March - Spring into action
As we move into March the spring temperatures rise (we hope), the daylight hours increase and so the spring tasks in the garden step up a gear.
I have managed to do much of the pruning and all the clematis have been cleared up, tied in and fed.
The Hazel Corylus Maxima (Filbert) was pruned when the catkins came into show, as this helps with the pollination due to the branches being shaken. In late summer I 'Brutted' the long branches which means to partially break the stems, these are also pruned now.
The Hamamelis, Witch Hazel's are still flowering and filling the air with their scent although a light trim before the leaves come is on the list of things to do.
There is plenty of colour in the garden:
- Snowdrops (Galanthus) in great abundance
- Crocus Daffodils
- Anemone Blanda
- Reticulata Iris
- Harmony and Katharine Hodgkin
The first of my Rhododendron's are in flower, however the down side can be if we get a late frost as some flowers can be affected.
Also, the Pieris is flowering in all shapes and sizes throught the garden with their small urn shaped flowers, even one that was here when we bought the house 30 years ago!
About to come into its own is 'Cornus' Mas with its bright yellow flowers.
Throughout Perthshire we have many gardens open to the public for the February and March Snowdrop Festival. These gardens include Blair Castle Garden, Cluny House, Fingask Castle and Cambo House. Some years ago at the Cambo House Snowdrop Festival I bought a small pot with two G.Nivalis Sandersii bulbs in it for £10. They were planted in a stone trough and given a very large label as to keep an eye on them and watch them grow slowly and flower well. I hear that a unique snowdrop just sold for £750!
Next week sees the delivery of six climbing roses from Peter Beals. For the first time I am going to use 'rootgrow TM', a friendly mycorrhizal fungi that helps improve root growth. It is recommended by The Royal Horticultural Society. Along side each of these roses I will plant a clematis so they complement each other.
All the potato tubers were planted up into large containers and placed in the cold greenhouse so we can look forward to new potatoes in the early summer. I am trying 5 different types of potato this year so I will let you know how they get on and taste. This week should see me planting my tomato seeds in the propagator, and if the weather stays fair, broad beans in the veg patch.
My membership is due to be renewed for The Royal Horticultural Society as the monthly magazine is always full of inspiring gardens and useful information. I have used their website on many occasions, especially the gardening advise they offer from the experts.
Plant Heritage have sent me several copies of their new Membership Application forms, in which my National Mylnefield Lilies collection is featured. In July the Grampian and Tayside Group members of Plant Heritage are visiting Parkhead Gardens to hopefully see the Mylnefield Lilies coming into bloom. I have managed to add L.'Iona' to my collection (picture below is courtesy of The Lily Garden). I discovered it was for sale at 'The Lily Garden', a specialist grower of Lilies in Vancouver. There are still 'Adonis', 'Eureka' 'Invergowrie' and 'Pandora' still to find.
I am enjoying the Beekeepers course I am attending and hope to get my bees some time in May. On clearing the area for the Bee Hive I discovered a hedgehog under a Geranium (Cranesbill) Marcrorrhizum and the pond is alive with frogs doing what frogs do at this time of year, the water positively moves with activity!