Hello! It’s been a while…! The constant lockdowns and the whole pandemic have really knocked my creativity and I’ve been struggling to get into blogging. I’ve barely done anything to the house or garden since my last post, but this year I’m determined to get our awkward, north-east facing sloping garden sorted out. If there is a more awkward garden out there, I’ll be amazed! We are north-east facing, which means that at this time of year there is very little sun (first thing until about 1.30pm for the top lawn, and the sun is gone from the garden by 3.30pm). We’re sloping, meaning we have three tiered levels. We have poor, narrow access up a load of steps so all materials have to be brought in by hand and any major works are done by hand. We’re in a Conservation Area and it’s the front garden, so we are restricted as to what we can do by the local Council. Saying that, I love my little garden and I know I say it every year but I really hope this year I can make it look pretty. So, as the title of the post suggests, what flowers in March in a north-east facing garden?
To be fair, not a lot! The bulbs I planted in Autumn have all started to come up but are slow compared to other sites as the levels of sunlight aren’t as good. The tulips are starting to flower, as are the Thalia daffodils which are really pretty. One of the main successes this year are the primroses, which have spread a bit and look really lovely. The bleeding hearts are starting to form flowers too.
We’ve had quite a prolonged cold spell, with lots of frosty nights, and this has put back a lot of the plants that would normally be blooming by now. The weeping cherry on the bottom lawn has finished flowering (this only lasted a week or so this year as the frosts have been so rough) so there is more colour needed down on that level. If you read my last blog post about the garden you’ll know that our selfish neighbours put up a huge deck which overlooks this area, so I shifted some hawthorn hedging to try and add some screening. I wouldn’t be bothered but he has turned very obnoxious and I’d rather not see him if at all possible! My peony is growing well though, as are the apple trees which are starting to come into leaf. The roses are also doing well. A lot of the Mediterranean style plants however have really suffered, and I’ve lost some rosemary, lavender and erigeron. Any excuse for a plant shopping trip!
One of the big changes for this year will be our arbour. I did want to put up a summer house on the middle lawn but as we are in a Conservation Area and the garden is to the front of the house we would need to apply for planning permission, which would add an extra £200+ on to the cost of the project! Mr R doesn’t want to have to deal with the planners, and we know we’ll get objections from the obnoxious neighbour (despite it not affecting him in any way) so it’s easier not to bother. I bought a small wooden arbour from Wayfair and will put this on the middle lawn. I’m hoping to use some of my Claire Austin rose cuttings to grow up and around the arbour, but for this year I’ll use sweet peas for some quicker cover.
I’ve also finally removed some extra turf and made the middle lawn circular. It’s been absolutely trashed by Hols and I’m trying to reseed it without much joy, so I suspect in the next few weeks I’ll be returfing it all. I don’t want to have to dig out any more turf though as it’s such hard work! It looks absolutely awful at the moment, and is definitely a BEFORE picture!
So there you go! Not much is flowering in our north-east facing garden in March, but the little jewels that are flowering make me happy and I’ll get more of these for next year so the effect is even better. Plus, it can’t get any worse than this, right?!