End of Month View – March 2011

Having started my End of Month View in January, I didn’t want to miss out on March, so despite sitting here surrounded by tissues, full of antibiotics and drinking hot blackcurrant, I am writing my EMOV for March but not firing on all cylinders.   There is little desire to go outside and potter in the garden at the moment, a sure sign that I am not 100%.   The only good thing about being off work with a heavy cold, that has now developed into a sinus infection, is  that the weather outside is horrible – wet and windy – there is no sense of frustration of wanting to be out in the sunshine because it  isn’t very inviting out there.

That is enough about me, this is a review of what has happened in my garden in March.  Well, quite a lot really.  It is beginning to fill out and starting to look lush and green again.  The forsythia is coming into leaf and the flowers are dropping, so that will be due for a prune at the weekend.  The daffodils are almost over and I have one solitary tulip  in the south facing border.

One solitary tulip on the South facing border

The north facing border is always a problem, it gets little sun and the soil is heavy and damp.  A Victorian stone wall looks lovely but makes for a much loved home for snails, which means  with the combination of a luxury home and ideal damp soil conditions they are in seventh heaven on this side of the garden.  The hostas are beginning to poke through and the astilbe is going great guns. Fortunately the hostas tend to grow faster than they can be eaten, but it is a never ending battle.  It is usually when they are in full leaf that they are turned into hosta doilies.

The north facing damp side of the garden
Astilbe; Aquilegia, hydrangea to name but a few damp loving plants

My raised bed is blending in to the garden, or perhaps I am just getting used to it.  I have a plastic cover for it, so have been able to turn it into a little greenhouse and sow some seeds straight into the ground.  I squared off nine sections and so far have planted, Pak Choi, Spinach, carrots, broccoli and beans in the middle.  All, apart from the beans are showing signs of life. I used vermiculite over the seeds, as a little warm blanket.

Spinach seedlings
Raised bed doing its job

I am not too worried about the beans  because I have also sown some indoors.  This year I have gone for Cobra,  it’s a vigorous climbing french bean and I intend to grow them in the middle of the raised bed on willow stakes.  The indoor bean seeds are doing fine, as are the chillies, tomatoes and courgettes.  I have made the fatal mistake of not labelling the chilli seeds properly so will have to wait until they grow before I know what they are!  The tomatoes are Gardeners Delight and I will  be growing Sungold as well.

Beans - Cobra
Chilli seedlings
Gardeners Delight tomato seedlings

Back outside to the garden, I have started off my potatoes in their sack.  I chose, First Earlies – Duke of York.  Don’t ask me why, I just thought they would be different and seemed to be a good all rounder.   The first five chitted potatoes went in on Sunday and once the greenery starts grows through, I will put in the next five.   I have never grown potatoes before so this is my ‘experiment year’.  I have covered them with a wicker cloche to protect them from cats and foxes.

My potato experiment

Finally, there is always a Forth Bridge job in any garden and mine is the IVY!! Those of you who follow my blog will know this is a never ending task and the bane of my life.  I have cut back a lot from the south facing wall and most of the north facing wall, however there is still quite a lot to do.  My dilemma is that if I cut too much down I will make access into the garden easier for the foxes.  It’s a tough life being a gardener!

Still tackling the ivy

So there you go, that’s my March review.  It’s an exciting time and shortly I will be looking at the garden and wondering if I have room to shoe horn anything else in.  You will have to see if I have managed that in my April EMOV.