My Wildlife Allotment March 2020

Published: March 8, 2020

Posted on 08.03.2020 |
Added in Tales From My Wildlife Allotment

February was wet and windy here with one storm after another. I was a bit concerned that the new greenhouse might be damaged in the high winds but luckily it seems to be very solid and has weathered all storms so far. The first perennial seeds have germinated in the greenhouse but growth is very slow at the moment with night time temperatures close to 0C. Some early crocuses have been damaged by the strong winds but most of the later ones are looking really nice at the moment, adding much-needed patches of colour to the allotment. I have planted a new crocus species last year, ‘Tricolor', but the flowers came out quite early and have been damaged by the storms so I could only enjoy them for a short time. I hope next year will be better. I have cut all the remaining seed heads and deciduous grasses down now to make space for new growth, but this also means that the allotment looks a bit bare at the moment. Hopefully the weather warms up soon so that plants start growing properly again.

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Crocuses add much-needed colour to the allotment
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Pretty yellow and purple crocuses
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Crocus sieberi ‘Tricolor'

Primroses are one of my favourite early spring flowers. I have a lot of native Primula vulgaris on the allotment which self-seed quite nicely. I also seem to have acquired a white-flowered primrose which looks pretty as well. There is a very vigorous purple-flowered primrose on the allotment which I assume is Primula ‘Wanda'.  I started with a tiny which has spread into several large clumps now. At the pond edge the first flowers are appearing as well. is still in buds but pale-yellow flowered Caltha leptosepala is in full flower now, providing some pollen and nectar for early pollinators.

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Native Primula vulgaris
flowering everywhere at the moment
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A pretty mix of pale yellow and purple primroses
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Caltha leptosepala flowering
at the edge of the pond already

Many of my fruit trees have flower buds swelling nicely and a few early trees are in full flower now such as cornelian cherry (), Japanese plum () and cherry plum (Prunus cerasifera). Soon flowering will be the almond, peach and apricot trees but I am glad they have not started yet as some nights are still quite frosty.

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Prunus cerasifera has started flowering
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Prunus salicina is flowering for several weeks now
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Pretty Cornus mas flowers

For a few years I have hellebore seedlings appearing in several places on the allotment which I must have brought in with some compost mulch I applied a few years ago. Some of the plants have now reached flowering size and have revealed their pretty pink flowers. I was looking into buying a yellow-flowered hellebore for the allotment as well as they look beautiful but at the moment they are still a bit too expensive for me. But I added another nice plant to my allotment which I bought on a recent visit to Kew Gardens, a Viola odorata called ‘Coeur D'Alsace' which is still flowering. Tulipa turkestanica seems to like my allotment and comes back every year. The first plants have started flowering now. I really like wild tulips and try to add new species to the allotment every year.

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One of the self-seeded hellebores
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Viola odorata ‘Coeur D'Alsace' has an unusual colour
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The first flowers of Tulipa turkestanica are open

The first frog spawn has appeared in one of the small ponds which has warmed up a bit more than the large pond which is still too cold. The frogs have paired up in the large pond but are very inactive. Newts have arrived in the large pond as well and are already busy with courtshipping. I still put food out for the birds as it has not really warmed up yet but as soon as we get warmer days I will slowly cease the feeding as the birds can find their own food again.

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The first frog spawn
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The frogs are quite active at the moment in the small pond

I am now waiting for warmer spring days to arrive soon and plants bursting back into life. I will be back with more tales from my allotment in April.