A seasonal journal entry written in the early days of spring.
March brings with it the beginning of spring and most importantly the return of the flowers. The beautiful early spring flowers arrived just in time for Mothering Sunday this year. Having a small amount of flowers to harvest and arrange with has made me so very happy. It is what flower growers and gardeners all across the UK have been looking forward to all year. Watching the bulbs bloom, the days get longer, the garden slowly unfurling and hearing the birds get louder, has been a much needed joy.
I am writing this post in the first week of April, for two reasons: Firstly the beginning of March was quite dull and grey. Spring felt like it was never coming. I was uninspired, and could just not find the words to share. It really had been the longest winter in a difficult year for us all, and I had been feeling a little flat. I was longing for the warm sunshine that did arrive later in the month. I then spent every minute I could sowing seeds, planting, weeding, mulching and just simply being outside. I couldn’t bear to sit on the computer while I was busy filling up my soul with sunshine and spring moments.
March is always the turning point, the moment you realise the worst of the winter is behind you, and brighter days are coming. I find I spend a lot of time in March reflecting how how the slightest bit of blue sky and sunshine just makes everything better. I marvel at the resilience of spring bulbs planted in Autumn soil, buried under ground through the coldest, wettest and darkest part of the year. They wake up, and stretch their green shoots towards the sky as if the sun is calling them.
If you do anything in the garden in November, plant daffodils. Their cheery yellow faces brighten the greyest days. The joy daffodils give in late February, early March is so needed. Watching the way they glow in the afternoon light as the sun catches them is an absolute delight.
March is so full of small moments of joy, its hard to put them into words. There is a lot of firsts for the year. The first bunch of home grown flowers gathered. The first buds on a lilac appear, the first blossom or green leaves to look for. The first time its warm enough to wear a t-shirt outside, or leave the house without a coat, gloves, scarf and beanie. My favourite first, and favourite joy happened towards the end of March, when the sun shone warm and in golden afternoon light we harvested the first of our tulips.
I love the tulips, they are one bulb, one flower. we lined them up in a trench in the Autumn, covered them with soil and waited for the first shoots that appeared in February. I wrote quite a long Instagram post on how the real tulip season had arrived, and just as i thought, so many people didn’t realise that the tulips that line supermarket aisles from January are forced in to an early season, with artificial cold in summer and heat in winter and grown in huge climate controlled green houses by the millions.
I think that is why I love the arrival of the natural tulip season so much. Flower growers all across the country patiently waiting for their arrival at the end of March into April and May, waiting for the perfect moment to harvest. Tulips usually signify the beginning of the British flower season and after a long winter working in the cold mud, it is a wonderful feeling to harvest that first bunch of colourful blooms knowing there are plenty more flowers to come.
March’s Fruits & Flowers
Towards the end of March if you enter any allotment site, you will see almost every plot has a nice thick bunch of rhubarb ready for it’s first harvest. It’s around this time of year I usually make my first rhubarb crumble and rhubarb tea cake.
The daffodils are continuing from last month, and a lot more late varieties will bloom in March perfectly in time to accompany the first of the tulips in seasonal spring posies. Blossom arrives in neighbourhood gardens and scattered along hedgerows. The hellebores are still flowering and all of a sudden there are enough flowers to have a regular supply to cut for the house for the rest of the season.
March is an exciting time in nature, the days get longer and warmer and everything that seems like it hasn’t been growing at all, suddenly shoots for the sunshine. The perennials that look to some like dead plants send up fresh growth. There is a lot of green in the home garden, but the thought if what is to come over the next few months is oh so exciting.
March on the Plot
It has been a very busy month at the allotment, and gosh its been good to be able to spend a lot of time there. Dave and I have completed quite a few projects we’ve been talking about for a while and it is a great feeling to go into the season much more prepared than we were this time last year.
All the beds are now mulched, some hardy annuals have started to be planted into the new extended flower beds including larkspur, cornflowers, wild carrot and sweet rocket. I finally decided how and where I wanted the main sweet pea crop this year, and Dave made some great new beds and much stronger support frames for them. We filled them up with peat free compost and planted the sweet peas at the end of the month, I can’t wait to watch them climb.
So many flower and vegetable seeds were sown through March and its now a juggling act to rotate from the poly tunnel, to the cold frame, to the beds before the next seedlings need the space. All through the month the daffodils have been flowering, making the plot feel brighter and happier even on the grey days.
As the first fruits and flowers are harvested, we are ready and organised for a busy flower season ahead. April and May will bring warmer, longer days as we head further into spring. (I keep telling myself that as I write this on the 7th of April and we had snow yesterday!!) there is much to look forward to. It feels as if we are finally coming out of a long dark hibernation of winter, ready to witness new growth, make new memories and reconnect with nature, and with each other.
A lot of changes are coming over the next few months, it is exciting and I hope you all look after yourselves as we ease back this much needed reconnection.
Much love, Lauren xx
Thanks so much for joining us and reading our monthly seasonal journal. I’d love you to join in the conversation in the comments field below. How you are feeling this month, and what is bringing you joy?
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