Narzisse. | Wikipedia


The first day of spring, New Moon, the equinox and next week the clocks go forward, oh dear how much is being crowded into our week.

Even though we are told it's spring it's about now when the winter winds hit us especially in the north of the island which is when I advise that you make sure all your new young trees are secure with stakes surrounding them as in a little cage and the young trunk tied with cross bars to the stakes to help avoid root rock that can unsettle any young tree and even kill it off.

So let's turn our backs on the garden for a while and spend time on the terrace, it could be a shade warmer there.

To start of with, we have a letter from Jill Carter who asks....

Some advice please. A year ago last October I bought 80 assorted Daffodils from a local garden centre. 3 flowers only grew but lots of foliage, I decided to leave them alone until this time round. But although growing they are all blind again and so dissapointing as I look foreward to them in the spring. Shall I throw them away having only a terrace? Though spacious these blind daffodils occupy a lot of room and all for just one flower. That one was most unusual as it had a delicate white frill surrounding it. Jill also wants to share with us her good idea of stacking plant pots put together all those of one size and thread them on a piece of string to be able to hang them up.

Thank you for that note Jill, plant pots can end up in untidy little stacks all round the garden or terrace.

And now to comment on your Daffodil bulbs, as you say, what a disappointment.

I consulted with a bulb expert who had actually shown Daffodils in completion when living in the UK.

His comment was that they should not be dug up just yet but left until the leaves die back, during this time the bulbs will be absorbing the goodness from the greenery hopefully to prepare them for the next flowering season.


Now when you do dig them up you may well find that the bulbs all have little ones forming off the main larger bulb which could well be the reason they didn’t flower, they frequently don’t do both things at once, grow new bulbs and flower.

Dig them up, dry them out, carefully rub off any small bulbs and keep them all in a dry place until planting time next autumn.

I am sorry to have to admit that I have never had a show of Daffodils like this year, some that have been in the ground for several years and others that I bought from a local supermarket last autumn and like your frilly one there is the most unusual assortment of different coloured and forms of Daffodil.

That’s just good luck because I didn’t really know what I was buying other than ‘assorted Daffodils’.

Now we have moved out onto the terrace there will always be ‘things to do’, as it's a growing moon it is always a good time to plant seeds, think of your favourite summer flowers that will grow well in pots.

Sweet Pea

Try Sweet Peas that even though they will need some support, they will give another dimension to plants on a terrace along side the bedding plants either grown from seed or already mature little plants with flowers so that you can see the colours you want.

There are some small shrubs that do better on a terrace here due to the soil content that can be supervised in pots rather than in the garden like Hydrangeas, Magnolia or Camelias.

Even plant up a few vegetables that do well in pots like early tomatoes, or potatoes in an old bucket just to use up those potatoes that have started to root in the vegetable rack!! Good compost is essential , sacks of it can be bought at garden centres or even some supermarkets have sacks on offer from time to time.

Whilst up-ending the plant pots to change the soil, be sure to look for the dreaded vine weevil that lives off plant roots and can decimate any fleshy root.

There will still be some windy weather about for a week or two and some heavy rain showers so put delicate potted plants in a sheltered corner if possible.

Top tips

There are some small shrubs that do better on a terrace here due to the soil content that can be supervised in pots rather than in the garden like Hydrangeas, Magnolia or Camelias.