Save The Bees March

Save The Bees March

Here are a few ideas of what we can plant to keep our gardens interesting in early March and support our beautiful bumble bees.

 
Save The Bees

Despite the cold we have felt the first breath of spring and a lot of us are back in the garden itching for another year. Don’t wait for warmer weather to have interesting borders, there is a lot of exciting stuff going on now. Our garden colour is supplemented with foliage, bark, interesting trees with contorted shapes and weeping bows bringing character and now we have flowers too! Early flowers and catkins are crucial as they not only give us a lift but also have an important roll in the life cycle of our struggling bees, providing the necessary sustenance for the Queen bumble bee as she emerges from hibernation.

Here are a few ideas of what we can plant to keep our gardens interesting in early March and support our beautiful bumble bees.

 

 

March is a Fabulous Month for Colour

In March we have an extraordinary explosion of colour. Scatterings of snow drops sparkle under the trees and narcissi and crocus suddenly peep through. The natural primroses, primula vulgaris twinkle like sunshine. I can see Aconites and fingers crossed my Anemone Blanda will appear in a vivid haze of blue, if the chickens haven’t dug them up first! Suddenly the bare earth is alive again and we can get excited about gardens. It is a thrilling time and to top that Gardener’s World starts this week. Who cannot swoon over Monty Don! He’s lovely.

It’s no surprise that the bumble bees buzz hungrily around all this early colour. When a Queen emerges from hibernation she is starving and desperate to feed. With a full tummy she can get on with the small job of making a nest, building a colony and saving the planet! So don’t be alarmed when you hear your crocuses humming. One of the best plants of all is the Hellebores. They are a joy and there are so many brilliant new hybrids and sorts, not just plain old white H.niger.

Pulmonarium Blue Ensign or Lungwort

 I plant them under trees with foxgloves for later and mix with all my favourites. Bluebells, Pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’ (amazing vivid blue), cowslips, evergreen ferns, good old tough berginias, brunnera (perennial forget-me-not) a dash of epimedium and never forget euphorbia. Should you have room for something a little invasive consider Euphorbia grifithii ‘Fireglow’ and you can have those wicked blazing orange flowers.

Euphorbia grifthii Fireglow

My favourite new hardy hellebore hybrid is Winter Moonbeam (picture at the top of the page) which is an x ericsmithii. This tells me it is a helleborus niger crossed with a H.sternii and the extra vigour seems to be in its prolific flowering and wonderful creamy white cupped flowers that fade to pink, then a deeper red colour and  I love its marbled foliage. If it was an ice cream I would eat it! The foliage provides good cover all year and the little flowers and delicate veined foliage also look beautiful in winter flower arrangements. Try floating the heads in a shallow icy bowl of water and use as a centre piece for your dinner table.



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