Gardener’s Corner: March
It has felt like a long winter, but we have not done too badly as gardeners, and February felt particularly mild with an average temperature above 6 Celsius. However, March might still hold some surprises! The colder snap delayed the snowdrops in January, but other signs of spring have appeared earlier than last year. Rainfall in February was below average, although that was quite helpful after the deluge earlier in the winter.
March is a time to start clearing and pruning those areas that have been missed. We will lightly fork all the borders, apply organic fertiliser and rose feed where necessary, and apply compost mulch to places we missed last year. We will finish preparing our new winter border for planting in April. It will contain lots of winter colour and include different plants and cultivars to those in the existing winter garden. The lawns will be fed where necessary, and the croquet lawn will have the moss treated. It is a good rule of thumb to be as up-to-date as possible with garden tasks by April 1st, as you will then find it much easier to keep on top of the gardens for the rest of the season.
In the arboretum, our senior gardener Aron has developed some ‘dead hedges’ which are as they sound and create a perfect habitat for wildlife. They can also be very attractive with hazel, willow, and Cornus weaved through between the short posts to create a structure to add any dead wood material we produce – this reduces our waste. Within the arboretum, orchids have appeared due to our more natural approach since 2004.
March is a time to enjoy the snowdrops, crocus, and carpets and banks of daffodils. The blossom of the Magnolia will peak in late March, as will the Primroses on the rampart bank, which is a spectacular spring view.
We look forward to welcoming you to the gardens in March.