End of Month View: March 2013

Oh goodness me, I wish I hadn’t just looked at my End Of Month View for March 2012. It has made me realise how very delayed everything is this year. It’s still very cold and we are no nearer to any signs of the Spring warmth. It was unseasonably warm in March 2012 and the plants and flowers shed their Winter hibernation and burst forth in full splendor. The other day, when the temperature was just above zero, the weatherman happily reminded us that it was 20C on the same day in 2012. No wonder the plants are not doing their thing yet.

For example, the Kerria was in full bloom, covered in yellow pom-poms, but today there are only a few feeble little buds trying to break through.

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The Montana Elizabeth Clematis was a mass of leaves and pink buds. This year I have had to hunt for any sign of life, in fact, I almost thought it had died, so was cheered to find a few leaves – all is not lost.

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I can’t even start to show you the blue Anemones, the Pieris in flower, or any tiny Violas as there are none – yet.

However, on a more cheerful note, the Forget-me-nots are beginning to flower and will soon spread some pretty colour in the flower beds.

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About a month ago, with the help of a friend, we managed to reduce the ivy at the bottom of the garden down to the height of the wall. Actually, he did the majority of the work, I just chopped it up and put it in the garden waste wheelie bin. The intention was to then have a go at the ivy to the left of the garden, but the weather has been so appalling we are yet to get out there again and tackle the next stage. It is amazing the extra light that is in the garden now and how much more there eventually will be once it is all down to wall height. You can see from the photo below how much needs to be removed.

DSC_0502 (800x533)There are a few more signs of Spring, albeit slow. The Forsythia is covered in tight yellow buds with just a few beginning to open out into flower. The extra light it is receiving now has clearly made a difference.

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I think the Spirea Firelight is also benefitting from no longer being stuck in the shade of the ivy. I love the bronze leaves on this plant that appear in Spring, it’s a back to front plant, because the colours are what you would expect to see in the Autumn.

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And the Ribes is dripping in pink buds. During the Summer, when it does absolutely nothing, the thought is always that I should remove it but then when Spring arrives and it flowers I am reminded how pretty it can be, despite the unfortunate cat-like smell that follows in a few more weeks.

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The other plants that seem to be doing well, despite the cold weather, are the Peony (I do hope it flowers this year) and the Erysimum. The foxglove is looking as though it’s going to do something soon too.

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The front garden is slightly ahead of the rear, this is because it is drier, lighter and receives a little more sun, when it comes out. The tete-a-tete daffodils are a colourful welcome underneath the front window. They are totally unphased by the snow and icy cold days, but at the moment are the only daffodils in flower, all the others are still thinking about it.

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I have a number of pots of Spring plants, including a variety of tulips, down the side patio, all placed so that I can see them from the kitchen window. Some of the pots I had to cover with chicken wire because there was a little critter that kept digging up the tulip bulbs. It was suggest it could have been a squirrel. Anyway the bulbs seem undeterred and if I look carefully between the tulip leaves I can see some flowers beginning to shoot up. They should be pink and white striped and apricot tulips so will be lovely to look at whilst washing up.

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Fingers crossed that the April End of Month view will have a lot more colour and feel of “Spring has arrived”. I expect like me you are desperately in need of some warmth and sunshine. This EOMV is a few days early, as they are usually posted on the last day of the month, so at the end of the month please hop over to Helen’s blog The Patient Gardener who hosts this meme. There you will find a number of posts from other gardeners with an update of how their gardens are faring this time of the year.

Bowel Cancer update:

It’s felt good to get back into writing gardening posts, the last few have been about the bowel cancer I have been recently diagnosed with. As a brief update, the lung specialist confirmed that it has not spread to my lungs, which is a huge relief as you can imagine, not only for me but for my family and friends. The next step is for a CT guided biopsy on Wednesday (3 April) on the enlarge lymph node deep in my abdomen, which I am told is about the size of a hen’s egg. You would think I could feel something that size wouldn’t you? Once they have that result which is the final piece of the jigsaw, I will be told what treatment/surgery I have ahead of me. The waiting is horrendous, but made much better knowing that my lungs are ok. Now, all I need are some good weather days to make it possible to get out into the garden while I can.

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  1. So sorry to hear about your cancer. I hope things improve and you get well very, very soon. We are having a slow emergence into spring as well. I compared my post from last year to this year and was amazed how behind we are this year.


  2. It looks like you will soon have a lot bursting into bloom at the same time! My Kerria is far behind last year’s status, too. One of my Clematis is really leafing out; nothing on the others yet.
    I am praying for you.
    Happy Easter!
    Lea’s Menagerie
    Mississippi, USA


  3. Hi Ronnie,

    Nice to see your garden… Can’t see mine right now! Kerria was opening here too, last week. Then the snow arrived and I’ve no idea now, but I expect the buds that had opened have probably died.

    This cold is meant to continue…. for eternity it feels. Apparently it might lead to a heat wave once it finishes… Mind, anything over 10C will feel like a heat wave right now.


  4. I too love the yellow of your header photo. I was only thinking today that my EOMV post will look the same as last months as nothing much as happened and the snow from last week is only just going. In a fit of madness I was thinking if I could do lots in the front garden on Sunday before posting so it looked different!! Then reality hit and I realised that was a stupid idea 🙂
    Really glad to hear you have had some good news. Keeping my fingers crossed for you on the 3rd and thinking of you lots


  5. I hadn’t realised how long it is since I visited your blog until you mentioned the bowel cancer – which I had not known about. It must have been a terrifying time. Still is, I expect, despite the good news about your lungs. Yes, about the ‘egg’. How is it that we aren’t fully aware of our insides. Maybe, in lots of ways, this is just as well. Odd, none the less.
    Interesting when you mention the tete-a-tete. I was thinking the season is behind here, then thought ‘but the daffodils are fine’ and wondered if I was wrong. Maybe the daffodils are better at toughing it out while the buds on branches are hanging back a bit.
    Very best wishes – for now, for what comes next.


  6. The sun shone this morning, and it seemed as though spring might be around the corner. Last year we even had pear blossom…. It’s certainly an interesting year….


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