By March, spring will be here, the bulbs will be out, some trees and shrubs will be growing and we will hope that there isn’t a cold snap to damage new growth. When I think of March it’s usually the colours of yellow and blue that predominate in our gardens. So here are some ideas for plants to brighten up your garden.
Pale yellow Primroses and Primulas in multi-colours will continue to flower in sheltered spots, along with some blue violets. I expect that blue Forget me Not will be starting to come out too and en-masse they make such a cheerful show. No need to sow seed, just let the plants set seed, shake them around and next year you will get a wonderful show.
Another perennial that is good for early spring, will grow in dry light shade and has evergreen foliage, is the Epimedium x versicolour Sulphureum. With heart shaped leaves that turn bronze in winter it will bring forth stems with pale yellow flowers in spring. You can cut off the leaves to see the flowers as they form or leave the leaves on and hope the sprays pop up above the leaves.
Continuing the yellow theme, the vibrant yellow flowers of Forsythia will be everywhere on the streets. These easy shrubs will form large twiggy plants with yellow flowers clustered on the leafless stems. You can grow as a hedge covered in yellow blooms before the leaves come out. Cut back just after flowering, to keep them within bounds.
Another March flowering shrub is the evergreen Mahonia aquifolium Apollo. This is an unassuming low growing evergreen shrub (to 1m) often grown in shade to cover the ground and usually looking a bit tired as it is ignored. However, try feeding it in spring and you should be rewarded with clusters of yellow flowers. The photo is of a swathe of these shrubs grown as ground cover under taller trees and the scent from the flowers was quite superb
Work to do in the garden includes cutting back dead foliage from perennials, trimming the winter flowering heathers to encourage fresh new growth for next year and completing the pruning of roses. If you grow Cornus or Dogwood for the red or yellow stems, cut them back hard every two or three years to about 30cms tall and give them a good feed of general purpose fertilizer such as Growmore.
Feed all trees, shrubs especially roses and perennials with Growmore or a specific Rose Fertilizer to give the plants a good start to the year. Weigh out the recommended dose as I find I don’t apply enough!