For me March is the beginning of spring. The promise that brighter, lighter times are ahead. Don’t get me wrong although the optimist in me is willing on the sunshine I’m not naive enough to know that the warmth of the sun can be swallowed up by a great grey cloud in a heartbeat and you can suddenly feel as though you have been plunged straight back into the depths of winter.
This notorious and changeable March weather can also confuse our native plants, lulling them much like us into a false sense of security. Triggered by warmth and the promise of sun they push themselves above ground, vulnerable and beautiful in equal measures. With hard frosts still able to zap the life out of these springs blooms it can be a tense time in the garden.
Having made it through the winter months where things can be a bit dull in the garden I have had to try very hard not to get too over excited especially with a brand new garden to get stuck into. I’m doing my best to harden off even my most hardy bunch of new plants and letting them get to a size where they can hold their own in my beds. By doing this I will hopefully save myself too much heartache although I’m sure there is going to be a fair amount of that this year!
Even if you play by the rules I know it’s going to be impossible to mitigate all the risks that come with gardening whether these foes come in the shape of slugs, bugs, birds or even bunnies!! There are so many things that can tamper with the most well thought out plans but I’m going to do my very best to take a natural approach to pest control. I think we have a responsibility to protect our wildlife and so I will look into different ways to be as organic and natural with my gardening as possible. This is my pledge hear me roar! Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying I wont be running across the allotment rake in hand after the local bunnies (Mr Mcgreggor style) if all my flowers get munched but I want to try and do the right thing here by taking a more live and let live approach.
So back to what is happening in the garden. As it’s still a bit early for flowers on the allotment I’m sowing as many seeds on my windowsills and in the greenhouse as possible and I have recently planted my Dahlia tubers into pots and trays hoping they will shoot by April.
I have just received a big selection of plants from Sarah Raven and Peter Nyseen. This was extremely exciting and again I plan to strengthen them up before planting them into the beds but it’s wonderful to think how they will all look in the garden in a few months.
I am currently on frost watch having just put the first set of sweet peas out in the greenhouse. If the weather is kind, there is nothing lovelier than watching buds and shoots evolve from under the ground or from the woody looking stems that have been left barren and bare over winter. In the sun they act as a shining reminder of longer warmer days and in the grey damp weather these new blooms in early spring are a sight for sore eyes bringing with them colour and hope that the winter is drawing to an end.