the happy days of March

March is all about unfurling buds, dancing daffodils, newborn lambs hopping in the grassland, fresh greens, hanging the wash out on a bright and sunny day, spring cleaning, lighter evenings, the bees from our beehive are flying out, the birds are starting to make nests, … Probably you can make this list much longer! But I think we can agree March is the month of spring and symbol of hope for happy things to come.

Unfolding leaves from our garden: hawthorn, apple tree, black berry and lilacs.

As spring is almost here, we’re going back and forth between spring and winter. Some days are as balmy as April; others still feel like the middle of winter. Some days are full of birdsong and bursts of growth while others remain cold and frosty. Yesterday it was a warm spring day and I worked in the garden all day, surrounded by the lovely songs of the birds and the crocuses that opened their petals. But today it’s raining and cold and the crocuses keep their petals folded up (who would blame them when it’s cold and wet?!); I have to wear my woollen scarf and a warm coat again.

For me, the best way to bring the season inside, is to pick seasonal flowers, branches or whatever that grows in season. A posy picked straight from the garden or nature is always going to make a house rooted in the season! For now we have blooming catkins from the forest willow, early green leaves from the hazelnut, some hellebores and wild rose leaves.

 

The stormy March is come at last,
With wind, and cloud, and changing skies,
I hear the rushing of the blast,
That through the snowy valley flies.

Ah, passing few are they who speak,
Wild stormy month! in praise of thee;
Yet, though thy winds are loud and bleak,
Thou art a welcome month to me.

For thou, to northern lands, again
The glad and glorious sun dost bring,
And thou hast joined the gentle train
And wear’st the gentle name of Spring.

And, in thy reign of blast and storm,
Smiles many a long, bright, sunny day,
When the changed winds are soft and warm,
And heaven puts on the blue of May.

Bryant

 

The first wildflowers and herbs are growing now. In March you can already forage green leaves and herbs to add to a spring salad. Last week I found the first blooming lesser celandine at the riverside in the back of our garden, coltsfoot alongside a path where we daily cycle to school and also the hawthorn leaves in our garden are coming out.

This lovely illustration is from one of my favourite books ” The country diary of an Edwardian Lady”. She beautifully illustrates and writes about the flora and fauna during the changing seasons. I’ve already written about herĀ here.

I hope you’ll notice some spring signs too and look forward to happy things to come!

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