Beeware the Ides of March

March messPart of me doesn’t mind that there isn’t much in bloom in my garden right now. As ready as I am for spring, I have to admire March for hosting winter’s last hurrah. (Don’t I?) March is supposed to give us plenty to complain bitterly about and make us ache more than ever for spring’s colors and warmth. That’s its job. The garden is supposed to look beat. But tucked between winter’s worst (snow, bitter winds, raw and icy rain, what-have-you) are those divinely warm spring-like days that entice the bees out of their hives. And it’s a damn shame that there’s hardly anything in bloom for them to eat. In fact, more colonies starve in March than any other month of the year. Tragic. 

There’s precious little for them in my garden. Right now, only a witch hazel that’s been in bloom since January. Just based on looks I would say that the Salix chaenemeloides ‘Mt. Aso’ is in bloom because it’s in its kitten-fur stage, but it’s not far enough out for the bees. Even my hellebores aren’t quite there yet. Neither is the winter honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima). I have no early crocus. No snowdrops or winter aconite. No skunk cabbage. So to make this long sob story short, I’m making a mental note — you are my witness — to remedy that this coming year. (That is, any or all but the skunk cabbage since I haven’t got a bog.)

Salix chaenemeloides 'Mt. Aso'Helleborus foetidus

Have the bees been out in your garden yet? What on? Will you have more for them next year? (For a March bigger variety of blooms, check out GBBD at May Dreams Gardens.)