the month of new life, is named after Mars, the Roman God of War. It’s only the fourth day today and already March has lived up to its name and nature, roaring in like a lion. To a gardener like me it seems to be the most provocative and exciting month of the year, full of promise, albeit broken at a moment’s notice. March flirts with the sun, calling you out to admire the many signs of new growth, only to fling pellets of hail at you the moment you put your trust in the brave light. Blizzards, showers of grey, cold rain, followed by the treacherous breath of a soft south westerly breeze which quickly turns into an icy gale bringing renewed snow flurries as soon as you discard your woolly hat. My longing for an hour in the garden lures me out to prowl among the beds and borders, secateurs at the ready; twenty minutes later I scuttle back to my warm hearth, fingers frozen. Even the most battle-hardened gardener’s enthusiasm is forced to retreat before the eccentricities of the March barometer.
the crocuses are out in their early glory. They may be small and unremarkable, but look closely and their simple beauty will astound you. Then there’s the pigeon taking a long, slow look at the huge conifer in the hedge which year after year provides a home for it and its family.
It’s the early bird which takes up residence in good time, ensuring a favourable position on the housing ladder.
there are the glossy leaved periwinkles, evergreen and growing anywhere, in sun and shade, in woodlands or as here, with roots in the foundations of a brick wall. In a mild winter the periwinkle will give you a few blossoms as early as January.
In France the periwinkle, which is sometimes called ‘the Magician’s Violet’, is considered the emblem of sincere friendship, and as such is much used in their language of flowers. The English have adopted this evergreen plant as the representative of ‘Tender Recollection’. In Italy the country people make garlands of this plant, to place upon the biers of their deceased children, for which reason they name it the ‘Flower of Death’. But in Germany it is the symbol of immortality, and, because its fine glossy myrtle-green leaves flourish all through the winter, they term it ‘Wintergreen’.
From The Language of Flowers 19th Century