Isopogon formosus

Gardener’s Log March 2022

For the first time in quite a while, a month has been acting like it should. March has been fairly grey, a reasonable amount of rain, lots of sun breaks, most of them fairly short, some warmer days, some colder days and a general improvement as we have gone through the month. Having said that, there have been several frost threats. We only got down to 34°F, but that was close enough given that I have plenty of tender stuff getting hardened off at the moment.

Daffodils are blooming everywhere and for many people they are the real harbinger of Spring. Can you blame them – they are so cheery. Lots of new ones were added to the lower part of the garden this year.

Narcissus – shady mix

Construction Update

While we have not had many dry days in a row, I have been able to make some progress on the construction projects in the garden.

Pot Benches

The second of the benches in the potting area has been completed. This one has the means for quickly covering up plants when frost or heavy rains threaten. It also has a stainless-steel workbench on one end to make potting and plant care a lot easier without forever running in and out of the greenhouse. I have also laid down a pathway from the main entry axis along the benches. As well as being functional, I tried to make it a little more interesting by running the line of red brick through the pavers. I think it works. Now I have to get more gravel to level up the far end a bit.

New area for Pots taking shape

Winter Garden

The other area that has seen a lot of progress is the clearing of the area that will become two garden areas. They are separated by a new rock retaining wall that runs along the contour of the slope. Above the path is an extension of the ‘Upper Woodland’ which will be a Winter Garden. Many of the trees and plants are being selected are particularly showy during the winter months. I have done a separate post on the Winter Garden. Below the path will be a sort of Mediterranean Garden, but I will probably add a few Agaves and other more architectural plants. Lots more clearing to do before planting begins, but it is getting to the point where I should stop in case any birds decide to start nesting in there.

Both gardens will go almost to the property line, but then I have to work out how to create a path down the very steep slope into the Fairy Garden, which has seen no construction this month. The fairies will have to be a little patient with me.

What’s Blooming

It really is all about the daffodils this month. The Anemones are adding a touch of pink and blue in several areas of the garden. I also noticed many seedlings along the path by the Portal. I may have to thin those out a little, or see if I can transplant some. Pulmonaria and Fritillaria are both adding their unique charms.

Sometimes, plants can be real characters. This, believe it or not, is a Fritillaria imperialis ‘Argenteovariegata’. Let’s just say this one is not destined for imperial anything. I think it is rather shy and bowing for acceptance.

A shy Fritillaria imperialis ‘Argenteovariegata’

The Hellebores are almost over at this point and most of the Correa are winding down. The Isopogon is still glorious, and this has made my heart sing after losing so many other Protea over winter. A couple of Grevillea are blooming, none better than G. ‘Poorinda Leane’.

Grevillea ‘Poorinda Leane’

In the greenhouse, one of the Gladiolus carneus I grew from seed is blooming. The flowers are a range of pinks. I love the patterning and the contrast created by the blue anthers.

Gladiolus carneus
Gladiolus carneus

Weather Summary

March 2022 was a warmer month than last year, but also with more rain. On average we were almost 3° warmer and both the high and the low were 5° higher. On the other side, we had 80% more rain. 2021 saw just 6.34″ while this year we soaked up 10.39″. The wind gauge has not been fixed yet, so we are unable to make any comparisons there.

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