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.