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Saturday, 9 March 2013

Spring has sprung

Part 1 - Plants

It doesn't matter to me whether it's the end of February or the end of March, the blossoming of the first daffodils will happen when the time is right, and this is the best indication that spring has well and truly started. Coupled with the sounds of the birds singing, the yellow blooms bring a bright cheeriness to the stark winter landscape and my senses are heightened every time I step outside.

There are a number of plants flowering and trees in bud right now, with early blossoms starting to open and little hints of green on some of the shrubs. Our little hamlet seems to be a bit colder and behind the villages and towns at the start of spring, so we can enjoy the trees in blossom when we are passing through, then a week or so later enjoy the same sights in our own garden.

It can and will turn colder (snow forecast next week!) but we have some colour and interest in the garden now, and March is a month where we could be either freezing or wearing T-shirts, so there is light at the end of the winter tunnel.

On top of all that, the UK's best known TV gardening series (Gardeners' World) started again last night, so it must be spring..... and has reminded me of all the jobs that need doing!  

I planted all sorts of unnamed varieties of daffodil years ago
and they flower at different times, prolonging the season

Monday - the first bloom was almost open, by Wednesday suddenly there were dozens!

Pretty blossom from the spindly Mirabelle plum
which grows but doesn't fruit in our woodland area

I only know this tree as 'Purple Leafed Prunus'. It is very common and is very early to blossom
then is covered with attractive purple foliage.

I could pretend that I meant for this photo to look soft focus
- I didn't, but sometimes 'mistakes' can look better than the intention.
Here is 'Japonica' or Japanese Quince (Chaenomeles japonica)

My Euphorbias are already looking interesting and I now know what two of the self seeded plants are! I'm so pleased as one of them has come from my lost E. martinii, which died either last year or the year before. The other one I've found out has come from my E. characias. I say 'come from' as I don't know for sure that they have come true, or if they are crosses. I love that they self seed all over the place and in the photo below, all three Euphorbias are self seeded. Once upon a time a spindly rose bush lived here and never did well in this very light dry soil, plus it's beside the steps leading to the garage at the front of the house, and was never a great place for a rose bush! I wrote about my different Euphorbias last year here.

Top - looks like Euphorbia amygdaloides, the Wood Spurge
Centre - E. martinii ?
Bottom - E. myrsinitis

It's the red centre of the bracts which show this came from
my original plant, Euphorbia martinii

This is my original Euphorbia characias, which has now self seeded

Shade loving plants have been flowering for a while now. I love finding the occasional pink primrose in amongst the more common yellow ones.

Pink Primrose (Primula vulgaris) at the base of a Honeysuckle

Snowdrops are going over now but the Hellebores are still looking good

Pulmonaria continues to look pretty and I will be weeding
out lots of baby plants as they self seed like crazy!

The wild hazel catkins are over but my Corylus avellana contorta
is in the coldest part of the garden and is only now flowering.
The Weeping Willow (back left) is just starting to come to life.

And in veg patch news.... I have had some help with the digging and weeding.

I did dig some of it! And no, he didn't weed this entire patch by hand.... :-)
But the truth is, he can do a whole plot in a couple of afternoons,
whereas it would take me a month of Sundays

Potato and allium beds are done - 3 more plots still to go.
Left in for now are leeks in the background as food for us, and in the foreground,
rocket and a chinese cabbage which are both flowering, as food for pollinators

I've also had some help with weeding in the flower beds :-)

Rusty 'helping'.
After heavy rain Thursday night the ground is quite wet again

Part 2 will be about insects and birds, as in spring I could go on and on ad nauseum and I have many photos to share, and if I don't do it soon the garden will have changed and I will have to take a load more photos.... and so it goes on!


  1. Lovely post love the catkins and the wiggles!

  2. When we were over in Brittany 2 weeks ago the daffodils were just coming out.
    Hopefully they will last long enough so we can see them at Easter.
    Good to seee you have husband on the job!
    Philippa x

    1. They were just starting to unfurl here a few weeks ago but then the cold snap stopped that! We pass a house on the way to the supermarket that has had daffies out for several weeks but it is the only place I have seen them, so they must be really early ones. Yup gotta keep that husband working! I've just this moment looked up when Easter is, early this year. I hate it in March. Anyway there should be daffodils still out and peach blossom too. :-)

  3. My first daffodils are also blossoming, and my primroses are true beauties this spring, even if we still are in winter !

    1. Glad they are, Cergie. It's lovely to see them brightening up the gardens - I know it is still technically winter but I feel very springlike! :-)