End of Month View – March 2016

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I had a sudden panic today when I realised that tomorrow is the last day of March and I had forgotten all about the End of Month post, not very good when you are the host of the meme! I am on annual leave this week and have managed to get a few hours in the garden between rain and decorating the living room.  The grass lawn has been cut and edged and its amazing how it being neat makes the rest of the garden appear neat, which I can assure you it isn’t.

The border looks alright but I have plans as part of my bid to colour up the garden this year.  I have this week bought a Rosa ‘Hot Chocolate’ which will go in the border here.  I saw the rose in a garden somewhere between Dublin and Cork last year and have been looking for the plant for a while only to find it in a plant retailer just down the road.  It is a sort of orangey red, hard to describe, and I think will work well with the Amenthalea lessonia which also has orange in its leaves.  I will also be adding some red lupins and oriental poppies although I worry it might all be a little too much but we shall see.  I probably need to find some different, lighter tones of red or orange to lighten the planting and provide some depth.

Prunus incisa 'Kojo-no-ma
Prunus incisa ‘Kojo-no-ma

The Prunua incisa ‘Kojo-no-mai’ which is the main structure in the border is just beginning to bloom.  I love this shrub with its pretty delicate spring flowers and then in Autumn the leaves colour up before the slightly twisted stems provide interest during the winter.  Today I have added Galanthus ‘Flora Pleno’ around its stem to provide interest early in the year.

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The other end of the border continues to perplex me but there is a niggle in the back of my mind that I might have a lightbulb moment.  The border used to be quite shady and I have sort of planted along those lines but it isn’t as shady as it was since the willow had a significant haircut.  There are  a lot of ferns in the border and the signs that the Cardiocrinum giganteum is returning, maybe it will flower this year.  I want some colour at this end of the border aside from green but I want to also improve the textures. I think some hostas would add a good contrast to the ferns and maybe some pale foxgloves but I can’t think what to add for colour later in the year – more pondering to be done.

You can see what the border looked like in February here

All are welcome to join in with the End of Month meme and you can use it as you wish; maybe focus on a particular border, or do a tour of the garden whatever you find useful then you can follow its progress through the year.  All I ask is that you 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

45 thoughts on “End of Month View – March 2016”

    1. Hi Matt
      The owl was made by my friend who is a willow sculptress, it’s name is Hugh!

  1. hello Helen, I’ve just posted my EoMV too, thanks for hosting,

    to me your border still looks fine, I am trying ferns and hostas in the north border of my front garden the ones I bought last year look good so I am adding more, buying hostas with light in the foliage, your new rose sound nice, it can be hard sometimes tracking plants down that you see in another garden (or blog post), and yes cut grass and tided edges seem to be one of the quickest way to look tidy,


    1. Hi Frances
      I used to have lots of hostas but I dont seem to have many now or maybe I just appreciate them more and want more. They dont do to badly in my garden, I seem to manage to keep the slugs at bay with early applications of slug pellets (organic of course). I think you are right to add more of what is doing well in your garden, its an approach I should take more rather than my magpie approach

    1. Hi Annette
      I saw the Prunus for sale at B&Q the other day. It is a lovely shrub and I have gardening friends who keep theirs more in check than mine. Thanks for joining in again.

    1. Hi Rachel
      The shadows are great but I really need to remember to take photographs earlier in the day so I get better light.

    1. Hi Jessica
      The lupins are hopefully a pinky red and the poppies have this morning been ousted from the plan and are probably moving in over the grass path where I have cleared a lot of things this morning!

    1. Hi Jen
      Its interesting that you see my garden as controlled, whilst I see it as chaotic and needing taming! Thanks for joining in again with the meme, I will pop over for a looksee

    1. Hi Pauline
      Dont be deceived it isnt that neat or tidy, more shorn and badly edged but from the distance of the photograph it looks OK>

    1. Hi Cathy
      I think the changes with the willow will really show this year as last year it took sometime for any shoots to appear whereas this year there is a canopy, which I will have to keep under control but it is definitely an improvement on how it was two years ago. It will be interesting to see how the removal of your plum tree impacts on your garden

    1. Hi Anca
      You are kind, of course there are quite a few bits of the garden which are not tidy but them of course I havent shown them! Thanks for joining in with the meme

    1. Hi ALison
      The lawn isnt as edged as well as you might think. You have to remember I have little grass to cut compared to you so I wouldnt feel too shamed.

  2. I really like the idea of recording a view of the garden on a monthly basis. it was certainly interesting to see the change in Hugh’s border over only the last month, and I look forward to seeing how it develops in the future with the additions you describe.

    we have a number of lupins in our garden and I am really pleased with the effect they have brought. they can be heartbreaking though when they flower themselves into oblivion – I think it is a case of crossed fingers and keeping them well-watered in dry conditions.

    here’s my link: https://downmygardenpath.wordpress.com/2016/03/31/end-of-month-view-march-2016/

    thanks for hosting. best wishes, Elaine

    1. Hi Elaine
      Thanks for the tip about the lupins. I had forgotten how they flower themselves to death as I havent grown them for some years. I will pop over and visit your blog, thanks for joining in with the meme

    1. Hi Linnae
      There are quite a lot of bare spots in my garden, I just pick an angle where you cant see them! I will pop over and visit your blog, thanks for joining in with the meme

  3. I rescued two Hot Cocoas from a sure demise years ago, and – although I’m not a big fan of roses (unless they have a really scrumptious fragrance, which this one does not) – I really do like them a lot. The buds are a hot, dark, orangey red, and as it opens and ages, it fades to a kind of dusty, old-fashioned pink. It’s quite unusual. I pair mine with red lilies and burgundy foliage plants like a Bloodgood maple and Berberis atropurpurea. It’s a red riot!

    1. Hi Anna
      You have described Hot Chocolate just as I remember seeing it last summer which is reassuring. I am hoping the grass and lupins will pick up the colours of the rose. The poppies have been planted in the Big Border instead.

  4. That bench looks just the ideal spot for a pause, cuppa and some gentle ruminating Helen. Just how tall is your prunua incisa ‘Kojo-no-mai’? Yours looks like a flourishing small tree whilst mine remains a stunted shrub 😦 Maybe time for a move. I wondered what anemanthele lessoniana was then realised it’s yet another plant that has changed its name. I’ve just lifted and divided a clump that was a self seeder. It’a a rather lovely grass. My EOMV is here :

    1. Hi Anna
      The bench is my favourite place, I do much ruminating there and the cat likes it too although she seems to prefer the paving slabs we have had to put under the bench due to the appearance of a small spring. I have had my prunus for something like 7 or 8 years and it is a tall shrub I’m guessing around 5ft, maybe a bit taller. The soil is quite moist there and it has had little competition so has romped awa.

    1. Hi Dorris
      It was a lovely sunny day when I took the photos. The trouble is I always remember late in the afternoon and the sun is getting low so I end up with shadows or glare.

    1. Welcome JP, I will pop over for a visit. I think you will be surprised at how much we all enjoying nosing around others gardens even when there doesnt seem much to see.

    2. Well, you’re welcome to have a nose around, Helen, but ours is definitely like one of the gardens at the start of a Big Dreams Small Spaces episode at the moment. We’ve got big plans, but we’re trying not to let them stop us doing some small gardening in the mean time!

    3. Hi JP
      You have to dream big in order to achieve things even in a small garden

    1. Hi Angie
      thanks, we will have to see if our Hot Chocolates live up to our expectations

  5. I am enjoying following you and your garden, btw we have Hot Chocolate and love it for its unusual colouring…..OH has cut and edged today, such a difference……just wishing for a spot of rain to water all the new additions to the garden….

    1. Hi Angela
      We have been lucky this week with rain overnight which I think is the best option as you get to garden during the day and then the rain waters the plants in for you.

  6. Your garden is looking so well cared for and that border looks well into the gardening year already. I love the Amenthalea lessonia- I’ve just sowed some seeds of this as I want more of it in my garden. For later in the year, if you like them, maybe a white Anemone japonica?

  7. Dear Helen, to me your featured border is looking perfect! I can follow your idea to add more color to the left side of it, but I love it as it is. Maybe coming from dry aird Southern California the sight of a lush green border is already enough to make this humble gardener’s heart sing :-).

    Well, here I am with my March contribution, probably the very last to the party coming to the party.


    Warm regards,


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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