What’s in Bloom Now? March Garden Update


By Thea Hegland

 March is finally here, filled with all the inspiration, hopes, and promises that springtime brings. Early Narcissus have begun to appear amongst drifts of colourful Crocus. Delicate blue daisy-like flowers of Anemone blanda (Windflower) will soon be blooming along the walk exiting The Sunken Garden in a stunning display of elegant simplicity. Pink Rhododendron and other early flowering spring shrubs and trees including Magnolia stellata (Star magnolia) and Prunus cerasifera ‘Pissardii’ are just a few warm sunny days away from revealing their beauty.  Other highlights include the impressive Helleborus (Hellebore) collection and the classic spring beauty Erica (Heather) in masses of pinks and whites. Pretty Viola (Pansy) baskets delight with cheerful flowers.

                      Early flowering Rhododendron

March also signals the start of one of the busiest times of the year for our Gardening Staff. Flower beds are cleaned up after winter, the perennials divided, trees and shrubs will need pruning and dead-wooding. Greenhouse Technicians are busy propagating plants for the upcoming seasons. Dahlia cuttings are taken, Begonia seedlings are ready to be “pricked out” and the cuttings taken in January have been rooted and are now ready to make the journey from sand to soil as they get potted up.

                   Helleborus (Hellebore)

To offer a deeper perspective of what lies ahead in our world-renowned garden, the spring display showcases approximately 180,000 biennial plants and 300,000 bulbs; to be more specific there are 88 varieties /80,000 of Narcissus (Daffodil) bulbs, 185 varieties /160,000 of Tulipa (Tulip) bulbs as well as 60,000 assorted bulbs of Hyacinthus (Hyacinth), Crocus, Scilla, and Muscari (Grape Hyacinth). Amongst a wide range of unique and interesting Narcissus (Daffodil) and Tulipa (Tulip) in the collection, this year will also feature some new very creative combinations that we are excited to see come to fruition this spring. A fairly new team of designers, are eager to get their ideas on display under the careful guidance of our seasoned designer and Director of Horticulture, Carlos. With his years of experience, he does try to reign in our excitement while letting us experiment with new ideas. The collaboration of designs has proven to be a lesson on both sides and we can’t wait to see what combinations work. Carlos has given us creative oversight with a few beds this year, so he is also in for some surprises!

             Narcissus add burst of colour throughout the gardens

Meanwhile, step inside The Spring Prelude indoor garden and be suddenly immersed into spring. It is here you will find rotating displays of Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinth, Cherry blossoms and so much more!  With a few weeks left to enjoy this incredible display, discover this pleasant oasis filled with interesting plants and flowers, complemented by a tranquil koi pond and a tropical area that features unique combinations of texture and colour. Although not a spring flower, be sure to check out the Albuca spiralis ‘Frizzle Sizzle ‘amongst the tropical display.

                Spring Prelude indoor garden display open until March 20

This should keep everyone content until the spring show gains momentum in The Gardens!


Plants, trees, and shrubs that are currently blooming
  • Acer palmatum dissectum (Japanese maple)
  • Anemone blanda (Windflower)
  • Aucuba japonica (Spotted laurel)
  • Bellis (English daisy)
  • Bergenia (Elephant’s ears)
  • Camellia
  • Chionodoxa (Glory of the snow)
  • Cornus mas
  • Correa (Australian fuchsia)
  • Cotoneaster
  • Cyclamen
  • Daphne odora
  • Eranthis (Winter aconite)
  • Erica (Heather)
  • Eriobotrya japonica (Loquat)
  • Galanthus (Snowdrop)
  • Garrya elliptica (Silk- tassel bush)
  • Hamamelis (Witch hazel)
  • Helleborus (Christmas rose)
  • Jasminium nudiflorum (Winter jasmine)
  • Mahonia x media ‘Charity’ (Oregon grape)
  • Nandina domestica (Heavenly bamboo)
  • Narcissus (Daffodil)
  • Ophiopogon planiscapus (Black mondo grass)
  • Pansy
  • Pieris (Lily -of – the valley shrub)
  • Polyanthus (Primula)
  • Pyracantha
  • Rhododendron
  • Sarcococca (Christmas box)
  • Skimmia japonica
  • Viburnum x bodnantense
  • Viburnum tinus
  • Viola