It’s that time of the month again, the time to wander round the garden taking photos of what is blooming in your garden, and add your post to the many others over at Carol’s blog – a celebration of all things floriferous, from all corners of the globe. I love it, not only because it provides a useful record of how much – or little – is flowering in the garden in any given month, but because I get to nose over the metaphorical garden fence and see what other people are growing. It is particularly useful this year as this is my first Spring in this garden, an endless process of wondering what any given bulb will prove to be. In the back garden I have allowed the Pak Choi to flower so that I – and any passing insects – can enjoy the cheerful flowers. They are underplanted with large, blushing, daisies. These I plan to relocate in to the lawn. Something that would probably cause the previous owner to have a coronary since by all accounts he was very proud of his immaculate weed-free lawn. When we moved in it was neat but no longer weed free, and we want to turn part of it into a wildflower lawn. Not a meadow, nothing so long, but a patch of longer grass packed with bulbs and these daisies.

Flowering Golden Pak Choi

daisy

Elsewhere, under the acer, are four hellebores. Two were here when we arrived, though both looked sickly, were planted in very deep shade in poor soil, and were blasted by the recent cold snap. Happily they are settling in to their new homes and throwing up new leaves, but no blooms. The other two are seedlings I brought with me from my old garden. I expected them to be creamy-yellow perhaps with a little pink, or just muddy pink, but one of them has a lovely non-muddy pink flower, so I am rather chuffed.

hellebore from old garden

Despite getting damp and muddy knees the best photo of the flower proper was this, which is a mere glimpse, but promising.

bashful hellebore

I inherited large, nay, congested, clumps of English Violet (Viola odorata). Both flowers and young leaves are edible, which is perfect as the clumps are in a border I want to grow lots of edible perennials in. Being so congested makes it hard to see the tiny flowers, they appear as a mere hint of colour in a sea of foliage.

congested violas

Dividing the clumps was delightfully easy, and revealed the flowers in all their dainty glory – I spread them around the border, and still have another clump to divide, a useful source of evergreen ground cover while I save up my pennies for the erythroniums I am longing for.

viola odorata

There are also a few more dwarf narcissus, I was amused by this little grouping, it looks like a family, somehow, posing for a photograph…

dwarf narcissus

The other plant flowering in the back garden is scorpion vetch – Coronilla valentina subsp. glauca ‘Citrina’. It represents the dangers of reading other people’s gardening blogs, in this case Caro @ An Urban Veg Patch. I was so struck by the beautiful photo she took of a bee on a scorpion vetch at Capel Manor that I inexplicably found myself adding one to an order I had otherwise been dreaming about for months. I just couldn’t help myself, because although it is one of those sprawling, untidy shrubs, it has dainty evergreen leaves and these beautiful two-tone lemon and gold fragrant flowers. Flowers that even I can smell. I love it, so thank you Caro!

scorpion vetch

(My photo isn’t a patch on Caro’s by the way…)

Moving round to the side garden I still have brightly coloured primulas (which I am not showing again because they have featured in several previous posts) and vinca (which I am not showing because I am not a fan!). However I also have three tiny plumonarias, which I am planning to move to underneath the magnolia in the back garden. I hope they will be happy and become less diminutive, I think they are really pretty.

pulmonaria

Moving round to the front garden the circle bed still has clusters of robust purple crocuses that shrugged off the recent hail and plummeting temperatures, and yet more dwarf narcissus in ones and twos. All will be relocated so that I can re-shape and re-plant this area later in the year.

more dwarf narcissus

purple crocuses

Alongside the new (still unfinished) fence I am beginning a Spring corner. The idea is to have the area near the dining area window full of late winter and spring blooming plants in shades of white, yellow and blue. At the moment, it is just white, but I am working on it!

nascent spring corner

The centre piece is a dwarf cherry – Prunus incisa ‘Kojo-no-mai’ – which has had a torrid life so far. I had it planted on the corner of the drive at the old house, until Fil ran it over. I rescued it and put it in a pot thinking we would soon be moving and I would be able to put it in the ground again. That was over four years ago! Now it finally has a new home, underplanted with the garden’s first snowdrops. It is covered in buds, so I hope soon I will be able to eat lunch looking at a cloud of pretty pink-flushed white blossom.

buds on prunus incisa 'Kojo-no-mai'

The rest of the white comes from the Christmas Rose, Helleborus niger. Unlike the orientalis hellebores these flowers are normally quite upright, but these are still recovering from the recent cold snap. Still beautiful though, and really shine out at dusk.

helleborus niger

fading Christmas Rose

I love the way they fade to a soft pink. I have a list a mile long of other plants to add to this area, but I am not allowing myself to order anything else until the fence is finished and the border edges re-defined. But I may nick some of the many, many forget-me-not seedlings filling the garden for some of the gaps, the first are beginning to flower an intense blue with tiny yellow centers.

forget-me-not

That’s it at the moment. In future years I hope there will be more hellebores and snowdrops, more crocuses and daffodils, clumps of native primroses, and oh, so much more… But for now, there is enough to make me smile and feel optimistic that Spring really is well on its way.

Do head over to May Dreams Gardens and see what other people have flowering in their gardens.

62 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day March 2013

  1. You have so many beautiful flowers growing in your garden. Wish I could grow the Forget-Me-Not flowers in my garden, however I don’t think they would like the Texas heat. Blue flowers are my favorite. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Cheers:)

    1. Hi Steph, thanks for dropping by. I have never been able to grow forget-me-nots before, they didn’t like the soil in my previous garden, so now I have enough to make up for all those years without! i think I will have to get in to the habit of thinning them ruthlessly in future years.

  2. Hi Janet,

    I hope things have warmed up a little for you… It’s been OK here for the past couple of days, although I wouldn’t complain if it was more like 15C rather than 7… It’s about time we had some good luck weather-wise as I think we’ve endured enough since last April.
    It’s a shame you didn’t inherit many spring bulbs, but I am sure you’ll soon rectify that :) and I’m looking forward to seeing things develop – perhaps the most exciting thing is looking back over previous years!

    1. Hi LIz, the past couple of days have been much milder again, just two layers required, and sitting outside with a cup tea did not induce hypothermia yesterday so things are looking up again. Today the water butts are full again, which is the positive side of it being very wet… I see a lot of bulb planting in my future, but at least I have some Spring colour, at one point I thought there wasn’t going to be ant at all!

      1. Yup; it’s been OK for the last few days… Been out in the garden today for the first time properly (not counting cutting back and tidying stuff). Planted the first plants today – Epimedium but the soil is too wet, so I had to plant the rest in pots temporarily.
        Your Hellebores are lovely, and I’m jealous of your Daisy! I had one in the lawn and didn’t see it at all last year… So much for them apparently spreading like, well, weeds and taking over :(

        1. I’ll see you daisy envy and raise you epimedium envy!! Must have another look at the budget…

    1. Thanks Anna – it is a (now fairly old) Panasonic compact superzoom, because I couldn’t afford a digital SLR at the time. It does pretty well for me, I have to say. The limitations on output are almost entirely mine!

  3. Sitting here on a very wet, rainy Saturday morning looking at your blooms brought some cheer :) Usually we get our first warm spell in March, even if it then gets interrupted by some chills from then till late May. But no signs of warmth on the horizon yet!

    Reminds me, must plant more Pulmonarias this year!

    1. Its really wet here this morning too, puts paid to my plans for the day, but glad to have brightened your morning a little. Pulmonarias are a real find for me, I just need to work out what to plant with them to take over once the leaves start disappearing. Any tips?

  4. Janet you have a lovely lot of nice flowers blooming in your new garden, I love the intense blue of your forget-me-nots I’ve only ever seen pale blue before, and how nice to have violets, your spring border sounds nice and will be uplifting to view as the new season beings after winter, Frances

    1. Hi Frances, I have never grown forget-me-nots before, I was expecting pale blue too, so I wonder if they go paler with time?

    2. PS Having just done some research, I am wondering if it is a type called ‘Blue Ball’, which has intense blue flowers…

      1. Janet I think you are right, I just did a search and found a RHS page, I never knew forget-me-nots came in such variety, I only thought there was the pale blue, live and learn, Frances

  5. I am feeling so envious of everyone’s lovely Hellebores, but I know they would die in my garden so I am trying very hard to be strong! I love all your spring flowers; it is such a special time too, to discover what is in your garden. Christina

    1. Hi Christina, I have been really missing the hellebores in my old garden, they weren’t anything special, but they were mature, making satisfyingly large clumps. Something about Spring seems to be making me feel impatient, so thank you for reminding me that some miss hellebores and can’t fix it by buying plug plants in sales later in the year because they would just die…

  6. Such a lovely selection of flowers, always exciting to see what pops up in a new garden! Your forget-me-nots are such a delicious dark shade of blue, your daffodils will look lovely with them. Your border by the dining room will be wonderful in the winter when everything is flowering together, as you know I am rather fond of winter gardens!

    1. Hi Pauline, I was amazed at the colour of the forget-me-nots, not at all what I was expecting. It has definitely made me reassess how best to use them. I find your winter garden an inspiration, though it will be a loooong time before my little corner is as lushly packed with goodies.

  7. I love the idea of a spring corner; it will be a beautiful area at this time of year. And I’m looking forward to seeing your wildflower lawn. Forget-me-nots can be useful little flowers; I’ve used them in the past to fill gaps, too.

    1. Hi Wendy, I am really excited about the wildflower lawn, it seems much more manageable somehow than a meadow, but it won’t really make a start until next Spring, assuming I manage to plant lots of bulbs in it this Autumn. But daisies I can do!

  8. Janet, you brought a big smile to my face with your remark that the guy would have a coronary at the thought of Daises in his lawn. I better not chance it as I have just started medication for high blood pressure. Mind you, Myra always says she likes daisies in a lawn, must be a girl thing. Good to see the Spring plants in your garden.

    1. Hi Alistair, glad I made you smile ;-) Take a deep breath, you might want to sit down for this bit – TNG would like dandelions too… And I think you just called him a girl!!!

      1. Sorry TNG, I have to admit all this talk about flowers and gardens which I do makes me sound girly but I made a decision to do this blogging thing with enthusiasm or not at all. See you down at the pub sometime and we can have a chinwag about the footie and stuff like that. Oh, but dandelions in the lawn, naw that sounds too macho.

        1. I am, as they say, in touch with my feminine side, so no offence taken!

          I don’t understand all this flower talk myself but I know her outdoors appreciates your commenting so regularly on her blog. I enjoy reading all the comments, mainly because they support the hypothesis that she might not be quite as mad as she seems (or no madder than the rest of you!) and therefore there is no real reason why I should have her commited just yet!

  9. What a delight to see all your spring bloomers, Janet! The cherry tree will be cheery vision when it’s in bloom. You’ve reminded me that I have a packet of forget-me-not seeds I wanted to scatter before it gets too warm; I hope mine do as well as yours–I love that blue.

    1. Hi Rose, I am excited about the cherry, I am sure I heard it give a shout of relief when it finally got out of that pot. Enjoy sowing your forget-me-nots, I have never had any luck with them before so I am rather chuffed that they seem to be happy in this garden.

  10. I’m sure your Cherry is now heaving a sigh of relief!! Your Violets reminded my I planted some of those last year – I think they were devoured by slugs last summer as I don’t remember seeing any foliage yesterday…further examination required tomorrow!
    I do like that Coronilla – never seen one before but I have read of their scent!

    1. I think the cherry gave out a gigantic whoop Angie! Hope you find some signs of violas, these appear to be evergreen, which is rather handy. Unremarkable foliage really but given how many bare patches I have, welcome nontheless. The scent of the coronilla is truly amazing. Go on, you know you want one…

    1. Hi Donna, I love the idea of putting some of those violets in the lawn, thank you, I will give it a go, the only thing that might be an issue is the drainage in the area we are giving over to wildflowers and bulbs. But the beauty of having so many is that I can just try it and see!

  11. Oh, a spring corner! That sounds so cheerful! I can imagine what joy it will bring – spring is always so full of anticipation, and the blooms are always so welcome. I love that last hellebore picture. “Fading to a soft pink”…. gorgeous!

    1. I just heard that mil and fil are coming for Easter, and will hopefully be able to bring the primroses that got left behind. Now that will really start to make that corner sing of Spring! The soft pink is rather lovely, isn’t it.

    1. Hi Sue, I think, like the forget-me-nots these are plants that I will be very grateful for in the short term while I am waiting to grow things from seed, but will then have to ruthlessly control…

  12. Well I think this is all looking very promising! And I know your Coronilla was an impulse buy but I’m pleased that I inspired you to take the plunge and I don’t think you’ll regret it! Thank you so much for your lovely comments, Janet – I do sometimes get lucky with my photos but, equally, you’ve captured the lovely brightness of the flowers in your garden to perfection, AND shown us clearly what you’ve planned for the months ahead!
    Reading through the comments above, as you’ll be planting your Pulmonarias under the magnolia, you’ll be aware that they thrive in part shade. I’m just researching shade planting for a college project and, to take over from the pulmonaria, you might consider planting Geranium macrorrhizom, Ornamental strawberries (Fragaria) that will flower from spring into summer, Foxgloves (I love ’em) especially a white one like Digitalis purpurea f. albiflora. Tulips for next year and snowdrops for next February would all brighten up the area. Have I tempted you yet again?? :)

    1. Hi Caro, no apologies needed on the coronilla, I love it already, I was getting so fed up of supposedly scented plants that I couldn’t whiff, but this is heavenly. As to pulmonaria companions, I think you have been reading my mind! There iss lots of Geranium macrorrhizom in various corners of thee old garden , so I am hoping that mil and fil can bring some with them, and snowdrops are certainly part of the plan. My foxglove seedlings appear to have popped their clogs, due to lack of attentive watering over winter I presume, but they will definitely be part of the plan. Not so sure about tulips, the soil is rather wet and heavy in that corner, but will have to check out the strawberries idea. Though I am planning alpine strawberries for the edge of the bed anyway…

      1. Ah, wasn’t sure if it was dry or damp shade – tulips would be out unless you put huge amounts of grit underneath before planting! I’ve just been reading about alpine strawberries as edging this morning and may just have to track down some seeds for the veg patch.

  13. I’m surprised so see the little forgetmenots in flower already along with those prettty little violas. Coronilla isn’t very popular up here though I have seen it for sale but up until now I’ve never seen a picture in someone’s garden other than in a plant encyclopedia. I’ll have to make a few inquiries and see if it’s hardy up here to flower as it certainly is much nicer than a brash yellow cystissus shrub.

    1. Hi Rosie, I was surprised by the forget-me-nots too given how cold it has been. The only issue with the coronilla might be the sprawling habit, but evergreen + long and fragrant and early flowering makes it a winner in my book.

  14. What a fun post. So many new plants to discover, early stages of dreams. Spring and a new garden bring such a feeling of optimism.

    1. Hi Marguerite, it must bring back memories of when you were first starting your own current garden? Lots of dreaming, counting of pennies, excitement. I love it.

  15. You are beginning to get to grips with what you want out of your garden, aren’t you, Janet, and there is a lot of promise already. Good luck with your hellebores and pulmonarias! The forget-me-nots are such an amazing blue, but they are something I have tried several tomes before with no success. I was interested to read about your violets, as we have them popping up profusely around the garden – how do you use the flowers and leaves?

    1. Hi Cathy, it does feel as if at least some pieces are coming together, at least in my head. As to the violets, apparently you can use the young leaves in salads though they are slightly hairy which many people (including me!) find off-putting. The flowers are edible and can be sprinkled on salads, and apparently the leaves exude something which thickens sauces and casseroles! All theoretical so far, I’ve not tried anything out yet…

  16. I always look forward to, and enjoy, reading these posts and looking at the photos.
    I smiled at your comment about lawns as mum’s was rather unkempt, with plenty of daisies, much to the disgust of our next door neighbour whose lawn was like a billiard table.
    I really like the pictures of the dwarf narcissus and those blue crocuses. xx

    1. Thank you Flighty! Fortunately the only people who can see our back lawn have a very untidy and unkempt garden indeed, so are in no position to criticize a few daisies, but another neighbor commented on the front lawn and said Don was always very proud of how immaculate it was. It is now shaggy and strewn with debris from pruning, and will soon be removed altogether…

  17. I recently discovered that wallflowers are in the cabbage family and I was reminded of that when I saw your yellow flowers.

    1. I didn’t know that, but now that you say it, it makes perfect sense – and seems rather obvious!

    1. You are more than welcome Charlie, glad to have had you along for the tour, thanks for stopping by.

  18. I was gasping throughout your post at all the lovely shades of purple and yellow in your garden blooms. Those are my favorite colors for spring. Isn’t it nice to see blooms and color beginning to emerge? Spring is such a beautiful season.

    1. Me too! Purple and yellow with a dash of white make my perfect Spring garden I think. And it is so wonderful to see more and more signs of Spring, even though Winter keeps popping its head round the door to say “hey, I’ve not gone just yet”…

  19. Love the soft colour of your Coronilla, no wonder you fell for it. You have lots of blooms to enjoy despite the mayhem, which must be a relief. Just think, every successive year will bring you more and more reward from your garden as it develops. :) My little ‘woodland’ patches are looking less patchy this year; pulmonarias, primroses, hellebores and snowdrops particularly beginning to knit the ground together. I think we have more flowers this year than any March yet!

    1. Beautiful, isn’t it, and the smell is divine. I do love he fact that year on year I will be able to watch things bulk up, and I have to say what you have achieved in your own garden is an inspiration. I am longing for good bulky clumps of hellebores, I really fancy pale yellow, I must be developing an addiction. I think there is something about the light here, pale yellow seems to work particularly well. Glad you are getting a generously floriferous March despite the cold weather.

  20. I’m encouraged by your hellebore seedlings.
    I’ve had a seed tray looking pretty brown and bare for over a year and then suddenly, a couple of weeks ago, a whole load came up! Yes, I expect most of them will be muddy but it will be an exciting wait and if one or two are garden worthy I’ll be more than happy.
    Some beautiful photos Janet.

    1. I do love it when that happens, just when you are on the verge of giving up and consigning the lot to the compost heap, suddenly there is a haze of green growth. Hope you find some real treasures, but in any case I love the muddy pinks too.

  21. So wonderful to see spring in full gear…I need to plant some of those dwarf Daffodils…the big ones in my garden always flop over in the least bit of rain.

    1. I’m a huge fan of the dwarf daffs, they somehow seem more in scale with the rest of the spring flowering bulbs, and as you say, don’t fall over in the slightest breeze.

  22. You had quite a few blooms for March!! Can’t wait to see the dwarf cherry tree in full bloom. I don’t think I have seen one in my area, would be a nice addition to any garden.

    1. Hi Janet, yes, it wasn’t too bad given the awful cold and the way it delayed the arrival of spring proper. The dwarf cherry has started to bloom, if the wind dies down enough should be able to show some tomorrow for GBBD…

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