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The joys of March

March 23, 2018

I bloody love March. Yes, there is a fair bit of rain, as there is today, but the clocks change and suddenly it’s light until 7pm, the croci bloom and the sun shines enough to get me down to the garden to start getting things ready.

Before getting started in the garden, I make a trip to the local nursery. Rhodo Dave had been in touch a few days earlier to say it was time to give the rhododendrons their first feed. Having fed them and the lilacs it occurred to me that there really was something in this feeding business. Last summer many of the rose bushes had produced few flowers and neither the pear or apple tree produced any fruit. I do give them a good covering of compost each year, but maybe they’d appreciate a little food. After consulting with an expert I discover there is a one-food-fits-all solution called BioFish. Unfortunately, the instructions (for an idiot like me) are a bit confusing. For example, for fruit trees: “Every 7-14 days starting flowering.” What does this mean? Should I start feeding them now in order to encourage flowering or should I only start feeding when the trees have started flowering? The latter, the manager assures me, conceding that the instructions are rather ambiguous. You think?

The only time I’ve been down to the garden before yesterday was a month or so ago when I spent some time pruning back the roses. That was an overcast winter afternoon. Yesterday, a sunny spring day, was my first proper look around.

What a surprise awaited me!

kale

Kale is a perennial! Who knew? (Well, I’m prepared to guess that millions of people know, but I certainly didn’t.) For the first time ever there is actually something edible in my garden in March! (That, of course, assumes that you think kale is edible, which many people don’t. Fortunately, I do.)

You wouldn’t normally think of a dustpan and brush as gardening tools, but trust me, they are here. Over winter an unbelievable number of pine cones and needles fall on my poor garden. Dealing with them is job number one. Pine cones in their hundreds are chucked away, pine needles carefully swept up before any sort of fertilising can begin.

Oh, my goodness. What do I find when I start sweeping the pine needles off the raised bed?

baby kale

If you look very closely – perhaps using a magnifying glass – you will see that the kale seedlings I thought I’d planted too late last year are – despite all the snow we had over the winter – still alive! Holy moly. This is amazing.

There is another pleasant surprise for me. Actually, it’s my annual pleasant surprise. Two decades ago, after my neighbour Pat and I had spent a weekend fencing off the sunny corner of our property with a view to turning it into a garden, I planted a number of spring bulbs: daffs, croci, hyacinths and tulips. Every year over the course of the year I forget this and every spring I go down and am delighted by what I see.

bulbs

Oh, the joys of March.

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One Comment
  1. krysross permalink

    Nothing blooming here yet though I drove by my old house and could see crocuses and snowdrops blooming there.

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