperature is as cool as it is now, they will go on flowering for a long time.
The snowdrops are almost finished, only a few patches in shade part of the day are still in flower.
Iris reticulata, primroses and pansies.
The primroses have been in flower since October, but are really taking off now.
The day I was taking these photos the sun came and went – and didn’t stay long enough for the crocuses to open their flowers fully like they do in full sun. But give them a nice sunny day and they will open, all of them. I have no idea how many I have left – and how many have become squirrel lunch. Time will tell!
One more helleborus photo? I got another photo of some Helleborus niger :-)
I have a video for you today, it’s the end of the month and although I am writing less and less on my blog I still want to try to keep up with making a video and write a post on the last day of each month. As usual, if you want to get the best viewer experience with my videos, please use full screen and view in HD – 720 or 1080p.
The day I was filming I was treated to a full squirrel crew – which is ALL THREE OF THEM at the same time messing about. And boy do they make a lot of mess, but they are not the only one, the pigeons and the foxes are pretty messy too. I am still seeing the fox quite often and she is eating bird food most evenings. I am just letting her have it – sunflower seeds and peanuts. At least she isn’t digging any more holes so if that means paying her in peanuts then so be it! There’s no fox on this month’s video, she has been rather shy the last few weeks, but there’s hopefully plenty of other things of interest.
The music was Liebestraum (which means love dream), by Frantz List.
Next blog post will hopefully be on Friday 31st March – in the mean time I hope to do some more short posts on Facebook and Instagram where I have been rather absent the last month.
I hope you have lovely gardening weather – and if your garden is buried under snow right now, just remember it won’t take long before the snow has gone and spring arrives everywhere.
Until next time, take care :-)