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On the Menu for ...March 2019

One of the benefits of our relatively new garden - this one is under five years old - is that there is still room for more plants. It certainly compensates for the exhausting time I had digging out farm and builders’ bric-a-brac, not to mention more bedsprings than I care to think about, in order to create the garden.

While some plants are establishing well and strutting their stuff as never before, there are new additions changing the picture, and providing fresh sources of sustenance and protection for wildlife.

I never cut back perennials in autumn, preferring instead to leave stems and seed heads for wildlife until spring, which means that March is a strange crossover point in my garden, when the stately dead stems of last summer mingle with fresh new growth, and of course, flowers. We will still have frosts for a few weeks more here, and apart from offering protection for minibeasts, the seed heads are especially beautiful on a frosty morning.

I am very fond of early flowering shrubs, not simply for their form and colour, but for all they have to offer to wildlife. Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Falconnet Charlet’ and Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Nivalis’ have been flowering and attracting pollinators for weeks - in the case of ‘Falconnet Charlet’ since 2018!

Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Falconnet Charlet’ 

Scilla forbesii

Scilla ‘Pink Giant’

Blossom time has started, more’s the pity given the storms that have hit our shores over the past few days. The pluot (a plum and apricot cross) is laden with blossom, as is the Mirabelle hedge, which forms part of the fruit and nut hedging that I planted around the kitchen garden.

Scilla mischtschenkoana

Sedum seedheads

Pluot blossom

There have been plenty of butterflies and bees in my garden already this year, and it is a delight to see them on the flowers I planted with them in mind. Although I have space to grow flowers in borders, I do enjoy seeing smaller bulbs flowering in containers, and these plants have been valuable for bees early in the year. Scilla forbesii grows in containers and the borders here. On a sunny day it is smothered in bees, as is Scilla ‘Pink Giant (syn. Chionodoxa).’ Scilla mischtschenkoana is another tiny flower that has huge benefits for bees. I love these tiny spring bulbs, not only do they raise my spirits on a stormy March day, they are also valuable to wildlife and require so little room to grow. We really don’t need a lot of space to plant flowers for bees - just a small container of carefully selected flowers can make a world of difference.

I am always interested to hear about plants that other gardeners value for their benefit to wildlife, so please let me know if you have any plant recommendations.

This post will be linked to Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day hosted by https://www.maydreamsgardens.com where gardeners across the world share what is in bloom on their plots this week. 

Posted by Sarah Shoesmith

Sarah Shoesmith is a garden writer who blogs at http://www.thegardeningshoe.blogspot.com .
She may be contacted via http://www.sarahshoesmith.com or @gardeningshoe1 on Twitter

3 Comments To "On the Menu for ...March 2019"

Arun Goyal On 16.03.2019
Lovely blooms...its beautiful to watch sedum seedheads. Happy Blooms day. Reply to this comment
Shelly Wilkinson On 16.03.2019
Bedsprings...lol! I love the pluot blossom! Reply to this comment
Lea @ Lea's Menagerie On 16.03.2019
Wonderful! Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day! Reply to this comment
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