Sunday, 16 March 2008

Garden Bloom Day March 2008

What flowers can be seen in my garden in the middle of March? Well, as recent posts have shown it is bulbs that have been making the biggest impression with crocus and narcissi. However there is a lot more going on in the garden at the moment.

Perhaps you might like to browse through some other gardens by visiting
Carol's Bloom Day List where many other garden blogs have posted on what is on flower in their gardens on the 15th of the month. This is all organised by Carol at May Dreams Gardens and what a great idea it is. I do like this new list format Carol!

Bulbs grown under grass have worked well for me as when moving plants around I tend to disturb the bulbs and loose them. We are now in the second stage of flower in this grass area shown above. Crocuses have been joined by the first flowering of the three species of narcissi growing here. There are also fritillaries in this planting too.


The tiny area that is my silver themed border is just bursting with signs of spring. You can see that I now have some snowdrops in the garden and I chose to plant them here as the leaf colour would blend in well with other silver foliage plants. I would aslo seen them from a window.

Just look at the growth in the tulips – I cannot wait to see them in flower especially as I don’t usually grow them. Although I see this as a silver border I do want to have some seasonal punches of colour with it. Next month’s photos will be quite different! The close-up photos below show the clematis ‘Miss Bateman’ and a rose ‘Silver Anniversary’ both growing in this border.


Above my silver border is a hanging basket that I gave a make-over last autumn. Over the winter months I have been able to enjoy seeing the deep red of the grass and the soft fluffy silver of the stachys. The sedum ‘Rose Carpet’ died back but on my walkabout on the 15th I was delighted to discover it is growing back once again. I will now get the previous years flowering branches trimmed out.


Alliums can now be seen growing through gravel where they have self seeded very freely!

Alliums can also be seen in square pots – these were my bargain bulbs from last year and as I wasn’t sure where I would put them I planted them in pots. I have buried some in their pots already but of course they should really be planted directly in the ground. I will see how they grow and look first. This is an experiment so we shall see how it works.

Alliums are also growing in ornament pots where other pants have self seeded with them – including dandelion. Mm… but I’ve plans for the dandelions this year!


Primulas are also sarting to show great promise. The drumstick ones are continuing to grow as you can see above where the ball almost forming and one just starting form. You can also see more alliums in the background – drumstick ones!

Candelabra primulas are now starting to form a flower head and the beautiful native lemon primrose is also showing some flower buds. Ah… but what is the last primula in the selection above. Just testing – that is not a primula but I am thrilled to show the first leaves of the stunning blue meconopsis!


Rich reds are being seen in my garden at the moment from the hellebore, heuchera, euphorbia and new growth of a green leaved ligularia. For the moment I still have the red stems too from my coral bark Acer tree but by next month that too will be changing.


Some plants have toughed out the cold of the winter months and some have even continued to flower like the delicate white flowers of the arabis. The polygala carpet on my rockery has had lemon flowers for a large part of the winter. They look like they are resting for the moment but now the pink ones are now about to open. The last photo on the top row above shows the tiny alpine strawberry which stayed green throughout the winter. The chives behind it died down but as you can see they are growing back too.

What do you do with self sown plants growing in cracks and other places? Well, I did consider lifting this buddleia that is growing in the pot with the christophii aliums, potting it up and putting it in the safety of my greenhouse before winter. However, sometimes when I have done that the plant has died. I decided a higher risk strategy would be to leave outside where it was. This has paid off this time - look how well it looks in the first photo of the second row above. Ah… but it is the buds on the trees and shrubs that make me really think of spring!


Finally, let’s jump all the way to summer and to the bees and butterflies on the delicate flowers of verbena bonariensis. Is this plant a perennial or not? Questions have been asked in other blogs. Well, many seem to treat it as an annual. It is very likely to be lost over the winter months so taking cuttings or lifting one and over wintering it in a greenhouse may be a good insurance against loss.

However, here in my Scottish garden the photo above shows my verbena bonariensis as I cut it down last autumn – looking pretty much as I left it! I decided the risk strategy here only as this area is slightly sheltered with the arbour and hedge. The plants were three good sized clumps too. I should also add that we have not had the coldest of winters this year. This plant really isn’t hardy in all areas but I cannot believe it hasn’t died back at all. Mm… I still may take some cutting this year. Ah... the garden year beckons!!

All photos above were taken in my garden on March 15th 2008.

23 comments:

Nan Ondra said...

Great to see your many and varied offerings for Bloom Day, Shirl! Your silver-theme area is lovely. And how wonderful to find the bonus seedlings!

Jane said...

Your garden looks lovely. The bulbs are very pretty. I've been out today photographing the camelias in the garden, we must have at least 10 different types in flower at the moment.

Very excited today because I had a badger in the garden last night. Just hope it doesn't start digging up all my bulbs! Jane

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Gosh Shirl, your garden is way ahead of our garden. It is fun to see yours becasue I know in the near future our garden will be bursting with blooms and new growth.

Layanee said...

So much in bloom already and I too love the silver border! It already looks inviting!

Cheryl said...

I love bulbs growing through grass it looks so natural.
Verbena bonariensis is one of my favourite flowers for bees and butterflies. It reseeds everywhere and I like that.
Lovely post, really enjoyed it.

Carol said...

Hi, Shirl, thanks for posting for bloom day. It was worth the wait to see all that is blooming in Scotland right now. I think you are just a few weeks ahead of me in what is blooming.

I've added to the list on the post.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Frances, said...

So much in bloom Shirl, lucky you, or should it be said, great gardening? Like the rest of the group, I like that silver area, the foliage really catches the eye, it should be stunning with the tulips in bloom!

Frances at Faire Garden

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I like your Primrose - it looks like something from a Sci-Fi movie. I've never grown them, but I think they are quite pretty.

Katarina i Kullavik said...

Hi Shirl, thanks for visiting my blog! I'm so glad you did, because it made me find your blogs!
-What a great photographer you are! I've been sitting here for, in the early morning, enjoying your shots. Both birds and plants. Lovely!
I like the idea of bulbs grown under grass - I think I might consider this for next season. I seem to replant my borders quite often, so bulbs do disappear.
Have a great day, I'll be back! /Katarina (Roses and stuff)

Annie in Austin said...

Oh, yes, Shirl! The bulbs in the grass are pure delight... and I love that the crocus are still blooming as the daffodils are opening. The snowdrops fit beautifully into the silver garden.

My Austin garden's answer to the Verbena bonariensis question: some of the plants live over winter, some die, but there are always lots of seedlings popping up in unexpected places. In Illinois the plants usually died and in some years there were no self-sown plants, but I saved seed for those emergencies.

Thanks for visiting and for your lovely post!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

shirl said...

Hi again Nan, Jane, Lisa, Layanee and Cheryl :-)

Nan – Thank-you, yes I love the variety. Ah… my silver area has been slow to fill up but I’m being uncharacteristically patient with this area! Yes, seedlings are always a welcome sight :-D

Jane – Thank-you I have just been looking for your camellia photos and what a wonderful sight to see the badgers in your garden. Yes, I hope the badgers leave your bulbs too :-D

Lisa – This is my first March posting for GBBD and this is what is so fascinating about it, being able to see the different stages of plant growth in our gardens. I was amazed to see snapdragons in another posting. I’m sure your garden will catch up and pass mine when you get your warmer temps :-D

Layanee – Yes, this is a great time to be out checking on the plants for new growth. Ah… the tiny silver border has my attention too at the moment. I can’t wait to see the tulips and my new roses and the…

Cheryl – Thank-you for visiting. I am so loving this grass area too and there is so much more to come yet. I only get the verbena bon reseeding occasionally but it is well worth all the effort to keep it. I agree it’s the butterflies and bees on it that make it so special. Thank-you :-D

kate said...

I love your candelabra Primulas and your Hellebores. It is heartening to see so much in bloom.

shirl said...

Hi again Carol, Frances, Mr McGregor’s Daughter, Katarina, Annie and Kate :-)

Carol – You are most welcome! Thanks go to you for the new list post - that is a great way to browse the posts and see the locations is of great interest too. It may take me until next GBBD to visit them all but I will visit every one! Must be nice to have your sister join in with a post this time too :-D

Frances – Thank-you – lucky I’d say and experimental gardening! Yes, I cannot wait to see this silver area develop this year. I am being patient though – for the moment anyway :-D

Mr McGregor’s Daughter – I’m guessing you mean the pink primulas but just wait until you see the candelabra primulas. I guess you may think of it as the space station! I hope it comes back and flowers this year – it looks hopeful. I disturbed it last year and it sulked :-(

Katarina – You are most welcome! Thank-you, I just enjoy taking the photos – especially trying to capture the birds. I have a lot to learn though. Yes, replanting borders and disappearing bulbs sounds only too familiar and that is exactly why I planted mine under my grass in this corner area. Enjoy the rest of the week and I will look forward to revisiting your blog too :-D

Annie – Glad you like them, it certainly works well for me having bulbs planted under grass. Oh… there are a few more transitions to come yet in this area with the other species of narcissi including paper whites with the white fritillaries. Yes the snowdrops are maybe not in a natural setting but they definitely blend into the silver foliage. Yes, some years we will loose our Verb bon too but we are not so lucky with them self seeding. It is best if I take cuttings. I love collecting seed too. You are most welcome – I don’t get enough time to browse other blogs as much as I’d like. I do hope to visit you again before next GBBD :-D

Kate – Thank-you for visiting. I am working my way down Carol’s list so I’ve yet to get to your posting. I am being methodical so I don’t miss any out this month! Yes, there is something about the primulas. As for the hellebores they are just irresistible with their striking flowers. I have other younger plants that I will have to wait until next year to see any flowers. Yes, blooms and new growth really does lift the heart :-D

Muum said...

thanks for your visit to my blog, what kind of silver foliage plants do you have? I see the lamb's ear, what else? I love silver foliage myself, and have a few artemesia (Powis castle and ?? oh I forget the name!) I love to have these plants available for bouquet fillers, as well as to look at.

Vanillalotus said...

Wow there is so much life in your garden. I love your silver garden I'm a sucker for the silver plants. The bulbs under the grass looks great and what a great idea so you don't disturb them.

Diana said...

Shirl - I love your layouts with your photos - nice touch to the blog. The allium are wonderful - I love them and have tried them before and failed. I planted some last fall but haven't seen any sign of them yet. I may have to enjoy yours from afar instead! Thanks for sharing your blooms - especially the silver garden - very pretty and creative.

A wildlife gardener said...

What a delightful cornucopia of Spring bulbs and flowers in your garden, shirl. The bulbs in your grassy area are very successful and the double headed hellebore is exquisite :)

And new visiors...the two long-tailed tits visiting your feeders...great excitement. We have had lots of siskins recently :)

Mel said...

I love your garden!
Great post as usual ;)

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Verbena Boariensis is hardy over here, well, most of the time. How nice to see so many blooms in your spring garden already Shirl. Love the silver bed, it looks very promising!

jodi said...

I'm amazed at how far ahead you are, Shirl, and yippee on the meconopsis. Like others, I'm especially fond of the silver bed, very cool and lovely.

Barbara said...

What a great variety of plants is already coming up in your garden, Shirl! Recently I took most of the verbena bonariensis out of the beds, hoping that there will be new seedlings this summer. I didn't think of cutting them back ;-) !!Like you, I also try out new sort of plants in pots, watching how they do in a border or gardenbed. And later on, they will be planted into the soil.
Happy Easter to you!
Barbara

shirl said...

Hi again Muum, Vanillalotus, Diana, Wildlife Gardener, Mel, Yolanda, Jodi and Barbara :-)

Muum – You are welcome. Ah… the silver ‘themed’ plants can be seen on a previous posting. I have had Powys Castle myself but it doesn’t like our damp winters. Yes, I can easily see the value of silver foliage in bouquets :-D

Vanillalotus – Thank-you, I keep encouraging more too! Thanks, what is really interesting for my about this silver area is that it is in mostly shade – I am trying an experiment to see what will survive and keep this area interesting! I am so glad I planted these bulbs under grass as I can enjoy the colour there knowing the bulbs are safe from me and my hand fork :-D

Diana – Thank-you, I love the allium too. Sorry to hear you have been unlucky with them in your garden. I have seriously increased my numbers for this year - assuming they all survive and flower for me! I hope you enjoy them too. Oh… I am also looking forward to seeing how my silver border turns out this year :-D

Wildlife Gardener – Thank-you, I must visit you soon to see your Spring bulbs. Yes, this grass area gives interest and colour for quite a while now. Yes, the hellebore flower is beautiful but the plant doesn’t look too happy where it is – I will keep an eye on it Ah… the new visitors were great to see – what excitement they were! Ah… the siskins they are one of my favourite birds in the garden – I hope they stay a while with you too :-D

Mel – Thank-you! Sorry my posts have slowed down recently. I really have a lot of catch-up here and I want to get visiting other blogs like yours too :-D

Yolanda – Yes, VB is probably a little hardier with you. Thanks, I have to say that I am not usually a fan of spring bulbs but I am really enjoying them this year. Yes, the small burst of silver is great to look out on – I can’t wait to see the tulips flower :-D

Jodi – It is fascinating to see differences in plant growth across the miles from Scotland to Nova Scotia. Yep, I was thrilled to see the leaves of the meconopsis too! I look out from my kitchen window on to this tiny silver border and I love to see the way it is shaping up too :-D

Barbara – Thank-you, this is definitely an interesting time in my garden. Oh… I do hope you get VB seedlings. When I cut my VB I thought that I would leave enough stem to allow for frost damage – it was an experiment! I was perhaps lucky as we haven’t had the coldest of winters. Funnily enough this is the first time I have tried plants on pots to see how they look. I am always moving things around so do incur casualties on the way – I hoped this would help too. Again, this is another experiment! Interesting to hear you do this too – I wish I had thought of it years ago. Have a great week :-D

Diana said...

Shirl - since I commented about your Alliums, I now see two tiny sets of leaves peeking up through the mulch! I am so excited. I planted them all around a little tree, so maybe I will soon have a nice display to post.