There is marked change in the garden this month compared to February. Where before the only blooms were snowdrops, hellebores, winter aconites, viburnum and bergenia, March has seen the starry blossoms on the cherry plums come and go and welcomed a profusion of spring flowers.
There are daffodils of all kinds, hyacinths, and tiny blue scillas. The pulmonaria is flowering along with self-seeded primroses and cowslips, and violets that peep out from under shrubs.
The white comfrey flowers are unfurling, the summer snowflakes are breaking out of their papery cases, and the kerria is covered in cheery pom-poms.
The winter flowering clematis dangles with speckled bells, and the clematis armandii is covered in a profusion of starry flowers. To crown it all, yesterday the magnolia buds burst into bloom.
The first bees have emerged. Fat, fuzzy queen buff-tailed bumblebees (Bombus terrestris); smaller, speedy early bumblebees (Bombus pratorum); and today, on the lawn, my first sighting of a common carder bumblebee (Bombus pascuorum).
The buff-tailed queens frequent the hellebore patch, at first feeding on nectar, but now collecting pollen too, a sign that nests are being established.
The early bumblebees, so called because they tend to be the earliest to establish their nests, have been spotted feeding on and collecting nectar from the white comfrey and hellebores.
So of all the flowers in the garden this month, these are the two I love best, for its here I’m most likely to encounter my buzzy friends.