At the end of February, I was so hopeful and excited for March to arrive. But, for the most part, except for some exceptional basketball viewing and a lovely quick trip to Florida, it has only been a frustrating grouping of days. Lots of rain, little sunshine. Soggy soils, wind-battered blooms. The crocuses and iris reticulata finally gave up, or more likely abandoned ship. I could almost hear the few flowers that appeared shouting to their fellows, “STAY DOWN! TAKE COVER!” You can see that our front sidewalk is flooded, and the daffodils are all bent from recent storms. I’d go pick them, but I’d need taller boots as I’d sink deep into the mud. It’s been too wet to bring in mulch. But, at least there is green. Last night, heavy downpours continued until there was a river running through the back yard. I would have needed a boat to get to the potager. And after that, it hailed TWICE with 1″-2″ hailstones. I feared for all the flats I had moved to the outdoor benches, but after a quick check this morn, a few are battered, but most are okay. (Big sigh of relief here!) After checking the flats, I wandered about the potager snapping a few pix.
I did manage to get a little planting done in the potager mid-month (See “Daffodils mean Pea planting!”) Looking closely, you can barely see the peas emerging. I’m surprised they didn’t all rot, as the day I planted them was the only sunny one since.
Looking closely again, you might be able to see the radishes making a double row down the center. They are the markers for kohlrabi that are a bit slower to germinate.
The garlic has grown several inches and is looking very happy. The weed to the right is also happy, but his hours are numbered…..
The test patch of fall-planted shallots are showing new growth, too. I wasn’t certain we could plant them in fall here, so I did a small test. After such a mild, short winter, I’m not sure this result can ensure future success if we’d have a normal winter. About 2/3 of them came through so far, but those that have are looking good, so it’s probably worth chancing again.
The strawberry leaves are beginning to green. And the rhubarb has grown a lot since last month.
Otherwise, I won’t bore you with photos of bare ground with bits of green sulking here and there in other gardens. There is finally a hellebore in bloom, and although it’s not a great beauty, compared to those other bloggers have posted much earlier, I’m thrilled to see it. And a few Tete a Tete daffys emerged in the Fairy Garden. I haven’t even bothered to try to put the fairy houses back, because the slope is so very muddy.
Happily, the baby forsythia that I covered with blankets night after frozen night to save its buds is beginning to flower, joined by a couple of daffodils that I planted last fall, that are NOT the orange trumpeted ones I ordered. 😦 A few perennials are poking up in tentative fashion, but others have obviously rotted (gaillardia, hollyhocks, dianthus mostly.)
So, my chitted potatoes languish indoors still; the seeding is falling badly off schedule. The basement is filled with plants and even more to be transplanted into pots, but until I can plant the early batches into the potager beds (fava beans, sweet peas, aspa-broc, broccoli, cabbages, etc.) there is not space on the outdoor benches or in the greenhouse for more flats.
Here’s hoping April brings more sunshine, but our forecast is rain for 7 out of the 9 next days. Not a promising start…..
Thanks to Helen, The Patient Gardener, for suggesting this end of the month meme.