Early Spring Colour!
The beginning of March is always an exciting time of the month because there is so much to look forward to as well as continued preparation of your garden, and in the garden centre too. Deliveries of trees, shrubs, bedding, plug plants and strawberries have already arrived and we are busy preparing our tunnels and shrub beds for more stock to follow.
Not only are the leaf and flower buds swelling on deciduous shrubs and trees but some have burst already.
The clematis and honeysuckles in my garden are already leafing up and if you haven’t pruned your late flowering summer group three clematis its a good time to do it. Don’t forget the general clematis rule, ‘if it flowers before June don’t prune’, but if you make a mistake don’t worry, all is not lost it will still grow and produce more flowering stems for next time, a lesson learned.
One of my favourite perennials that I use as a sacrificial plant too is Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ a perennial wallflower. I planted several in spring last year, digging them up early autumn to make way for my snowdrops beneath, gave them a ‘hair cut’ and potted them on with a few cuttings too, they have not only continued growing through this mild winter but have budded up and the largest specimen has its first flower stem with a luminous purple flower.
Buddlejeias have an important role in any my garden too because they are the main nectar source for butterflies, bees love them too! They didn’t lose all their leaves this winter, but I’ve noticed new foliage pushing its way though. They were pruned down half way last autumn so I shall now prune them hard, this should give a better shape for later with more flowers for me and the butterflies to enjoy.
One of the earliest spring flowering shrubs is the Forsythia and for me this is the one that I think kicks off spring with its masses of bright sunny yellow flowers that will appear on bare stems very soon to brighten up many gardens. This winter hardy shrub grows in most fertile well-drained soils in sun or partial shade. It makes an excellent specimen shrub too and can give that much needed blast of spring colour in any shrub or flower border. Planted about a foot apart forsythias can also be grown to form a strong growing hedge and after a good prune after flowering will grow back fairly quickly creating those new flowering stems for the following spring.