Left Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your cart

You might like
The March Garden at Aberglasney 2022

The March Garden at Aberglasney 2022

I seem to have been waiting for March for many months and now that it has finally arrived I am sure that I won’t be disappointed. As the first month of spring it is full of hope and anticipation of the new growing season to come. However, gardeners need to be aware that it can also be a tricky month as far as the weather is concerned which can vary between warm sunshine one day, a hard frost the next to be followed by wind and rain much like we have just experienced in February.  I hope that you and your gardens survived the February storms as we just about did and that you are looking forward to getting out into the garden for some much needed spring exercise. As I said last March though don’t be tempted to do too much too soon, instead choose the good weather days and pace yourselves.

At the end of February in our own garden the winter flowering shrubs such as Hamamelis, Cornus mas, Sarcoccoca, and Viburnum x bodnantense are coming to the end of their flowering period but they have been joined by Chaenomeles ‘Knaphill Scarlet’ and Camellia williamsii ‘Anticipation’. At ground level the Snowdrops and Daffodils are providing lots of much appreciated flower, as are the Hellebores and Pulmonarias. Soon they will be joined by the blue flowers of Brunnera and Omphaloides and the yellows and purples of Primulas. I wrote about and photographed all these in last year’s March blog which you may wish to look through again. Also to be found in March 2021 is my blog on Gardening with Wildlife in Mind which may also be of interest.

As for Aberglasney in late February I am delighted to say that there are signs of spring all over the garden promising much for the new month to come. The visitor is greeted by a wonderful display of Daffodils just inside the entrance and beneath the two magnificent trees on the edge of the north lawn. As you would expect as we celebrate St. David’s Day there are Daffodils, the national flower of Wales, in almost every part of the garden. Aberglasney is actually home to over 450 different varieties of Narcissus, commonly known as the Daffodil, or ‘Cennin Pedr’ in Welsh/yn Gymraeg. In the Cloister Garden beyond the mansion, however, it is the Crocus which takes centre stage, planted as they are in the grassed areas between the gravel paths.

There are also promising signs of growth in the Upper Walled Garden where later in the season the Tulips will dominate the spring planting. In the Lower Walled Garden the trained fruit trees and the Crab Apple Tunnel are the main interest at this time of year with the ‘Belgian Fence’ on the high west facing wall seeming to tower above the rest of the garden. The gardeners have clearly been hard at work to get the winter pruning finished ready for the business of sowing and planting which will soon follow.

 Around the pool the Tearooms during our visit were very well supported on a sunny day in late February and it was great to see that on our arrival in mid-morning that there were very few spaces left in the main car park. In the border by the Tearooms the first Forget-me-nots, Myosotis, are in flower and I for one can’t wait to see them all with their Tulip companions later in the season. Just around the corner is a bed of beautiful Hellebores and a stunning Daphne absolutely full of white flowers which even though it is at the back of the border fills the air along the path with its fantastic perfume.

In the Sunken Garden all is quiet and peaceful with the Wisteria Tunnel pruned and ready to do its thing in the months to come. Here there are signs of new growth everywhere but one shrub really catches the eye as it has for several months, Pieris japonica ‘Bonfire’, which is full of pink, bell-like flowers at this time of year.

Further on into the garden the Woodland and Stream area has clearly suffered from the strong winds in the three storms in the second half of February. On the day of our visit there were lots of leaves, twigs and even small branches on the ground and, perhaps not surprisingly but very sadly, one of the large trees had also succumbed to the wind. Most of the debris had already been cleared away just a week after Storm Eunice the previous Friday but the giant root pad and lower trunk of the fallen tree were still there and I suspect will be for some time as a reminder of the sometimes destructive power of nature.

On a brighter note just a few feet away was a more optimistic sign, the early growth of Gunnera manicata just beginning to erupt through its winter covering of leaves. It is hard to imagine that by mid-summer these stalks and leaves will be over 2 metres tall and almost the same across! Not far away are other signs that the new growing season is upon us with Primrose, Bergenia and Cyclamen all in flower beneath the tall trees all of which had stood firm during the storms.

 In the nearby pool the Bullrush sculpture also stands out at this time showing a quite striking contrast between the black flower stalks and the bright green leaves.

At a higher level than the ground cover plants some of the shrubs and trees are also beginning to add some flower colour with a pale-flowered Ribes, Flowering Currant, and a beautiful pink flowered Cherry, Prunus, catching the eye.

 Other trees and shrubs are not far behind as their swelling flower buds show, the most obvious of these being the Magnolias with their large, furry flower buds promising much over the coming weeks and months.

We have moved by this point on our walk around the gardens to the Alpinum, Bishop Rudd’s Walk and the Asiatic Garden and at the edge of the Alpinum the stand out plant as it has been for several months is Cornus ‘Midwinter Fire’ which was at its best on this sunny day in late February.

Nearby are large drifts of dwarf Narcissi and small patches of Winter Aconite, Eranthis hyemalis, with its hardy, yellow flowers and frilly collars of green leaves. Both yellow and purple Crocus also add their glorious brightness to the area in and around the Alpinum.

 The newly created Stumpery is also an interesting addition to this part of the garden where head gardener Joseph and his team are trialling shade tolerant plants and just across the path is a very strange plant, actually a type of Horse Chestnut, Aesculus hippocastrum ‘Monstrosa’. It is well named as at this time of year it appears ‘not of this world’ and, at least in my eyes, not particularly attractive.

  However, the same can definitely not be said of the plants which are found in good number just a little further along the path, the Hellebores. They dominate this part of the garden enjoying the shade and no doubt the leaf mould provided by the trees in this area just upslope from the Alpinum. They come in a range of colours from white, yellow, purple and a whole range of pinks and many have attractive spots, blotches and freckles on the insides of their petals. It is no wonder that the Plant Sales area has many of these wonderful Hellebores for sale and on our visit it seemed that almost every visitor was walking back to their car with at least one Hellebore purchase!

Beyond this area in the Asiatic Garden the main interest at this time is provided by the numerous Camellias and right at the top of the slope a beautiful yellow-stemmed Bamboo catches the eye, not recommended for the small garden but perfectly suited to this setting.

As I am sure you know already there are lots of jobs to keep us all busy in March. The full list is given in the March 2020 blog and a more detailed look at what Teresa and I will be doing in our March garden is to be found in the March 2021 blog. This includes shrub pruning of roses as well as the late flowering shrubs such as Buddleja, Lavatera, Sambucus, Leycestaria, hardy Fuchsias as well as cutting back both the evergreen and deciduous grasses. If pruning is a bit of a mystery or worry for you then you might like to have a look at my blog on Pruning Roses in February 2021. Other March jobs include starting work on the lawn, seed sowing, top dressing beds and borders and dividing clumps of herbaceous perennials.

I hope you have enjoyed your March ‘virtual visit’ to Aberglasney and if you would like to discover more about the garden more information can be found at info@aberglasney.org and if you are really into blogs then head gardener Joseph Atkin has his own blog to be found at www.aberglasney.org/head-gardeners-blog.

I will be back in April for our penultimate visit to Aberglasney and hopefully some news about restarting our gardening talks at the Old Railway Line which by the way has recently  been awarded ‘Best Garden Centre’ in their group for the whole of the UK. Well done them and well done us for living within reach of them, we don’t know how lucky we are. Until then I wish you all good health and good gardening.


Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.