Moody March

After a very wet but mild winter, we’re now in March and the weather should be warming up. I’m not alone in thinking this as the Camellias and Magnolias will tell you but we’ve had a recent spell of cold weather and more frosts in March than I think we’ve seen all winter. This has – once again – hit the early spring flowering display and marred it with splotches of brown, dropped buds and ruined flowers. Thankfully on any one flowering tree the display opens gradually, so late-comers shouldn’t be affected. Our own Magnolia x Soulangeana that crowns Magnolia Hill has flower buds that are still protected from the cold are are resolutely staying shut until later, but the Camellias in the back garden are out in full.

Pink Camellia

These Camellias receive much more sun than the ones at the front, which are only just thinking about opening. You can see how waves of frost have browned many of the flowers.

We’re in the “all four seasons in one day” part of the year where it can start off dull and dreary, clear to wonderful warm sunshine, cloud over again, get windy, throw a freak hail storm, clear again, then freeze at night.

Hailstones on Seed Tray

The weather is definitely hormonal and the change from winter into spring is making it moody. I hope it settles down soon so I can get out and do some gardening without worrying about whether I’ll have to dash inside or get soaked or drown in saturated ground. I also won’t miss loosing the feeling in my hands to the point where freezing cold water burns.

As I rouse from winter hibernation and wander about the garden more, I’ve spotted little gems appearing here and there such as this Siberian Squill tucked into the patio wall.

Siberia Squill in Patio Wall

There’s also been the odd Crocus and little clumps of daffodils but as we didn’t do spring bulb planting last year, there’s lots of room for improvement for the display. In the mean time though, I’ll just have to wait for spring to advance, the garden to drain and the sun to come out before I’m fully “awake” from winter slumber. There’s always catalogue perusing and online browsing to do on cold rainy days, which reminds me, there’s six tons of compost and manure to order for the “tropical” or “exotic” border we are planning this year.

Trees in a hail Storm

Best starting thinking about getting the wheel barrow back out of the shed, we’re going to need it soon.

10 Comments


  1. Sunil, I love that little Siberian Squill in your patio wall! It is still too early to prune here but I expect in a week or so I will roll my sleeves up and get out there. I have ordered more roses than I have room for so I better put my thinking cap on as to where they will go! Can’t wait.

    Reply

    1. Hi Lynn, it’s something we inherited and was previously smothered by ivy (which has now all gone). We’ve had to temporarily heel in Paul’s Himalayan Musk and New Dawn into a nursery bed as the ground where they’re supposed to go is far from ready.

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  2. Hopefully the camellia at the front will come out late enough for the flowers not to be browned by frost.

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    1. Hello Alain, there’s the odd flower already starting to open but we’re a little while off the main display. Day-time temperatures are reaching double figures but the nights are still cold.

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  3. March weather here is best compared to a roller coaster. I wonder if it was March when Mark Twain famously said, “If you don’t like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes.”
    I’m entranced by your Siberian squill growing in the wall.

    Reply

    1. Hello Jean, the Siberian Squill were a surprise. They were previously smothered by the ivy that was rampantly growing along the wall. I have no idea how they survived and I’ve never known bus to be planted in a wall but they seem to be recovering. I’m not sure what to do with the wall so I’m keeping it tended but unplanted right now.

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  4. So you don’t enjoy frostbite as a symbol of your dedication? Where’s your sense of adventure? 😉

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    1. Hello Tammy, it’s really not my thing, it gets harder and harder to hold the garden fork.

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  5. I hate the damage those late frosts can do. Scillas are wonderful bubs – I planted a bunch recently and am waiting for them to spread.

    Reply

    1. Hello Jason, it’s always a gamble, every Spring, on whether there will be a sudden cold spell that will hit the Spring display. I wonder if early flowering plants ever “learn” to not be fooled by the weather or if they fall for it every time?

      Reply

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