GBFD: March 2015

Christina at My Hesperides Garden hosts Garden Bloggers Foliage Day each month. I missed it yesterday, but better late than never:

daff buds

My snowdrops and crocus finished their show a week or two ago, but the daffodils will take their place very soon. We bought our house at the end of March, many years ago, and I remember the day we closed on the house we drove by, and the front garden was full of waving yellow blossoms.

nettles and comfrey

Stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) and comfrey (Symphytum officinale) grow in a half-barrel in my garden, providing an enduring source of fertilizer.

The fertilizer barrel woke up last week as well. For two years now, I’ve grown stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) and comfrey (Symphytum officinale) in a half whiskey barrel to produce homegrown liquid fertilizer. Concocting this homebrew is not for the weak of stomach: It reeks. But the nettles provide a terrific source of nitrogen, and the comfrey provides nitrogen, potassium, calcium and phosphorus, which helps promote root growth and blooming/fruiting. My garden plants love it, and the tea feeds the soil.

Red stems and budding green leaves of Salix 'Hakura-Nishiki.'

Red stems and budding green leaves of Salix ‘Hakura-Nishiki.’

And my willows are leafing out. I’m new to growing willows but love the fact that I can whack them back in early spring and they’ll produce lots of lush growth each year. I’m not whacking them this year; I only planted them last fall, so I plan to give them a season to get settled in. I have, however, cut a few twigs to make willow water, which promotes rooting in cuttings. I’ll talk about that in a separate post.

I hope you northern-hemisphere types are enjoying spring wherever you are.


4 thoughts on “GBFD: March 2015

  1. I love daffodils in big swathes, I would have bought your house just for the daffodils! I used to grow Comfrey for liquid feed and I used the leaves as a mulch around soft fruit bushes, but I haven’t been able to find it here in Italy and it doesn’t grow from seed, does it? Thanks for joining in GBFD, it is great to have a new face!

  2. I make smelly nettle and comfrey liquid fertiliser too. It is wonderful stuff. I am intrigued by the idea of willow water. Looking forward to learning about it.

  3. I thought maybe you were growing stinging nettle for the red admiral butterflies – it is a host for red admiral caterpillars, along with false nettle. Looks like spring has settled in nicely over there!

    • Spring has definitely settled in. We may get a frost later this week, but temperatures have been so pleasant. I haven’t noticed any red admiral butterflies on my nettles. I will be on the lookout this year, though!

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