End of Month View – March 2012

When I wrote my “Busy Sunday” post last Sunday it did go through my mind that it was very similar to what I would be writing for the End of Month View today.   However, it is important for me to write this review because it is, in effect, a diary entry.  It is something to refer back to in 2013 to see if plants are behind or forward for this time of year.  When looking back on March 2011 for comparison, growth in the garden is exactly where it is now.  I did notice, that I had sown the runner beans (Cobra) and they were looking tall and strong – I haven’t started them this year, so had better get cracking.

No doubt, we will all be referring to the unusually warm week we have had,  it has really brought everything along in leaps and bounds.  It is much cooler today, more in keeping with March weather, but night frost has been forecasted now so it is important to keep the fleece at hand and weather watch very carefully.

I sowed a variety of vegetable seeds last Sunday and already the Rocket is coming through.   The Raspberry canes are looking good too, with lots of new growth at the base – should be some excellent raspberries this year.

The various clematis I have around the garden have burst into leaf and the Montana Elizabeth is packed with buds – I must remember to feed it.  It grows over the shed roof and is in a large pot but as it is now several years old and continues to thrive I suspect the roots have grown out of the bottom of the pot and are now firmly established into the soil below.   I love the idea of clematis rambling through climbing roses and there is a lovely climbing Clematis Jouiniana Praecox with little blue flowers which rambles through the Compassion Rose, disguising the bare stems.    I found a Clematis Montana Mayleen with dark green, bronze-flushed leaves and vanilla-scented, pale pink flowers and planted that just under the Sambucus Nigra (Black Elder) and that is scrabbling upwards, through the branches, the two compliment each other perfectly.

The front garden is beginning to take on some colour and interest too.  It is a part of the garden that I tend to ignore, although as I come in and out of the house, I see more of it than the back and often wonder why, perhaps its something to do with being able to potter in the back garden, whereas when in the front you are more open to passers by.

I love the Skimma which has red berries all year round and is now beginning to produce lots of little white flowers.  It is getting rather high and protruding out to the pavement so I will have to prune is shortly.   The Mophead Hydrangea is producing lots of green now and in a few weeks I will start to remove the old flowers.

I have lived here for 11 years and inherited the Kerria Plenifora which grows next to the bay window.  Nothing seems to phase it and it is clearly very happy where it is.   The photo below show the double flowered, pompom like, Plenifora and the bottom photo is of the single flowers Kerria that is in the back garden – it doesn’t grow as well where I have it planted which is a shame because I wanted some height between me and next door.

Returning to the back garden –  the Pieris “Forest Flame” is in a very large pot and I moved it to the side garden last year because it was not happy in the full sun against the side of the house.   It looks as though I made a good decision, it now is in shade about 50% of the day which it seems to like.   This is a fascinating plant, with interesting white flowers and then producing beautiful red leaves, giving colour to a shady spot.

Last Sunday, when I was taking photos for the “Busy Sunday” post, the pot of Anemones were just about to come into flower, with just one bloom.  Today it is full of flowers and will be just right to pick and take to my Mum next weekend  for Easter.   As I was wandering around with the camera this morning to collect photos for the EOMV,  I suddenly noticed this little Violet growing beneath one of the roses, they look so delicate but are really quite tough.  I just wish more of them would grow, it seems most years I find one or two tiny plants tucked away in odd flower pots.

Now it is just marking time with tiny plants that will soon be ready to plant out, but not until the fear of a ground frost is over.  I always find this difficult to judge and make sure that they don’t get too leggy.  Monty Don on Gardening World last night, was extolling the virtues of a cold frame, saying that they are not nearly used enough.  Perhaps this should be my next buy and move the Delphiniums and Sweet Peas into there for a few more weeks.   Here I have to be honest and admit that this year I bought Sweet Pea seedlings, and have no excuse or reason why I have not raised my own from seed – why do I feel guilty about that?

Yesterday I received the seeds I ordered from the wonderful  Higgledy Garden ,  they are  Cornflowers, Nicotiana, Cosmos, Nigella, Scabiosa and Cleome – so no guessing what I will be doing this weekend.


That is my End of Month View for March 2012.  Please take time to pop over to  Helen at Patient Gardener who hosts this useful meme and having done that pay a visit to some of the lovely gardens that also contribute to the EOMV.


12 thoughts on “End of Month View – March 2012

  1. Thanks for sharing your clematis collection. I’m glad you mentioned about marking time. It’s seems like fellow bloggers are busy gardening, but I’m just waiting to plant out the seedlings.


  2. I love the idea of Clematis rambling through shrubs, too, so it was interesting to read about your specific examples. Sambucus nigra is on my wishlist anyway, so maybe I’ll follow your lead and try to get a ‘Mayleen’ to go with it.


  3. Your garden is looking very good. Great to see everything bursting into life. I agree with you about the front garden. I tend to do mine quickly and never linger long. Though our road is not busy I still feel the lack of privacy. Plus in the back garden nobody sees how messy you look 🙂


  4. Enjoyed your EOMV post Ronnie. Interested to hear that things are at the same stage as they were last year. I grow
    clematis jouiniana praecox too but as a scrambling ground cover 🙂 Don’t feel guilty about buying seedlings – difficult when you work full time to do it all yourself!


  5. Hi Ronnie,

    I look forward to seeing your Clematis blooms 🙂 I think I’ve lost my large Montana Rubens, no signs of life at all on it… So I’m thinking of getting something else. However ‘Marjorie’ and others are growing so I’ll have some blooms at least! I really want one of the Autumn blooming ones actually…. Mmmmmmmmm looks like I’ll be buying more! hhaha. It’s never ending!

    It sounds like we’re all similar when it comes to our front gardens! It’s taken me over 4 years to properly start any work in mine, wish I’d started sooner tbh… Oh well. At least it’s beginning to take shape now and I’m pleased with the results so far 🙂


  6. patientgardener March 31, 2012 — 7:50 pm

    Thanks for joining in again this month Ronnie. It is interesting that you have a clematis growing in a pot, I keep being told they dont do well in pot but the horrid patio goes right up the house wall so I am thinking of investing in some very large pots and trying to grow roses and clematis up the house as it feels very bare.

    I too tend to ignore my front garden though it is surpirsingly big for the estate due to the location of the plot. I prefer to potter in the back garden away from passer bys and nosey neighbours. Thinking of overhauling it this year and going for a drought tolerant easy care approach


  7. Ronnie, it amazing to see buds on clematis already…mine were leafing out a but and now they have been slowed a bit with the cold…beautiful violets in bloom…I found my raspberries had leaves and was amazed…I need some warm weather. I love doing this meme as well to use as a garden journal!


  8. I notice you leave the dead flower heads on your mop heads. I removed all mine in December and cut the plant right back. Seeing yours I hope mine will be OK?


    1. I always leave the heads on until the threat of frost is over because it protects the new shoots. Yours will be fine if you don’t get frosts.


      1. Pheww, we don’t get frost. That makes perfect sense.


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