Into The Garden – The Gift of Spring

Words by Tara de la Motte

Welcome to the season of primroses, daffodils and tulips. Spring has truly begun in our gardens, as hopefully the weather improves, nature stirs into action and the gardening season begins.

Primroses – one of the first spring flowers

Hiding in woodlands or nestling in hedgerows, the primrose is a native favourite, and has been popular with gardeners since Tudor times. Blooming at the beginning of March, the ‘first rose’ (form the Latin prima rosa) – this beautiful flower will continue to flower into late spring, and in some parts of England grows almost all year around.

There are about 400 species of primroses and they love humus-rich, moist soil and prefer partial shade, although they can tolerate full sun as long as the soil is kept moist.

Banks of primroses add a golden splash of colour to our gardens. Although we often see these wonderful flowers growing in the wild, don’t be tempted to go and dig them up, as they are protected by the wildlife and countryside act. Buy them in your local garden centre instead.

Things to do in your garden this month

March is a good time to order your bedding plants, especially geraniums, and also to order Summer-flowering bulbs, such as dahlia and gladioli which can then be put into pots and placed in a warm greenhouse.

Now is the time to lift and divide any congested snowdrops and perennials after flowering, but while still in leaf. Tease the clumps apart and replant the bulbs. Pinch off daffodil flowers as they start to fade and keep deadheading faded flowers to keep your garden looking its best.

March is a good time to do mulching, particularly in dry areas. A sprinkling of fertiliser along the base of trees and shrubs will produce healthy growth in the coming months.

Take care of your lawn this month and if your lawn is looking bare in patches, now is the time to repair this by over seeding. Don’t forget to lightly rake the grass to remove any debris that’s been left over the winter months. If it’s a really dry day, then the lawn could have the first cut with the mower blades set high.

Finally, enjoy the awakening of your beautiful spring garden.