Hardy Perennial Flowers in March

posted in: Gardening | 13

There are many more hardy perennial flowers in March. March is synonymous with blustery and breezy days. There’s the stirring of new life and dew wet mornings.  The sap is rising and buds are swelling.  Frosty mornings give us a nip in the air. While a little warm sunshine coaxes the flowers to open and encourages the bees out of their winter slumber ...along with the gardener!

I’m never all that sure when to start calling it Spring.  As far as the UK Met Office are concerned we’re already in spring but astronomically we’ve still got to wait another 5 days  for the equinox.  Here on the blog I use the meteorological seasons dividing each year into 4 equal season of 3 months each.  So whether it’s still late winter or early spring with you – here in Perthshire we’ve had some lovely spring-like weather.  Even the native dandelions, coltsfoot and lesser celandine have started to flower in the hedgerows  While here in the garden there’s lots of floral eye candy appearing.

Yesterday evening I popped out and took a few very quick snapshots of the garden to let you see what’s in bloom for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – 15th March 2014.  The ground was much too damp to lie on to spend time taking ‘arty’ shots of the flowers and it was just so windy.


Hardy Perennial Flowers

Hardy perennial flowers Lenten roses and English Cowslips in flower in the March garden
Hardy perennial flowers: Lenten roses and Cowslips

There are the dark coloured Helleborus hybridus – Lenten roses contrasting with the yellow  Primula veris ‘Cabrillo’ – cowslips.

This is actually where there’s some real candy as the native cowslip flowers and leaves are supposed to taste sweet (I’ve never tried) and sometimes they are used as cake decorations and in herbal teas.  I’m not so sure if it’s the same with this commercial ‘Cabrillo’ variety of cowslip and I don’t have much of an adventurous palette to want to find out.

Hardy perennial flowers Cyclamen coum | Sowbread in flower in the March garden
Cyclamen coum | Sowbread

Then there’s a little pocket of pink from the Cyclamen coum as seen through one of the Stipa grasses.

Daphne mezereum 'Rubra' with its fragrant purple red blooms
Daphne mezereum ‘Rubra’ with its fragrant purple red blooms

The Daphne mezereum ‘Rubra’ has actually flowered!  I took a chance last year and moved this shrub as it was growing in too windy a location.  It’s growth pattern was developing quite a windswept look with a distinct horizontal appearance.  A little tweaking of the rootball when replanting made sure that it would grow vertically from now on in it’s new home.  This plant hates root disturbance so hopefully it will forgive and forget that move and thrive at least a few more years in the garden. (edit to add that it hated the move and eventually died.)

Contorted Hazel

The Corkscrew hazel - Corylus avellana 'Contorta' male catkins
The Corkscrew hazel commonly known as Harry Lauder’s walking stick

The Corkscrew hazel – Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’ has started to unfurl its male catkins.



Hardy perennial flowers Hellebore niger with Muscari armeniacum 'Valerie Finnis'
Hardy perennial flowers: Hellebore niger with Muscari armeniacum ‘Valerie Finnis’

Hellebore niger is in flower in different parts of the garden. While some of the forced powder blue grape hyacinths have now been planted outdoors. The Muscari armeniacum ‘Valerie Finnis’  bulbs which weren’t forced for winter flowering will probably be in bloom by the end of March.

Hardy perennial flowers Forsythia 'Weekend', Tête-à-tête daffodils, Pink Anemone blanda (top row) Witch hazel 'Orange Beauty', Pulmonaria rubra, Hellebore 'Tutu' and Crocus (bottom row)
Forsythia ‘Weekend’, Tête-à-tête daffodils, Pink Anemone blanda (top row)
Witch hazel ‘Orange Beauty’, Pulmonaria rubra, Hellebore ‘Tutu’ and Crocus (bottom row)

Then there’s an array of colour from the yellow Forsythia x intermedia ‘Week End’, the Narcissus ‘Tête-à-tête’ and the perfumed Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Orange Beauty’.


There are clumps of the Pulmonaria rubra growing in the wet and shady parts of the garden.  This plant starts to bloom in January though it has coarse green leaves rather than spotted ones.  While Helleborus orientalis ‘Tutu’ and  Crocus chrysanthus ‘Cream Beauty’  brighten up the area near the Silver Pear Tree.

Hardy perennial flowers pale pink hellebore growing alongside snowflake bulbs
pale pink hellebore growing alongside snowflake bulbs

The pale pink hellebore is a seedling from the garden having the darker Lenten rose and white Hellebore niger as parents.  While the spring snowflakes – Leucojum vernum grow between the two hellebores.

Snowdrops and Pulmonaria

single flowering snowdrops - Galanthus nivalis in flower in March
single flowering snowdrops – Galanthus nivalis

There are lots of snowdrops in the garden.While some have finished flowering in the sunnier parts of the garden. These ones grow in the shade along side the Pulmonaria officinalis.

Hardy perennial flowers Snowdrops and Pulmonaria flowers
Hardy perennial flowers: Snowdrops and Pulmonaria flowers


Daffodils and Crocus

The Tête-à-tête daffodils started to flower in the last week of February
I was surprised to see the Tête-à-tête daffodils start to flower in the last week of February in this container.  I’ve had these bulbs  in this container for a couple of years.

The early flowering Tête-à-tête daffodils feature quite a bit in the garden at this time of year in containers and in the flower borders.

Hardy perennial flowers pale yellow Primrose Emily, Stipa grass, Yellow crocus and snowdrops
Primrose Emily, stipa grass, yellow crocus and snowdrops

The crocus season is nearly at an end now but I love this combination of the stipa grasses, Primula ‘Emily’, and daffodils contrasting with the lilac Crocus tommasinianus ‘Whitewell Purple’.  If you remember back to my last post – Winter on the Wane I didn’t think these crocus would even flower this year as I only planted them in December … one of those bargain buys!   Most crocus experts will tell you that you need to plant crocus as soon as possible in early autumn.  Just like the Daphne I seem to have got away with it this time!

What about you … are there any signs of Spring appearing in your garden just yet or are you still in the grips of Winter?


Follow Rosie Nixon:

Photography Tutor and Gardener

Rosie is a garden photographer, writer and nature lover. She enjoys soaking up nature and is easily distracted from doing the weeding by anything that flutters, flies, buzzes, creeps or crawls! She enjoys sharing the beauty of creation through her photography. Rosie has been featured on TV on BBC2's The Beechgrove Garden and she uses the outdoors as her natural light studio. Her work can be seen at one of Scotland's only photography galleries - Close Gallery, 4b Howe Street, Edinburgh. She also writes and shares her nature images on www.irelandbirdphotography.com

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13 Responses

  1. Dorothy Borders

    Such lovely March blossoms you have. I particularly love the hellebore, and those lenten roses and cowslips are sweet. Happy Bloom Day.

  2. chloris

    You have lots in bloom. Lovely to find your blog. l'm glad you didn't have to lie on the wet grass for your art. I am surprised that you managed to move the Daphne. I have never managed it. Everything else gets moved so much that my plants duck when I walk by. But Daphnes just die when I move them. In fact they sometimes just die for no apparent reason.

  3. rusty duck

    It's looking very Springlike there Rosie. Daphne mezereum has been on my want list for quite a while. Love that depth of colour on the bare branches. It seems to have forgiven you well enough!

  4. Jean Campbell

    Your Bloom Day Blooms are stunning. Spring has come to your part of the world. Looks good here, too, after an ugly winter. Happy Bloom Day.

  5. Andrea

    Hi Rosie, yes they are real floral candies, but is still prefer the snowdrops and crocuses. They are the reasons i also wait for springs at the other side of our world. What is good with winter is that everyone tends to anticipate spring for growth and beauties, unlike here that vegetation seems to be there all the time except for some which really get lost during our dry season.

  6. Angie

    It's all go up there Rosie – hasn't it been good just to get out into the garden. Your corkscrew hazel is gorgeous – what a feature to have in the garden. I not quite jumping the gun and calling spring yet but am happily enjoying the spring like weather.
    I love how the hellebores set of their growing partners, whether it be Snowflakes, daffs or muscari – clever planting.

  7. Hannah

    The cold brown winter really sets me up for those spring flowers too. I'm also enjoying a lot of the same flowers. I like your Pulmonaria and Snowdrop photo, my Snowdrops were new last year so have not developed into clumps yet, and finished before the Pulmonaria started. The twisty Hazelnuts are very special, especially as they get bigger, and I like your collage, essentially spring.

  8. Julie Adolf

    Your garden is full of blooms! I've been coveting the Harry Lauder's Walking Stick–I think it's time I added it to my garden. I love your photo of it.

  9. ann

    You have such a lovely variety of spring plants. We anxiously await our spring. The bulbs are starting to poke through and the perennial weeds have a healthy start. Last year spring was ruined by a month of late snow in April, so I hoping that we have rain if we must get moisture.

  10. Carolyn ♥

    Love your images as always, Rosie… your Spring is well beyond ours. I've decided to simply imagine Spring is here… and on my blog, it is!
    I read your link to your photography. Kudos to you sweet friend.

  11. Rick

    Great Spring 'photos. Although I have plenty of spring flowers the one plant missing is the Pulmonaria as your post reminded me. I must rectify that in time for next year.