March signals that winter is nearly at an end and spring is on the way and looking around the garden generally, the trees and shrubs know this as well as they are just about showing signs of bud burst. The hedgerows are curtained in white with the Blackthorn blossom in full bloom and it won't be long before this is followed by the powdery pink of Hawthorne as it fills the hedgerows and countryside with its sweetly smelling blooms.
The Conference Pear in my garden is looking very healthy with just the hint that the leaf buds are swelling and the new growth made last year is looking full of life and vigour which is pleasing as I have spent the last three years trying to rid it of ancient growth and the fungal diseases which have been effecting it since the time I acquired the tree when I moved into my present house some six years ago.
The winter pruning and the removal of unhealthy wood has rejuvenated the tree and after a good crop last year should be even better this season.
There is much to do now before the real work starts in April and lets hope that this year will be a good one especially as the garden had to do its best after last years very hard winter and should now have a better start.
PLANT OF THE WEEK:
HYDRANGEA PETEOLARIS: A wonderful deciduous climbing plant which is happy in most soils and most locations be it a north or south westerly facing wall or fence. This rapid climber which attaches itself to walls and fences flowers during the summer with large umbels of sweet scented white flowers. Next to Ivy, this plant will cling on without any support whatsoever.
Prune Roses, Willows, Dogwoods and Buddleia by reducing the Roses and Dogwoods almost to the ground and the Willow and Buddleia to the shape and size you desire.
Indoor Azalea's should now be cleaned up after winter flowering. Remove old flower heads and place pots into a large bucket of water so that the root ball takes up as much water as possible then place the pot somewhere where it will drain freely to get rid of the excess water. Place the plant back into its growing position and continue to water and feed throughout the growing season. If you need to repot then remeber, Azalea's only like lime free compost
House plants can be re potted into new pots with fresh compost, however do not over pot as this will effect root growth. My general rule is to use a new container no more that 15% to 20% larger than the original.