Get tips and ideas from my cottage garden in March- see what’s blooming in early spring, what needs to be done, and what you can start growing.
I’m so excited to welcome you to the first Tuesdays in the Garden for the 2016 season! After ending the Tuesday Garden Party link-up which I’d hosted for 6 years and hearing from you in our survey last summer that gardening posts were important to you (second only to recipes!), I contacted a few gardening blogging friends and we are joining together for a gardening “blog hop” that will bring you multiple gardening posts around a theme twice each month from today through October.
So, what is a blog hop? It’s basically an easy way for you to visit a small set of blogs quickly that are all writing on a similar theme. Since there are six of us total in our group, you will read (scan, scroll, or whatever you do!) through my post and at the bottom there will be photos and links to all the five other blogs. Every participating blogger will have all the photos and links at the bottoms of their posts, so you can easily visit them no matter where you start and not miss any!
We’ve planned some great themes for you this season, everything from gardening tips, to gifts from the garden, to garden-to-table recipes. See why I’m so excited?!
Today’s theme is a garden introduction and prepping for the new season, so I’m taking you on a little tour of our cottage garden, from front to back and out to the vegetable garden, too. As we tour, I’ll be sharing:
- what varieties bloom in early spring
- garden chores you can do in March and April
- what you can start planting now, both in the flower border and vegetable garden
So let’s get started!
Front Cottage Garden
The perennial and shrub garden in front of our porch is shown more completely in the first picture – you can see a lot of green and three things blooming: daffodil and grape hyacinth bulbs and the blue flowers of brunnera, one of my favorite perennials. Two more bulbs will bloom through April- scilla and tulips – and the brunnera will keep blooming until almost June (it’s an great plant!).
You can see how much our honeybees love the early spring blooms of grape hyacinth, so not only do the early blooms brighten our lives, it helps the bees, too.
Also in full bud and just starting to bloom are bearded iris, which are SO easy to grow and provide green spear-like foliage for the rest of the season.
So if you’d like to add more early spring blooms you’ll want to plant:
- Fall planted bulbs like crocus (Feb. to early March here-they’ve already finished blooming), daffodils, grape hyacinth, scilla (which can get out of hand, so be careful…), and tulips.
- Common brunnera and Jack Frost brunnera (variegated leaves)
- shrubs like azalea and dwarf rhododendron (or regular sized for larger areas)
- Bearded iris
Back Cottage Garden
In our long back border, you’ll see a lot of the same blooms (when I like something, I plant it multiple places…), AND some things that need to be done soon (always a part of a gardener’s life, right?).
Chores that need to be done in early spring:
- pruning of summer-blooming shrubs, if needed for shaping (like the large shrub on the right)
- weeding large clumps & perennial weeds like dandelion and then:
- layer newspaper & mulch over the smaller weeds to kill & keep the weeds at bay for the rest of the season
- mowing and edging
This small patio border is waiting for its newspaper and mulch topping, but before I do I need to plant a perennial in a spot where I lost one last year. When your ground is workable, spring is a good time to plant perennials so they have enough time to develop roots well with the spring rains.