Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace. ~May Sarton
Certainly this winter, which I finally left behind this past week, forced me to have greater patience than I ever remember. And even though we are a couple of weeks behind in the garden, I will be out gardening soon. I hope to plant lettuces and peas this coming weekend.
The voles were busy again this winter doing all kinds of damage. We have some ideas to try in the bean/pea veg bed to keep them out. And given the rain they are predicting this week, we may not be able to get out there until the weekend. But I am determined to get some flowers and veggies planted out soon.
In March we had no flowers at all which is unusual. Usually by the end of March, the early bulbs are starting. But I received my Galanthus order, from Carolyn@Carolyn’s Shade Garden, right at the end of March. They were in bloom when I planted the snowdrops in pots and put them in a cool spot with bright light. The picture here and above is of the snowdrops blooming inside.
As I review another section of my garden for this Garden Review, I am joining Helen@The Patient Gardener’s Weblog for her End of Month View.
Well I think I have said just about enough about the weather in March. One of the 10 coldest March’s on record; 10 degrees below normal. In like a lion and out like a cold lamb. But the sunrises were spectacular. The top left picture shows the sky just before sunrise with a sliver of the moon.
First I thought I would review what the garden looked like in March.
If you look at the progression of the March garden from the beginning of March (top left) through all 4 weeks, you can see some changes. The second week had temps in the 40s that melted half the snow. But the last 2 weeks we just were frozen in place.
Finally on the last days of March, we began to see some days in the 40s and a bit more melting especially by the gazebo.
But it wasn’t until the beginning of April, that the winds shifted and we had a couple of warm days in the low 60s. You can see, by the end of the third day of April, we lost a third of the snow in the back garden which is north facing. And in the south-facing front garden, half the snow melted. I’ll save those views for next month’s April review of the garden.
This month I am reviewing a little garden area in the back that is to the left of the arch. Of course I named it The Arch Garden. It is a slim almost diamond-shaped garden, that has never really been planned…many plants just plunked down here. It is in full sun for fall, winter and spring until the trees leaf out. Then in summer, half of it is in dry shade while the other half is in sun. The center is also drier than the edges.
This is what the garden looked like at the end of March/beginning of April. It is one of the first gardens to thaw. And there are some crocus that still grow and multiply here in early spring.
Once the area dries up in later April, bulbs come up, but there are only a few left in the Arch Garden; namely hyacinth and crocus. I must remember to add more here especially daffs, more hyacinths, iris reticulata and maybe a few others.
Sorry for some of the far away shots as I don’t usually take many pictures of this garden. In spring there are loads of Muscari, a few late tulips, dwarf bearded iris and a few Aquilegia. And in mid spring, peonies also grow here.
In summer, in the sunny half of the garden, there is a climbing rose, a fairy rose, Echinacea, lilies and one Invincibelle® Spirit Hydrangea or Hydrangea arborescens. It was a very small plant when it started and it is now 3 feet tall in three years. I love the pink climbing rose I placed here, but it doesn’t seem to grow much each year mostly because it does not like our cold spring weather.
Here is the Arch Garden in late summer. It is messy and needs to be edged, weeded and generally tweaked. I really need to take a careful inventory of all the plants and shrubs I plunked down here. Many need to be moved to more sun so they can grow, and replaced with native plants for dry shade. I think there is another hydrangea, some grasses, and even a lavender growing in the shade half of this garden.
And this the Arch Garden after we cut it cut back in fall. There is a boxwood at the tip. I moved this boxwood from the front garden a few years ago. The wrought iron plant support here is for one of the peonies.
I thought I would catch you up on the indoor gardening in the basement. I cleaned up the pile of dirty containers on the floor, and moved the herbs from the seed growing station to the floor beside it. It felt great to clean and disinfect the containers and organize them. I had no idea how many pots and seed starting kits I had. You can see them all on the shelves in the bottom right picture.
Here are some of the alyssum seeds I started on the left. I also started some marigolds or Tagetes. And violas and pansies that I started at the end of January, were transplanted (pictures on the right). They should be big enough to plant out in containers in late April .
Peppers, eggplant, celery, Antirrhinum majus, Petunias, Coleus and some gerbera daisies are also growing now under the lights.
April brings herbs, tomatoes, melons, squashes, cucumbers, pumpkins and a few more flowers to start indoors since our growing season is so late. I’ll update the indoor and outdoor seed starting later this month.
This year I decided to follow my very young Tilia americana or American Linden tree.
This is what it looked like last summer. It is just a stick about 5 foot tall, but I am hoping it will grow a bit and have loads of leaves, flowers and fruit again this year. Currently it is covered with netting and foam to keep the deer away. Last spring, they ate all the side limbs off of the tree. We’ll be unwrapping the tree soon, and spraying it with a deer repellent. I am hoping the wind, extreme cold and snow wasn’t too much for this young tree. Otherwise I will have to pick a different tree to follow.
I am linking in with Lucy@Loose and Leafy’s Tree Following meme that happens around the 7th of every month.
Our gray squirrels were busy keeping warm in March. This was the first one that tried to get to the suet feeder. The snow that was piled all the way to the top of the fence certainly helped this enterprising squirrel get a bit of the tasty suet.
Right before spring came on the 21st, the Pileated woodpecker was back in the garden, and the red-winged blackbirds flew in with the grackles. We are still waiting for more birds to show up although I have noticed many more birds pairing off to build nests. Even the crows were busy building nests in late March.
And around the end of March, momma deer and her twins were back out having been missing for most of February and March. The freezing weather and very deep 5 to 8 foot piles of snow made it impossible for them to move around. You can see their winter coats are already changing.
In A Vase On Monday
I am glad I went out and cut some willow and Forsythia branches about a week ago as the only flowers growing are 2 snowdrops and a few early crocus. The snow is just retreating leaving big lakes of water everywhere so there is little to put in a vase.
I put the red twig dogwood in the vase for added color. And I placed the large vase near the fireplace with a few colorful candles and an Easter Bunny. A simple start to spring with this vase. Not sure what next week will bring. Probably some seedheads and greens, as the bulbs growth is slow. Oh well, I am sure I will find something.
I am joining in with a few memes this week as I prepare this vase: Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful meme, In a Vase on Monday, Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles and Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday.
Next up on the blog:
Next Monday, I will have another vase and maybe a flower or two to show for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day as seen from my Gazebo.
I am linking in with Michelle for her Nature Notes meme at her new blog just for Nature Notes. It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Tuesday.
I am also joining in I Heart Macro with Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.
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