March Gardening and Thumbeelina Discovery!

The sun peeped through the clouds a few times yesterday, and it’s surprising how much more you seem to see in the garden when it does. These bumble bees caught my eye – they appeared to be having a snooze inside Crocus flowers!

When I first saw these bees the one in the background had half crawled out, but then I noticed the one in the foreground tucked right inside the Crocus flower, which was pretty much completely closed. I’m glad I saw them when I did because by the time I had run to get my camera, the sun had come out and they were already crawling out. I wonder whether they had spent the night inside the flowers?

I came across a few sleepy bumble bees yesterday. There were more walking around looking discombobulated than flying, but that’s to be expected, of course, seeing as they’ve only just woken up – who doesn’t?!

How to Spot Weeds in March
I did a few hours of weeding yesterday. From a distance, flower beds don’t look like they’re doing anything. But if you look a bit closer you might find that there are lots of buttercups starting to grow, as I did.

At this time of year they’re a bit tricky to identify unless you know your weeds, but generally, if there’s anything that looks like a seedling growing between plants in March, chances are it hasn’t been planted by you. Before you remove them, bear in mind that it might be something lovely that has self-set. For example, if you have Foxgloves, Aquilegeas or Hellebores growing in your garden, their self-set seedlings will no doubt be dotted around your flowerbeds around about now. These don’t tend to grow in dense groups like weeds do, so they stand out a bit more. If the seedlings’ leaves compare well to a nearby plant, there’s a good chance that’s its parent and by leaving it you’ll end up with a free new plant.

Buttercups are quite easy to spot, they have glossy ‘spade’ shaped spreading leaves and they’re quite easy to pull out if you dig a fork in next to it.

Cut New Edges in Borders
I noticed that the soil level in the borders was almost matching its neighbouring lawn edge. It freshens the garden up no end in spring to whizz round and cut fresh edges.

Firstly, use a spade to flick some of the soil away from the edge of the border so that there are a couple of inches drop from the lawn edge to the bare soil. The soil can just be chucked into the middle of the bed. Once that’s been done along the whole length of the border it should be looking a lot better already.

Finally, use a ‘half-moon’ edging iron (or a sharp spade) to cut a new edge, about 1 -2″ back from where it has grown to – doing this annually prevents gradually shrinking flower beds. The chunks of grass-topped soil you get from doing this are perfect for popping on the compost heap.

Once you have your neat new edge, it’ll be easier to keep trimmed and looking sharp throughout the spring and summer, just with a pair of edging shears.


About garden nomey

I studied Horticulture at Writtle College in Essex back in the early noughties – it was good fun and a great place to learn, and since then I’ve had various lovely jobs. I started working as a gardener at Trinity College in Cambridge, which is the biggest of Cambridge University’s colleges. That was the best gardening job I’ve ever had, the gardeners were talented and knowledgable (and fun!), the college was relaxed and the grounds are extensive and beautiful. There are amazing gardens locked behind ‘secret garden’ doorways in ancient walls, huge perennial borders to tend to, massive hedges to trim (one is 30ft high) and lawns to mow with precision. It was the perfect place for me, as a new gardener, to gain all the experience I might need to see me off into a career in horticulture. I went on to do various other gardening jobs for a few more years, before deciding that I would like to write about plants. Just as I was wondering how on earth I might get into this (as I was only trained in horticulture), I stumbled upon a Marketing Assistant job with an online and catalogue plant supplier, and they kindly took me in. This was my dream job at the time and I felt so lucky, I spent every day writing plant copy and gaining experience and knowledge in marketing and website management – something I’d never even thought about doing in the past. As it turned out, I loved it! Since then I’ve worked for more online plant suppliers, plus magazines including Which? Gardening Magazine and BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine. I currently work as a garden writer for Hubert Burda Media UK and fill some of my spare time with freelance copy writing and blogging work. Every single one of my jobs has taught me so much and I think I’ve found my niche – I’m a Gardener, Copy Writer, Garden Marketer, Feature Writer and Online Content Manager! I’ve been involved in this industry for a good while now. I’ve been to a lot of press shows, I work and have worked with a lot of suppliers and I constantly see people I know in magazines and at gardening events. I really feel like I’m part of this lovely, friendly industry and that makes me very happy. I hope you enjoy my blog! Naomi
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7 Responses to March Gardening and Thumbeelina Discovery!

  1. Jasper Maskelyne says:

    Cool photo. I have loads of bees stomping around on the heather plants in Colchester. I’m sure that the early warm weather is messing with their heads at the moment

  2. Sarah Jones says:

    I’ll get my edging tool out and neaten up the borders – good tip! With last week’s sunshine, Ed managed to cut the grass and the crocuses show up so much more now. Lovely to have some colour in the garden again.

    • gardennomey says:

      You can add even more colour to your garden at this time of year if you plant some more Hellebores, and maybe some daffs too! I’ve got some lovely pale yellow primroses in my garden that look nice at the moment and some bright pink Bergenia flowers on the way!

  3. Cath' Chazal says:

    Félicitations pour ton Blog Naomi. Il est très ludique et très intéressant et va beaucoup m’aider pour entretenir et enjoliver ma terrasse en France. Pour l’instant je profite encore du beau jardin de Colchester et les belles journées printanières que nous avons eues toute cette semaine ont fait renaître toutes les petites fleurs. Cela semble bon. Dommage pour ce dimanche qui nous rappelle que nous sommes encore en hiver ! Bah chaque saison a ses plaisirs.
    J’attends avec impatience ton prochain article. Bisous.

    • gardennomey says:

      Merci Cath! Ne vous inquiétez pas, vous n’aurez pas à attendre longtemps – je vais mettre un en place week-end prochain! Vous avez raison, l’hiver est revenu pour quelques jours, mais je suis heureux qu’il y ait quelques fleurs autour de nous rappeler que ce n’est pas trop long jusqu’au printemps! Bisous

  4. planthoarder says:

    What a perfect picture! Are you sure you don’t want to be a garden photographer/writer? Are there books in your future?

    • gardennomey says:

      Thank you! If only I took pictures like that every time, that was a one-off good one! I’ll definitely stick with writing though, I’m hoping to write a book one day and I’ve had a few ideas already. Watch this space!

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