Gardening in March – 1. Early Spring

Gardening in March – 1. Early Spring

The Ultimate Guide For March

Gardening in March brings fair-weather gardeners out of hibernation.

Mid-March is usually the start of the spring season, providing opportunities for more varied gardening work with the increasing number of days of sunshine.

It’s the perfect time for some preparations. Start by preparing seedbeds, sowing seeds, pruning back winter shrubs, and generally tidying up the garden.

The Weather in March

This is a month when extreme swings in temperature and weather conditions can be expected, both from day to day and from one part of the country to another.

In mild areas, it can be perfect warm spring weather in March, but in cold, northern parts gardens will be still in the grip of winter with rain, frost, and snow.

Furthermore, the weather in March varies enormously across the country from year to year. For these reasons, it is important to treat with caution any advice about when to sow and plant.

Be guided by where you live and the temperature and rainfall in that year, as much as by the calendar. Wherever you live, remember that the increasing hours of daylight benefit the plants as much as the increasing warmth.

Gardening in March

By now the early spring bulbs are flowering prolifically and by the end of the month, in mild areas or after a favorable winter, the main spring-flowering shrubs such as forsythia will be in bloom.

Once you have completed your winter digging and have all of your soil in order, all that remains is to finish preparations for sowing.

You will have one last chance to do it before the new growth in your garden makes it really challenging to see what’s where and what’s what. So if you actually have dead stems in your perennial garden that belong to last year’s bushes, do not let them pile up.

Flowers & Shrubs

Gardening in March - 1. Early Spring

This central Asian species is a Juno iris, a category that grows from bulbs and has fleshy roots. Iris bucharica‘s great advantage is that each bulb produces up to six flowers. The flowers appear in spring, about two inches in diameter, either golden yellow or pure white, but sometimes white with a splash of yellow on the falls. Its deciduous, eight to sixteen-inch leaves are glossy and the flowers grow in their upper axils. Should be grown in well-drained, neutral, or slightly alkaline soil in full sun. Once flowering is over, the bulbs should be fed with a high potash fertilizer. The bulbs should be planted four to six inches apart, at a depth twice their height.

Propagation: Sow seed in containers in a cold frame while gardening in March. Separate bulb offsets from mid-summer to early autumn and replants immediately.

Trilliums have a reputation for being ‘difficult’, but their gorgeous, three petalled flowers make them such a desirable woodland plant. Trillium luteum has a yellow flower, rather than the more common white or purple. In fact, its bloom is golden yellow or bronze-green, with elliptic petals as long as three and a half inches. The three lance-shaped outer sepals are a soft green. The flower appears in spring. Should be grown in moist but well-drained, humus-rich, acid to neutral soil, in deep or dappled shade, and mulched with leaf mold each autumn.

Propagation: Sow seed as soon as it is ripe in containers in a shaded cold frame. Divide rhizomes after flowering, making sure that each section has a growing point.

With its refined but understated quality, this bulbous perennial from Europe looks best in a trough, small rock garden, or alpine house where it won’t be overshadowed by larger and more rapacious plants. It resembles a small bluebell and has slender stems, four to eight inches long, that carry loose racemes of half-inch, bell-shaped flowers in shades of blue from pale to dark. The flowers appear in spring above basal, linear, leaves that are four to twelve inches long in bright green. Its bulbs should be planted about two inches deep in autumn and grown in humus-rich, well-drained soil in full sun or dappled shade. Those with a penchant for white flowers might like to seek out its white form, Brimeura amethystina.

Propagation: Sow seed in containers in a cold frame as soon as ripe. Divide clumps in summer.

Gardening in March - 1. Early Spring

These attractive, low-growing, evergreen young plants are upright but spread as they mature to produce elegantly arching clumps no taller than about nine inches. It looks charming sited among paving. Its lance-shaped, greyish-green leaves are up to three inches long and its male and female flower parts are grouped together in structures known as cyathia which may be solitary or grouped in cymes, umbels, or clusters. Euphorbia rigida‘s cyathia are encircled by long yellow bracts that turn an attractive reddish color. It should be grown in well-drained, light soil in full sun.

Propagation: Sow seed in containers in a cold frame as soon as ripe. Divide while gardening in March or take basal cuttings in early summer.

Asarum’s are low growing, woodland perennials, found in parts of Europe, Asia, and N. America, that get their colloquial name because their rhizomes have a scent resembling ginger. Possessing handsome glossy leaves, they make a decorative ground cover for the front of borders or among shrubs in dappled shade. Asarum hartwegii is a native of Oregon and California and has heart-shaped, shiny, dark green leaves, up to five inches long. The flowers are like small jugs, composed of three long, slender lobes. Grows best in moderately fertile, humus-rich, moist but well-drained neutral to slightly acid soil.

Propagation: Sow seed in containers in a cold frame as soon as ripe. Divide in early spring.

Those who are familiar with the wild valerian that grows in walls along country roads may be surprised to discover Valeriana phu Aurea, a distant cousin whose brightly colored leaves add a zestful touch to a border in early spring. It is a clump-forming perennial with fern-like, eight-inch leaves which are a stunning pale yellow when they appear in early spring but become lime or mid-green by midsummer. The small white flowers, arranged in corymbs, appear much later, usually in early summer. This valerian may be grown in any soil that is moist and will grow well in sun or dappled shade.

Propagation: Sow seed in containers outdoors or take basal cuttings in spring. Divide while gardening in March or autumn.

Trees

Gardening in March - 1. Early Spring

This decorative Japanese birch has large, pretty, heart-shaped leaves. Up to six inches long, in a rich dark green, they turn butter-yellow in autumn. The striking bark is orange-brown when young, but becomes pinkish grey and peels in narrow horizontal strips as it matures. Early spring’s catkins are five inches, the male brownish-yellow catkins are slightly longer than the female. A rapid grower, this birch will be about 80 feet with a 40-foot spread when mature. Betula maximowicziana needs to be grown in a sheltered position in a woodland garden, preferably in moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil.

Propagation: Sow seeds of known wild origin in a seedbed in autumn. Root softwood cuttings in summer. Graft in winter.

For several weeks, from early spring to mid-spring, the slightly fragrant white flowers of Magnolia stellata ‘Waterlily’ bedeck the tree. The five-inch flowers have as many as 32 tepals, arranged in a star formation. The four-inch, mid-green leaves appear later in spring. A slow grower, it is ideal for small gardens as it seldom gets taller than ten feet with a twelve-foot spread. Ideally, it should be grown in moist, well-drained, humus-rich, acid or neutral soil, in sun or light shade, and sheltered from strong winds. However, it will thrive in alkaline soil provided it is given a mulch of well-rotted manure and leaf mold each spring.

Propagation: Root greenwood cuttings in early summer and semi-ripe cuttings in late summer. Graft in winter. Bud in summer.

It is wise to plant poplars in large gardens. They grow rapidly, and if sited near buildings may undermine foundations and block drains. However, if you are looking for a small weeping tree and have space, then Populus tremula ‘Pendula’ is one of the most beautiful. It is especially attractive in late winter. Its leaves, up to three inches long, appear later in spring. It is known as tremula because its leaves tremble in the slightest breeze. The leaves are bronze when young and turn sunshine yellow in autumn when they persist for several weeks. This poplar will grow in any but permanently waterlogged soil, but is best in deep, fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun.

Propagation: Take hardwood cuttings in winter. Remove suckers in autumn or late winter.

Willows (Salix)

Gardening in March - 1. Early Spring

This choice, strongly growing willow looks good all through the year but is perhaps at its best in late winter when its softly furry, ‘pussy’ catkins appear. They are a soft grey color with a ‘fuzz’ of prominent yellow anthers and have a slight scent. The catkins grow on twigs covered in a thick, grey down and appear sometime before the six-inch leaves that are lance-shaped and toothed in dark green with downy undersides. This willow grows into a large shrub or small tree and is about twelve feet by fifteen feet when mature. It will grow in any deep, moist but well-drained soil in full sun. Like other willows, it will not thrive in shallow, chalky soil.

Propagation: Root greenwood cuttings in early summer or hardwood cuttings in winter.

Its young stem shoots are a pretty violet purple, overlaid with a white bloom. Their color is emphasized by the appearance in late winter of its silky grey catkins, up to one and a half inches long, that grow on the bare stems before the leaves appear. The leaves are narrowly oblong and toothed in dark green. Salix daphnoides grows upright rapidly when young, but turns into a spreading tree, reaching 25 feet by 25 feet when mature. For those who want to keep it small, it responds well to hard pruning. This should be done in mid-spring annually or in alternate years. Grow in any deep, moist but well-drained soil in full sun.

Propagation: Root greenwood cuttings in early summer or hardwood cuttings in winter.

Salix fargesii is a medium-sized species of willow. It is suitable for smaller gardens as it seldom grows taller than about ten feet and spreads over a similar diameter. Growing in an upright, open way, it has strong shoots that are green when young but become reddish-brown as they mature. They are shown off to perfection in winter when their ‘polish’ is clearly seen and they are embellished by striking red buds. The catkins are slender and appear at the same time as the leaves in spring. Its seven-inch, finely toothed, elliptical leaves are a rich glossy green with distinctive veining and they have silky undersides. This willow may be grown in any deep, moist but well-drained soil in full sun.

Propagation: Root greenwood cuttings in early summer or hardwood cuttings in winter.

International Women’s Day

It’s not only the gardening in March but it’s also the international Woman’s Day that is of importance.

The International Women’s Day, an annual March 8 tradition, has become a well-loved source of pride for women worldwide.

In contrast to the recent consumer-driven efforts to boost its flower sales, International Women’s Day is a long-standing tradition – one remembering women who have given a courageous struggle for their rights over the past century.

The giving of flowers is one of the enduring traditions of this event, which recognizes women and the achievements they fulfill throughout their lives and has remained a constant tradition throughout history. The show of appreciation is a wonderful thing to do, but how did it start?

It is important to understand the origin of International Women’s Day in order to gain a full understanding of the significance of this day. Many people have their own versions of when this important holiday began. Regardless, there are some ways to tell when it was first observed.

As The History Channel points out, the concept of Women’s Day had been floating around for a long time before it finally took hold in Europe in 1911 with the first International Women’s Day. This first one brought a few million people to rallies around the world and has proven the importance of International Women’s Days.

Alexandra Kollontai, a Russian feminist pioneered a strike by thousands of Russian textile workers in 1917 protesting World War I in a protest called the “women’s demonstration for bread and peace.” In response to the strikes, Russian women sparked a revolution when Czar Nicholas II abdicated the throne four days later, and a provisional government was appointed and the right to vote was granted to Russian women as a result of the revolution.

Today, it is more than a century later, the International Women’s Day holiday, observed on March 8th, is celebrated to the fullest extent around the world by showering women with beautiful blooms to demonstrate our appreciation for incredible women in our lives.

However, International Women’s Day is more than just a day to give someone a nice bouquet of flowers to acknowledge someone special, nor is there anything wrong with showing appreciation to someone on International Women’s Day with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. International Women’s Day is a perfect time for you to show that you appreciate them by giving your family and friends a gift of flowers.

Source: Why Do We Gift Flowers On International Women’s Day?

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