Colour in the garden mid March.

 Again, I haven’t done much in the garden at all due to medial epicondilitis and biceps tendinitis in the right arm, triceps/deltoid pain, acromioclavicular joint pain in the left arm, and shoulder and neck pain from osteoarthritis. No fun at all, but now things are a little better I can start to move about more as long as I don’t overdo things.  I am  getting back out into the garden again to see what I have been missing.  The flowers that are going over now are: snowdrops, crocus and small iris (Katherine’s gold).  The witch hazel was looking great in January with it’s lovely deep orangey, spidery scented flowers but they have gone over now.   The indoor plants that are still in flower are the fabulous cyclamen (although they will soon be over so I will start to dry them out for their summer rest period), peace lily, and the trillium. The trillium ought to be in the stumpery area of the back garden but the slugs kept getting them so they are in a pot in the conservatory for now.  I took a few cuttings from a very old Easter cactus that I rescued from a friend and they have tiny buds on. I did find a couple of leaves on them which were stuck together and when I pulled them apart I found a small green caterpillar inside some woven silk threads. It could be a Tortrix moth (either Carnation tortrix – Cacoecimorpha pronubana, or the light brown apple tortrix moth – Epiphyas postvittana).  I don’t know if it was already on the plant when I got it or not.  I had thought the small eaten areas on the leaves had been slug damage.

In flower now are: mahonia, hellebores (some lovely large clumps and some rather spindly specimens), large daffodils, tiny tete-a-tete narcissus, pink heather, yellow epimedium, winter honeysuckle, white periwinkle, rosemary, chionadoxa, primrose, erythronium snowflake, pulmonaria, the pink corydalis and a few grape hyacinths (that I keep forgetting are there). The hazel is monoecious which means they have male and female flowers on the same plant.  The male and female flowers of the tortured hazel look so different to each other – the male flowers are the lovely yellow catkins that dangle and are blown about in the wind so the pollen lands on the tiny red female flowers.  However they can’t be self pollinated, they must be pollinated by another hazel.  There are only a few flowers on the Pieris so maybe there has been some frost damage – we shall see if we get more later.

It was March 13th when we spotted the first frog spawn in the pond.  It was difficult to count the individual clump but I would guess that there are at least 5 clumps, so we have at least 5 female frogs about.  We did find a couple of dead frogs in the pond after winter but I have no idea what sex they were.

The crab apple that we planted last autumn has survived the winter and has tiny buds on so I am hopeful that we get some blossom when the weather warms up a little.  At the moment it is sunshine and showers with a drop in temperature due at the weekend.  We have put up blinds in the conservatory on the left side only as this is the direction that it gets the sun from.  We will wait and see if that is enough shading for the plants but we may have to get a couple on the ceiling too.  It is may favourite place to be in when the sun shines just now.

On a very sad note: Kate Dick, our Duddingston Kirk Garden Club president has passed away after a short illness.  She will be sadly missed by us all at the club.  RIP Kate.

witch hazel shrub Diane
Hamamelis intermedia ‘Diane’
witch hazel Diane orangey red spidery flowers
Hamamelis intermedia ‘Diane’ flowers
Berberis flowers about to open
Berberis x lologensis ‘Apricot Queen’
winter honeysuckle flowers
Lonicera fragrantissima
Pieris white flowers
Pieris japonica ‘Forest flame’
corkskrew hazel yellow male katkins
Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’
male yellow catkins and tiny red female flowers of hazel
Corylus male and female flowers
yellow primula flowers
Primula vulgaris
Hellebore white double flowers with purple spots
Hellebore double white with purple spots
single white flowers of hellebore
Hellebore single, white
single purple flowers on hellebore
Hellebore single, purple
single dark purple hellebore flowers
Hellebore single, dark purple
frilly pink double hellebore flowers
Hellebore  double, Picotee
erythronium white flowes
Erythronium ‘Snowflake’
frog spawn in garden pond
Frog spawn March 13th 2023
tortrix moth larva in silk threads on leaf
Tortrix moth larva on Easter cactus

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