End of Month View – March 2015


Well March has been a blustery month from start to finish and last night was the worst for some time.  Whilst the temperatures haven’t been particularly low for the time of year I think we have been lacking in sunshine and many of the plants are behind last year.  As I am on annual leave this week I was thrilled yesterday that the forecast was wrong and we had a lovely sunny day, the calm before the storm.  I spent most of the time weeding and sorting the border on the right of the picture.  I really need to come up with a name for it.  It generally gets called the border formerly known as the Bog Garden but that makes it sound like an egomaniac pop star.  It might get changed to the cherry border or the sorbus border as these are the two main plants in it.


The cherry is Prunus kojo-no-mai which is a real gem and constantly earns its place in the garden with wonderful wonky branches in the winter, spring blossom and good autumn foliage.  I have added some Iris sibirica to the border which I grew from seed so I am hoping that these will establish.  I had planned to paint/stain the shed this week but I am still dithering about the colour.  My sons won’t engage in the conversation any more as they are bored with it.  When it was first put in two years ago I had just come back from San Francisco where I saw lots of bright and strong colours on the wood facias of houses.  I had thought for the last two years while the green wood dried out that I would stain it virtually black with orange accents.  Then recently it changed to sage green accents to tie in with the back door.  But the more I look at it from the house the more worried I become that as it is of a significant size in the garden that if I paint it very dark it will leap out more and push forward into the view rather than recede which is what I want.  I like the way the door has mellowed to an almost silver colour.  I have toyed with leaving it but it does need some treatment to protect the wood.  The current thinking is a pale sage green for the body of the shed with cream or very pale green accents. Or maybe I should try to find a very pale wood stain. Even I am sick of the subject.


I spent a ridiculous amount of time yesterday pulling up sycamore seedlings.  I have never known a spring like it.  We always have a few from sycamore in next door’s garden but this year it is like a plague, they are everywhere.  Anyway, the one good thing is that while you are focussing on pulling up the pesky seedlings you spot all sorts of plants beginning to emerge – Dicentra, hostas, epimedium flowers, fern fronds and other woodland treats.


I think in the next month the Woodland Border will really fill out with plants and colour.  I am waiting to see what appears where as I have lost my bearings along with the dead Acer.  I have decided that I will add lots of early spring bulbs and hellebores to this area as it just so bare.  I need to divide a load of snowdrops so those can go in here and I will have to mark out spots for hellebores before everything disappears underground at the end of the year so I know where to plant them next February/March.  I know I could plant some now but I have already invested in a number of new hellebores this year so it will wait a year.


The other end of the woodland border looking a little fuller but it needs a quick weed as the dreaded sycamore seedlings are popping up left, right and centre.  I am on hosta watch as I have a large hosta in here somewhere which I want to move but I need it to put its head above the ground first.

So that is my garden at the end of March 2015 showing lots of promise and if I am honest I am rather pleased with it as I think it is looking the best it has ever looked in March.

Everyone is welcome to join in with the End of Month View and you can use it how you wish.  You can show the same area month on month or give a tour or show us the areas that you are most pleased with.  All I ask is that you include a link to this post in your post and leave a link to your post in the comment box below.


Author: Helen Johnstone

I live in Malvern, Worcestershire and am a very keen gardener. I started the Patient Gardener Blog in January 2008 as a way of recording what was happening in my garden and connecting with other like-minded people. I started a second blog PatientGardener 365 January 2013 in order to try and post a photo a day to capture what is growing in my garden or places I have visited

63 thoughts on “End of Month View – March 2015”

  1. How about going for a pale grey/green colour for your shed- will make it look so pretty! I think Ronseal do one called Woodsage. What are your plans for your tin bath this year?

    1. Thanks Owen, I will have a look at that, sounds good, maybe ditch the accent idea. The tin bath is going to be filled with white Zantedeschia !

  2. Just re read your post- and thats what colour you are planning on doing! I say go for it- will look ace! All different colours of foliage will look so pretty against it!

  3. What a lovely post. Your neat garden is a joy to see. My garden still is under snow for the most part and nary a snowdrop is to be seen. March has marched in and out like a lion. Let’s hope the lamb will come out to play in April. LOL Gardeners always have to have hope.

    1. Hi MCH
      I don’t think I could cope with snow into March but I suppose it’s what you get used to. Hopefully the weather will improve for you soon

  4. Everything looks lovely especially from one still looking at the last bits of snow in her garden as you can see from my post. The second photo with the steps and gravel leading up to the shed suggests it is already the perfect color. We painted our house a very dark greenish brown so that it disappears into the garden. It is very effective. The trim is also very dark but the doors are red. Why not wait until the garden is filled out more to see how visible it really is? I am guessing that it is only the winter when you really notice it. I would be a bit careful of West Coast colors as they really go for brights out there which might not work with your light. Plus they have a lot of fog which subdues those colors.

    1. Hi Linda
      The planting won’t fill out much more than it is around the shed so it won’t disappear more. Love the idea of red doors but think that might be too much. You are right the west coast colours look wrong in our UK light which is probably why there haven’t been many available until recently. Considering a grey now as I like the silver effect in the door

  5. Garden looking great..so neat and tidy. Regarding paint,I used Cuprinol ‘Silver Birch’ on the trellis and arch that divides my garden.Nice soft colour and ages gracefully.

    1. Hi Sue
      Am looking at that colour, only comes in small pots! They have something else in similar shade which am now considering, thanks for advise.

  6. I would tend to agree with Jen and leave the shed much as it is colour wise. It does fit in very well with its surroundings at the moment. The garden has come on leaps and bounds, but then you’ve worked a lot harder on it than I have here!
    Here’s my link: http://wp.me/p2yz5S-47C

    1. Hi jessica
      I can’t work out how to leave it the colour it is and also protect it at same time! I have been working hard in the garden but then I haven’t got all sorts of interior work going on like you

  7. Hi Helen,
    I also think the steps, shed and bench should be the same colour, you can get a clear wood preservative if you wish to keep the natural wood look.
    Your garden looks nice and tidy after your efforts, all ready for the spring burst. I enjoy tours of other bloggers gardens. I have added a link in the comments on my ‘Murphy’s Mad March’ garden tour to this post, I will do it properly next month. My link is:http://ourgarden19.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/murphys-mad-march-garden-tour.html

    1. Hi Brian
      Your comment arrive just as I discovered the clear preservative on the cuprinol colour book. It is interesting that having dithered for a couple of years it was looking at the photo today that made me think that I just liked the colour as is

  8. I spent a very long time and lots of sampling before I decided on the Cuprinol Wild Thyme that I use, but it was well worth trialling different ones till you are sure – I have never regretted the final choice and it is a great product to use. Your garden looks really neat and tidy in your photos but perhaps you took them before the wind blew down all the twiggy bits that I am sure it will have done! I don’t envy you your sycamore seedlings – but I am wondering what the millions of seedlings are in the shrub border… possibly herb Robert… grrrr! My EOMV is at https://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/end-of-month-view-winding-up-march/
    Thanks for hosting, Helen – always appreciated 🙂

    1. Hi Cathy
      I think I have decided on a clear preservative. I might go for a coloured accent but we will see

    2. The shed is such a solid structure that you do have to get it right so it will not stand out too much – oh, unless you want it to stand out of course!!

  9. Is it just me or is there far too much colour too choose from? Are you any good at photoshop, perhaps you could experiment with colour. Although, that is only adding to the time wasted pondering and discussion. One piece of advice, if I may, make sure the wood is thoroughly dried before starting. I made this mistake and although I thought it was dry, the paint coating hasn’t lasted quite as long as I hoped, even after giving it 3 coats!
    I say it every month but I do love those steps and in that sunlight, they look wonderful. Your whole garden is looking very tidy, well done on getting those jobs done when the weather was favourable. We’ve had rain, sleet, snow and hail thus far today!
    Here’s my link and thanks for hosting.

    1. Hi Angie
      It has been drying out for 2 years. I did think about photoshopping it or samples but I know that my best choice tend to be more knee jerk and trusting instinct. I have decided to go for clear and it instinctively feels right

  10. I love grey and New England colours work well in the UK I think, sort of stormy yet calm ocean looks. A very soft get green would be soft. I love painting wood, so much fun. I have some pallets I painted white, but they are now weathered which is even better. We sit on them in the garden. Your garden looks fab!!

    1. Thanks Helena
      The more I look at the shed the more I think it’s current colour is best so I am going to use a clear preservative and maybe a sagey green accent

  11. Thanks Helen, for hosting EOMV, as ever!
    I have also had scallions of sycamore seedlings to pull up, and they are all around the margins of the pond, and even springing up in the shallow water itself.
    We have had an unsettling day of gales, but ti seems to be dying down now think goodness.
    Below is my link to my EOMV, detailing a month where, tbh, there does not seem to have been a lot of growth in the garden.

  12. Ah yes, sycamore seedlings. I hate them, though at least the neighbour with 4 of the blighters has cut down one!! Your garden is looking rather wonderful Helen, you’ve achieved so much this past year in particular, it is all working together beautifully, and those bare patches will soon be filled with interesting plants. The neutral stain on the shed sounds good, though my experience of black is that it does recede rather well and is a fantastic backdrop for plants. Anyway, apparently the third month is the charm, because not only have I managed to get some actual gardening done but I have also written an EOMV post. I am hoping joining in will work its usual magic and get me focused on shaping up at least one border this year… http://plantaliscious.janetbruten.co.uk/2015/03/end-of-month-view-march-2015/ Thanks again for hosting!

    1. Hi Janet
      I only have one sycamore to contend with. Thanks for joining in again

  13. What a lovely read. Colour dilemmas are the lot of the gardener, aren’t hey. I think, in my humble opinion, that your shed looks better darker (the colour it is not the door) rather than lighter, unless you want to make a feature of it. Let’s hope April is better for us to get outdoors and get on with it

  14. For what it’s worth, I like the shed as it is. You have quite a few timbers around the garden (steps, fences, bench etc) and I think it looks quite beautiful in the sunlight. I often like them painted, but I think natural is perfect for your garden.

  15. Hi from sunny and still hot 24degrees whangapararoa, Auckland – Still swimming – loving still being in summer clothes. Cooler nights now and gorgeous starry night last night. Having light duvet on and not only sheet easier sleeping! The grass was cut and talk about a rampant hay paddock – spent 2 hours raking up and chucking on our clay gardens. Will top with the coffee grounds that I collect from cafe. Hope I have happy worms working over the winter to break it down. Potted 6 seedlings of our lovely native clematis that is very sparce on the Peninsular due to Kauri forrest being cut down 150 years ago for building and masts for ships in England! Some small patches left and people like us replanting natives. My daughter around the corner has one of the rare bits of old bush left and now the seedlings are popping up! Your garden looking ‘springy’ and hope your brain not too frazzled deciding on shed colour! Don’t forget to sit on your seat on your break!

  16. Dear Helen, if I would be the owner of your garden I would be rather pleased with it as well. As a matter of fact I wouldn’t be that restrained (is that the British way?), I would be jumping up and down with joy. It looks fabulous!!! Seeing all the freshly emerging plants in your garden, albeit only virtually, just makes me happy!
    The photo with Prunus Kojo-no-mai cherry tree is my favorite. I just love the lightness and airiness that the white little blooms bring to this part of your garden.
    Regarding painting your shed: If you want it to recede into the background I would go with a green stain or paint, as you assumed yourself, I believe black with orange accents would make it stand out more and appear bigger and maybe even overpower the plants in your garden. Hope you don’t mind that I am giving (even unasked!) my two cents.

    I have to say that I am rather happy with my garden this month as well. Here is how my White Garden Bed looks at the end of this month:


    Warm regards,

  17. Some of the best vacations are stay-cations, when you get to work on those garden projects that you have been longing to accomplish. I like the cherry tree – a very nice anchor in your border – and always nice to have plants that add structural difference and year-round interest. There have been a lot of new plants added or sprouted in my garden in the last month – spring is definitely here in Texas. http://rebeccastexasgarden.blogspot.com/2015/03/end-of-month-view-march-2015.html

    1. Hi Julieanne
      Yes a protective stain is the decision, thanks for your input

  18. I really love the natural color of the wood on your shed, in that shot you included, it matches so well with all the other wooden accents all around it, the steps, the bench, even the willow cloche. It appears from your comments that you’ve decided to go with a natural stain. I left those Fling gardens in San Francisco so inspired and full of ideas, but once home, I found they don’t always work in my own space. My EoMV post is here: http://bonneylassie.blogspot.com/2015/04/end-of-month-view-march-2015-gravel.html

    1. hi Alison
      Yes the light here in the UK is a lot softer than in San Francisco and I realised that it would just look wrong

    1. Hi Sara
      I have bored everyone on the subject of colour. Today I went to buy clear preserver and the chap in the DIY shop asked me why I wanted clear, I could have hit him. Instead I started to tell him all my deliberations he quickly agreed that clear was a good idea!

  19. Your shed looks most pleasing to the eye as it is Helen. I think that I would be dithering too about any change of colour. Here it’s sycamore seedlings and horse chestnuts too which the squirrels secrete in all sorts of odd and inconvenient places. I think that I will take a leaf out of your book and look for more exciting signs of growth whilst I tackle them. My end of month view is up now over at :

    1. Hi Anna
      Oh Chestnut seedlings as well, how depressing. I don’t think I can blame the squirrels for the number I have unless they have been working 24/7 and I don’t think the cat will allow that

  20. Helen I can see why you feel pleased with your garden I would too if it were mine, feeling pleased about your garden what a lovely place to be in, sorry I did not join in last month I have had no broadband for sometime now, a situation I hope will change in a few weeks, I have posted for March using the free wifi at the library, thanks as always for hosting, here is my link



    1. Hi Frances
      What a drag not having broadband, that would drive me mad. Thanks for joining despite the issues

  21. I agree… most plants are way behind this year. It has been unseasonably cold here in Edinburgh, although your lovely garden is a few steps ahead of ours. What a pretty cherry tree! I do like a painted shed… I am about to paint ours a pale coffee colour called ‘Antler Grey’, and our bench to match, although I agree that leaving yours the colour it is would not be a bad choice at all. Here is my end of month view, a couple of days late. https://edinburghgardendiary.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/end-of-month-view-march-2015/

    1. Hi Joanna
      That sounds a nice colour, luckily I have bought what I need or I may have dithered again and looked at that colour.

  22. The colour of fence and other backdrops for plants is an important decision to make, one many people don’t think about – not until they’ve done it and possibly chosen a wrong one! I chose a very dark colour in my garden, Cuprinol ‘Forest Oak’ and I am so happy I did that, everything I plant stands out and there is no colour clashes with any flower colour. I have stained the log border edge and terracotta pots in the same colour to tie in with the colour scheme. My neighbour two doors down however, chose a barn-red colour for her fences, they hit you in your face as soon as you enter the garden, anything pink, red or purple looks horrible against it and it is like everything gets swallowed up by those huge panels of barn-red. Her fence is not a backdrop it is a feature in itself….I would say go for a dark colour, it will look strange and weird for a week until you get used to it, and after that you will see how good the plants look against it. You can see the colour ‘Forest Oak’ on my blog, on my garden photos.
    Your garden looks great, love the flowering cherry – that sings spring to me 🙂

    Here is my EOMV post: http://graphicality-uk.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/end-of-month-view-march.html

    1. Hi Helene
      You are right about the importance of the colour which is probably why I have been dithering for so long. I have decided to go for clear and willow highlights

  23. I did enjoy this post, you have got on so well, everything is looking lovely. I appreciate the shed colour problem as I am experiencing the same dilemma with my summer house. I think you have made the right decision to keep the natural colour of the wood.
    I am very late joining in with the meme this month as I have been away. But here is the link. thebloominggarden.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/end-of-month-view-3/
    Thanks for hosting

  24. The garden looks so promising and fresh, and I have to say the new camera is doing well by you! Love how the euphorbia has grown up. I hope it settles in nicely for you since I know it would never survive in my garden.
    I don’t envy your shed dilemma. The clear will look great, but playing around with colors can also be fun… unless you end up repainting multiple times!

  25. Finally linking in Helen. It was quite blustery and downright cold here in March. But at the end of the month the melt finally started. We are still melting and wet so no gardening, but I have observed a few flowers and new growth. I look forward to weeding in early spring as I too notice the new plant growth. I love the shed you have and the natural faded color now. And the shot looking up the steps to its door is always stunning no matter the season…here’s to spring and the start of the season for me

    Linking in:

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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