Start of the month view – March 2011


There’s an ‘end of the month’ meme, hosted by the Patient Gardener. Only I’ve missed it. So here’s my contribution, celebrating the start of March, Dewi Sant (St David) and, hopefully, spring.

The top garden is beginning to look as though this year might be quite good. The daffs seem a little shorter than usual, but there are going to be a lot of them. There are still plenty of crocuses, and the snowdrops are just beginning to go over. I intend to leave this area pretty much alone, except for the usual path-mowing and the major strimming event in September.

Though I must admit that the giant skimmia below the ash needs attention. There are more daffodils under there.

The middle garden always looks a bit messy until I unpack the benches from their tarpaulins, and until the borders bulk up a bit with solomon’s seal, marguerites and paeonies. There is also a substantial amount of weeding to do here, not least in support of my attempt to control the spread of the Japanese anemones which the previous owner evidently loved. He certainly had plenty of them. Grr – though maybe he inherited them too. But in amongst them are some lovely leucojums which always flower earlier than the books say they should:

And so to the bottom garden.

We’ve started working on it, initially shifting ferns about while we try and work out how far to extend the border into the grass moss (let’s have a little honesty here). We’ve ‘drawn’ so many lines in the green stuff with various spades and edging tools that I’m not quite sure which one is which. P suggested that we start at the bottom, which is easy and self-evident, and then decide about the rest. I’ll go with that.

The full size of the Problem Portugese Laurel of Gloom can be seen here:

It’s the big mother in the background. As a windbreak, it’s fab – and that corner does need a windbreak – so it’s staying. Modified a little.

We’ve also cleared the path of the overgrown lavender and rosemary bushes. I’m not sure if they’ll survive their savage haircuts, but the next month will tell. And at least we can get underneath them to weed.

I like the idea of (trans)planting primroses below them – and controlling them a little more if they do live. There was previously no sign of the path whatsoever, and it’s quite nice to have it back.

Finally, and celebrating the definite start of spring, I was right – I had seen signs of fritillaries. This clump is always the first, but the others are beginning to struggle through as well. Hooray!

They’re the bendy things in the middle. Honest.


7 Comments Add yours

  1. So glad you are joining in with End of the Month View.

    It looks like your daffs are going to be a wonderful sight – it is nice to see them starting to show some colour at the roadside too – Spring is here (despite the low night-time temperatures!)

    1. kate says:

      I think the EOMV is a great idea – keeps you on track. In theory, I’ll at least try to assess the garden from the same positions, too; it helps me get an overview.

      I’m a sad nerd with the daffs – I keep count. Well, of ones I either cut or dead-head, that is. Last year there were about 980, but the year before I had over 1500. We shall see…

  2. Hi Kate, welcome to EOMV! Really glad to have found you (via your comment on my blog, thank you). Great blog title – and beans aren’t the worst thing to be able to grow lots of! Where in Wales are you? Your garden looks exciting, and new steps and newly cleared path should help the “getting around without injury” side of things. Good luck with weeding and rosemary recovery, I am jealous of your fritillaries. For some reason they just don’t like my garden.

    1. kate says:

      Thanks — and the EOMV is such a good idea for putting people in touch… I’m on the edge of Cardigan Bay, not far from Harlech (and the Artist’s Garden). I was lucky, really; the previous owner’s husband had been a keen gardener, but had died about six years before I bought the house, and I’ve inherited some goodies (he loved tulips).

      A couple of fritillaries came up unexpectedly in the meadow (the previous owner’s back lawn), so I grabbed a catalogue with cries of joy and ordered more. Some vanished (mice, I expect), but enough survived to make clumps. On the other hand, I love alliums, but they don’t like here. Swings and roundabouts, I guess.

      1. Fabulous, one of my favourite bits of N. Wales. Many (many!) years ago I had a recurring summer job as a sailing instructor at a centre between Harlech and Barmouth. If I could speak Welsh I’d move to the area like a shot, rain and all. Sorry about the alliums, but wonderful that you can grow fritillaries. Look forward to reading more about your gardening exploits!

  3. patientgardener says:

    I had a dreaded Portguese Laurel on my back slope and was so relieved when it went as it gave me so much more space.

    Glad you have joined in with the EOMV

    1. kate says:

      And thank you for hosting the EOMV – much appreciated!

      (Congratulations of getting rid of your laurel – they’re such thugs. It would take me years to develop a comparable windbreak, so I’m just going to have to live with mine – and lop it till it squeaks. At least I love ferns, and they flourish below it…)

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