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Nature Diaries - March

Published on March 29th 2019
A pink flower on a plant

Not long now!

In March it can often feel like winter is never going to end. Apart from two beautifully sunny (and somewhat disconcerting) days at the end of February, the weather recently has been fairly gloomy. When it’s like this, it is all too tempting to sit on the sofa wrapped in blankets watching Netflix. It is on these already dreary days that it is all the more important to get outside and get some fresh air.
Rain can be refreshing, and I particularly enjoyed stopping to watch ripples in a large pond on one of these drizzly days. There are also plenty of signs of spring around to make these outings worthwhile. The bonus being that when you return, the house, the sofa and the blankets will all still be there, and will feel all the cosier as a result of getting outside.
A bird perched on a tree branch

Ducks in the display tunnel

It seems that birds are going to feature heavily in my nature diaries this year. A couple of my entries this month have read ‘buzzards circling and crying to one another’ and ‘blue tits chirping’. Bird watching is incredibly mindful. I have found that it is always worth taking a few seconds to stop and watch them if they catch your eye. We even had a pair of ducks at work waddle their way into the selling area and spend a morning dabbling in the water feature!


The low hum of bees is a sound I usually associate with late spring and summer, but plenty of our pollinators have been out to work this month. Although bees are a happy sight, it is always a little concerning when they emerge early in case the weather dips again. With this in mind, I’ve picked up several tired looking bees from the pavements at work this month and put them on the large heather in the hope they perk up!

RHS Garden Wisley

At the beginning of the month, I celebrated my 23rd Birthday. To mark the occasion I spent a few days back in Surrey with my family, and a visit to RHS Wisley provided me with some wonderful photos to document the best that March has to offer! The Magnolia and Cornus were particularly stunning, and the structure of these in the gardens was inspiring. I was also captivated by the bark of a cherry tree (Prunus himalaica) which was very ornamental and had a great texture.
A close up of some pink Prunus 'Kanzan' blossom flowers

Japanese Flowering Cherry 'Kanzan'

Prunus 'Kanzan'


Magnolia spp.


Cornus spp.

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Hedgerows and hellebores

There are plenty of flowers around in March that are worth getting outside for, but I do have some favourites. One is, predictably, the Daffodil. They are just undeniably cheerful. Another is Hellebores, which come in so many varieties that they create real interest at this time of year. On top of this, hedgerows are showing signs of life - hurrah! Tiny bright green leaves have started to peep through, meaning spring is well and indeed on its way.
A yellow flower
My diary continues to encourage me to notice little moments in nature, and I look forward to all the beautiful sights that spring will hold! That’s all for this month, share your March highlights with me using #naturediaries or tagging @thebristolbotanist.

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