The Month of… March
It’s Spring! It’s Spring! Okay – maybe the weather’s not quite as spring-like as we’d like it to be just yet, but certainly the beginning of the month heralds the start of meteorological spring and we have the spring equinox in March. They count, don’t they? Being a pivotal moment of the Roman calendar, March or Martius was the first month and remained that way in Britain until 1752; some old land tenancies still run from the Lady Day to Lady Day (25th). March was considered the month when both farming and warfare could begin. Well, you wouldn’t want to be out crusading in the snow, would you? Other notable dates this month include: Mother’s Day on Sunday 11th, Palm Sunday on the 25th and Good Friday on the 30th.
In the Garden: Once the snowdrop flowers have finished you can start lifting, separating and replanting any big clumps of snowdrops that are
hopefully filling your garden! Other early-flowering bulbs such as crocus and daffodils are starting to bring some welcome colour into the garden. Now’s the time to order your plug plants and get the greenhouse cleaned down and organised! If it’s dry enough, you can even start the first cuts of the lawn.
“ Now’s the time to get the greenhouse cleaned down and organised!”
In the Kitchen: This month, leeks are one of the last veg still standing in the plot. If you fancy some Glamorgan sausages for St David’s day, mix two slow-cooked leeks with crumbled Caerphilly cheese, a handful of breadcrumbs, two beaten eggs and some chopped thyme and parsley. Chill in the fridge then form into sausage shapes, roll in breadcrumbs and fry – yum! Also in season in March, you’ll find purple sprouting broccoli, kale and spring onions in the vegetable garden. Halibut, red mullet, and lemon sole from the sea with the last of the mussels and oysters before they spawn in late spring. Sheep’s and goat’s milk cheeses are good now too, made from the fresh new milk.
“ This month, leeks are one of the last veg still standing in the plot.”
Facts and Figures: Once again, the average sea temperature drops. It’s down to 8.2º. A whole degree centigrade down from what it was in January: but with gaining another one hour and twenty-five minutes of daylight, it’s going to feel a whole lot better this month… even with it being as likely to snow as it was in February! The vernal (spring) equinox this year is on the 20th of the month, and don’t forget to put your clocks forward by an hour on the 25th, for the start of British Summer Time. With not having a full moon last month, as in January we’re treated to two: the 2nd and the 31st. Aquamarine, the birthstone of March, has a rich colour and has long been a symbol of youth, health and hope. No flower embodies spring quite like the daffodil, so it’s quite appropriate that March’s birth flower is the narcissus. These cheerful yellow flowers are named after the character in Greek mythology who was so in love with himself he drowned in a pool of water whilst admiring his own reflection. Narcissi aren’t just a symbol of vanity though, they are said to symbolise new beginnings, rebirth and rejuvenation. They also represent faithfulness due to their ability to bloom year after year. The two zodiac signs are Pisces that runs to the twentieth of March and Aries into April. If you have a birthday in March, you share the month with George I (28th), Sir Elton John (25th), Ewan McGregor (31st), Alexander Graham Bell (3rd) and Dame Vera Lynn (20th) to name but a few!