March Bloom Day 2013

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The blooms of March are mostly from bulbs.
Above: Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’

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The earliest bloomers are the ones sought out, like the Crocus chrysanthus group, represented above by C. ‘Snow Bunting’.

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It is bulbs that add color to the four quadrants and center of the Knot Garden. Crocus chrysanthus are the first flowers open, often in January or even late December. They line the quads and Snow Bunting was planted in the blue fescue rectangle under the armillary last fall. The little rock garden iris flower next, edging the front of the quads. Next month will see the white viridiflora tulips open, always a showstopper. Summer sees various tall lilies towering over the onion topped rebar stakes. Assorted ground hugging thymes add foliage, scent and fun all through the year.

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Later comes Crocus vernalis ‘Pickwick’, this patch planted in the raised planter down by the garage with Yucca filamentosa ‘Colorguard’.

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Violas are planted in the fall here, to winter over and be more vigorous in spring. Reinforcements are usually added as they become available for purchase in late winter. There are pink and white grape hyacinths also planted in this rusted out wheelbarrow turned container. The pinks, Muscari ‘Pink Sunrise’, planted last fall in the back of the barrow have been blooming for several weeks. The white ones, planted two years ago are just now poking their heads above the soil. So much for the pink and white explosion.

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Zooming out, this is the view from the driveway at the front of the house, shown earlier this month here. This gravel path is the entrance that takes visitors and residents to the steeper slopes of the back gardens. To the left is the Fairelurie at the bottom and the Lawn/Meadow backed by the privacy hedge of arborvitae. The bed behind the wheelbarrow is the Garage Side, with blue star junipers in heavy use. The sweet Daphne odorata lives in there, now blooming in scented pink.

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Following the gravel path brings us to the Azalea Walk, a long stretch of deciduous azaleas with the witch hazel, Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’ included to break up the monotony. Diane is having her best blooming ever this year.

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More bulbs are beginning to bloom along the pathways here, including hyacinths of various hues. Hyacinthus ‘Yellow Queen’ looks good with the blue violas in the Yellow/White bed with lemon thyme edging.

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Looking from west to east, one might notice that the main crop of flowers are daffodils. The white blobs on the woody shrub just left of center are the flowers of Edgeworthia chrysantha. Most photos of those blooms are taken from below. From straight on, they look like pale fuzzy tubular clusters of bells.

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Looking at the same path of the Azalea Walk, this time from east to west.

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Again, it is all about the daffodils, Narcissus pseudonarcissus, written about here. It is indeed the signature plant of late winter in the Fairegarden.

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Behind the main house is the steepest part of the property. It is here that Helleborus orientalis has colonized the hillside and beyond, with babies now popping up even down into the wall.

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Standing in the covered vestibule right outside the back door of the main house, this is the view. It is a slope covered in plants. Although it is constantly changing as the plants grow larger, seed about or die out and tweaking never stops, it never, ever fails to bring me the greatest of joys.

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For more joyous looks at March flowers, go visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens. It was her idea, inspired by Elizabeth Lawrence who said there could be flowers every month of the year, that produced that most wonderful sharing event on the fifteenth of each month called Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day. Thank you, Carol.

Frances

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20 Responses to March Bloom Day 2013

  1. Another fun tour to gain a better understanding of and appreciation for the lay of your land (literally). It is so gratifying to have something like your slope which, I’m sure, takes a ton of effort to maintain and yet is very much worth the effort and a joy to behold once the growing sequence kicks into gear. And with its population of hellebores ever increasing, the show begins early.
    Housekeeping question: since I did such a good job of grooming my Mexican feather grass last summer, they still look great and I was wondering if I should, nevertheless, cut them down low? I noticed in the daffodil close up picture, some grass tendrils were still standing so that’s made me think of my quandary.

    Hi Michaele, thanks for being such a regular reader! I do appreciate that and your attention to the narrative, too. I do not cut the stipa down, although I have in the past. It looks sad when cut and takes a long time to regrow. If it gets looking too ratty, I dig and divide it into smaller clumps, discarding the center dead parts. I just did that in the shed bed, the one featured in the closeup of the daffs.
    Frances

    • So happy to read that it’s ok to leave the stipa as is…they are really looking darn right good. It’s hard to believe they’ve been through the whole winter and don’t look overly beat up. The only thing they are missing is that extra pop of radiance that the “flowers” provide before they turn to clumping seedheads. So, I’m assuming all that will still happen if I don’t cut them back…wow, a win win!
      I always enjoy your prose as much as your pictures. This blog is a treasure. Thank you so much for putting all the thought and care into it that you do. It is truly appreciated.

      Good deal on the Stipa, Michaele. It truly is a four season plant and is great for winter interest when so many grasses need to be cut down. Win win win win! I do appreciate your kind words. Writing the posts and taking the photos and loading them onto the blog do take effort. Sometimes I wonder how long I will do it. Being appreciated is a good thing!
      Frances

  2. Lea says:

    Beautiful!
    The ‘Pickwick’ crocus are especially pretty.
    Happy GBBD!
    Lea
    Lea’s Menagerie

    Hi Lea, thanks so much. Pickwick has proven to be quite the tough one, living in a bed full of voles and being able to still come up and bloom prettily year after year. Happy GBBD to you!
    Frances

  3. commonweeder says:

    At least you have blooms Outside! Our garden is still covered with snow, but the maple sugar makers are happy. The days are sunny and warm(er) but the nights are still below freezing. The sweet season comes just before mud season here. I am so happy that I get to look at flowery gardens like yours on Bloom Day.

    Hi Pat, thanks for visiting. Your time will come, and yummy to the maple syrup!
    Frances

  4. Alison says:

    Another great post that helps to give a better view of your garden layout. That picture of the slope from the sheltered vestibule is wonderful. Is that a Carex growing with the Daffodils? Love your cool rusty art, and the bottle edging!

    Hi Alison, thanks for following along. There is a gorgeou New Zealand orange carex, C. testacea that I am trying to get going on the slope. It likes the winters, but our summers are almost too hot for it. It is worth looking for and replanting though. Great color for winter interest.
    Frances

  5. One day I’d like to have a hillside of daffodils, just like you.

    Hi Kathy, thanks. It has taken many years to get this look, and next year should be even better. It has only been the last couple of years that I decided that these specific daffs should go everywhere, instead of trying new varieties. I am a slow learner.
    Frances

  6. What a dreamy looking spring, Frances… not a rush & sizzle but slow unfolding of lovely leaves and flowers. The Harmony iris are the sweetest. I sure understand about accepting & spreading around the daffodil that survives because there’s one like that here. But in a more perfect world there’d be a pink-cupped daffodil that was not too wimpy for TX.
    Happy GBBD from Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    Hi Annie, and happy bloom day to you! The early bulbs and flowers are coming along. I used to think the special daff wasn’t cool or pretty enough, I have since come to my senses.
    Frances

  7. Wonderful … the iris, crocus, and witchhazel are just beautiful. Still waiting for my own crocus to emerge.

    Hi Jason, thanks. Your time is coming!
    Frances

  8. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    It looks so springy at Fairegarden. Not so much here. I can’t wait for those little irises to bloom here. Seeing yours gives me hope. 🙂 Have a great weekend.

    Hi Lisa, thanks, and you too, have a lovely weekend. The weather guy promises warmth for us for the next week. It will surely feel like spring. Hope you get some of that, too.
    Frances

  9. Carolyn says:

    Oh my! You have a lot of Spring going on there. So envious. I found one tiny bloom… patience.

    Hi Carolyn, thanks for visiting. Hang on, your spring will come!
    Frances

  10. Frances your blooms gave me such joy as we are in for a week of snow and snow for the start of spring…winter is not leaving here.

    Hi Donna, thanks for visiting. I am glad you got some happiness with this spring preview. Snow and a longer winter must be the norm for where you live. I know because we used to live in northeast PA. It was not for me!
    Frances

  11. Sue says:

    Wow-you have a veritable riot of color going on! Come fall when I’m getting ready to pass on the bulbs because I don’t have time to plant them, I’m going to pull up this post for inspiration.

    Hi Sue, thanks for stopping by. It does take time and thought to plant the bulbs in the fall, especially when it can still be quite hot and the ground so hard then as it is here. But remember that you can just dig a hole and plant them, then move them the next spring to where you want them.
    Frances

  12. pivi says:

    Wow, spring bulbs are so wonderful ! It’s so refreshing to see these colours again. Have a nice weekend !

    Hi Pivi, thanks for stopping by. Seeing the garden does give so much joy, especially at this time of year. All those years of work have something wonderful to show for it! You too enjoy your weekend.
    Frances

  13. Lola says:

    Another great tour. Love those daffies. Oh if only witchhazel would grow here.

    Hi Lola, thanks. The daffodils have had a spectacular year. Now that the weather is warming, they will be saying goodbye, but other things will take their place.
    Frances

  14. Sharon says:

    WOW looking so good Ill bet you are excited!….Spring is sprung!

    Hi Sharon, thanks. I am excited, yes indeed! Spring has begun for real here, and I am ready for it!
    Frances

  15. Christy says:

    Hi Frances….everything looks so wonderful. You have so much color and beauty already!! Your garden is absolutely amazing! I’m definitely planting more bulbs this fall!!

    Hi Christy, thanks. There is a lot going on right now, more so than usual due to the ongoing effort of spreading those daffodils. If ever there was a job with a big payoff, that is it. And there can never be too many bulbs!
    Frances

  16. Carol says:

    A very lovely bloom day, with lots of color. Thank you for joining in so faithfully!

    Hi Carol, thanks. I have not missed a single bloom day since blogging began here, December 2007. Thanks for thinking of this!
    Frances

  17. Kris P says:

    I looked at the pictures of her bulbs and found myself audibly sighing. Beautiful. I wish I could grow the wide range of bulbs you do where I am but I make do with the ones I can grow (freesia, sparaxis, narcissus) and will enjoy the ones I can’t (like tulips) on your site.

    Hi Kris, thanks for visiting and those kind words. We are on the southern edge of being able to grow the larger tulips and also lilacs. You are lucky with the freesias, such a charming flower and wonderful scent!
    Frances

  18. minpin says:

    Really love the pics. I have recently moved to a new location that has had almost no landscaping done and am trying to get ideas for my new yard!

    Thanks for visiting and good luck with your new garden!

  19. Your garden has a great design, love the feel it gives. Congratulations, it is coming to life, it is spring.

    Thanks Charlie. I love spring.
    Frances

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