March is always the month I cling to through the cold winter months.
We still usually get hit with some very cold weather, but spring is definitely starting to break through as the days get longer. More and more plants are starting to peak up from the soil, bringing more colour, light and life to the garden.
Here are my top 6 plants for the month of March.
Primulas bring a vivid splash of colour to borders and containers during spring. Use them as you would summer bedding plants. The garden centre will have a wide range of colours but for an impactful display, plant groups of one or two colours only. You can also plant different height varieties to add interest.
Primulas prefer to be in a sheltered position in full sun or partial shade. But they are fully hardy little plants and can withstand any frosts we may yet experience.
Magnolia Stellata is a compact, hardy shrub or small tree that makes a magnificent addition to any garden. The white, waxy, star-shaped flowers have a delicate fragrance and will be in flower from March to May.
Plant in neutral to acid soil, which may mean adding ericaceous compost if your soil is alkaline and choose a sunny or partially-shaded spot. Magnolia Stellata only needs light pruning after the flowers fade and will need protection from strong winds.
Forsythia is a cheerful shrub for early spring when there is not much colour in the garden. Yellow flowers cover the branches, and as they fade bright green leaves appear.
Forsythia is a fully hardy shrub and really easy to look after. Plant it in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. Prune it immediately after flowering to keep the plant to a compact shape.
Pulmonaria are classic woodland plants and thrive best in dappled shade and humus-rich soil. As well as bringing lovely foliage and showers of pretty little flowers, they are also the best nectar plant for early spring and are very important for bees.
They spread vigorously so it is best to deadhead them to discourage seedlings, and a good trim keeps the looking fresh anyway, especially after hard weather.
Also known as the Christmas or Lenten Rose, these beautiful perennials are a striking addition to any late winter or early spring garden.
They are fully hardy and like a rich, well drained spot in dappled shade. Their architectural foliage is wonderful, but their stunning flowers in many shades, which often variegated or with delicate spots or fading, are the real showstoppers. Water during dry periods and add a mulch in autumn.
Chaenomeles x superba
Chaenomeles are deciduous shrubs with gorgeous little cupped flowers in a range of shades. The variety ‘Crimson and Gold’ grows thorny, tangled branches, and rich red flowers with prominent golden anthers that give it it’s name. A dash of vivid colour is always welcome at this time of year, as winter blows it’s last cold breaths and most of the garden is yet to awake.
They are hardy but like some shelter, and full or partial shade. Most any soil will do as long as it drains well, and they are fairly draught tolerant once established.