14 Mar 2022

Goodbye Storm Moon, Hello Worm Moon

Or to put it another way, goodbye February, hello March. And hello rhubarb, wild garlic, spring flowers and first tiny blossom on the fruit trees!

Fresh picked rhubarb, chard, carrots
Harvested this morning - love that Peppermint Chard!

The folklore name for February’s full moon turned out to be very apt with Storm Eunice howling across the country. My garden spaces survived unscathed as I moved all loose structures, poles, netting, etc, to a sheltered space the day before ... and hoped. It was still scary listening to the strength of the wind battering the windows throughout the night.

My plan for February was to get organised for the growing year ahead. I set my intentions for clearing the veg patch, pruning the fruit trees and marking out the beds for this year’s veg. 

At least that was the plan but I didn't quite make it - the Herb (aka Car Park) Garden derailed my intentions. Whenever I went in there to fetch tools, I got distracted by weeds, self seeded perennials and tidying in that garden; at least the time wasn't wasted. And there’s still the Salad Garden to sweep and Veg Trugs to prepare. So much to do and so little time but I'm getting there. 

Spring flowers in bloom - hellebores, daffodils
My mystery double daff - I definitely didn't plant it! 

And now it’s very firmly spring here in London. I love watching the garden wake from its winter sleep and get genuinely excited at seeing old favourites emerge. In the Car Park (aka Herb) garden, snowdrops have come and gone, while hellebores, Iris reticulata, primula, and minnow daffodils are still flowering.  Japanese quince is blooming (the end of season fruits are good for making quince paste), and rosemary is flowering. I even saw my first bumble bee busily weaving its way along the spring flower border and off into the Fatsia flowers. 

In the veg garden there are rivers of violets in flower, moved there by garden ants (they carry off the sticky sweet coated seeds); I should move some across to the fruit tree border where they started but they’re happy where they are. In any case the fruit trees are already underplanted with tulips, hellebores, primulas, hyacinths and minnow daffs for early foraging insects.

March’s full moon aka the Worm Moon (the little wrigglers become more visible as the soil warms) will be happening on the 18th; the old Anglo Saxon name is the Lenten Moon, which means spring in old Germanic language, or Sap Moon, named after the trees breaking their winter dormancy as the sap rises. 

And that’s certainly true for my quince tree which is covered in early fresh leaf growth, way ahead of the pear trees but they won’t be far behind. There’s very little to see yet on the cherry and plum trees, and the apple trees are always the last to blossom. But buds are opening on raspberry canes and blackcurrant bushes which is always good to see. I even have a few wild strawberries starting to flower. Warm sunshine here has made a real difference!

Leaves of wild garlic.
(Not Very) Wild Garlic growing under the cherry tree

Under the cherry tree, my wild garlic (Allium ursinum) is shooting up inbetween the Cerinthe and Ajuga. The leaves are big enough to harvest for pesto or to stir through pasta. And I love that my patch is semi-domesticated and away from car fumes; definitely a good decision to grow my own!

And my favourite spring veg, rhubarb, is back on the menu, yay!  Last year I used a few pink stalks to make some rhubarb gin; the bottle sat mostly unused until a few days ago when I found it at the back of a cupboard. It was delicious, especially teamed with an orange and elderflower tonic water. 'Nuff said. 

Also making its annual appearance is rhubarb's friend, Sweet Cicely. It's supposed to combine with rhubarb to make the stalks less acidic; let me be honest here and say that I've never noticed a marked difference. However, the crunchy aniseed flavoured seeds make a delicious treat at the end of summer and the leaves are  edible. Beth Chatto recommends adding the sweet leaves to a bowl of hot plums or a salad. And why not fill an empty space in the garden with this beautiful herb? The frondy leaves are quickly joined by umbellifers of dainty white flowers.  What's not to love!  


  1. Your garden is more advanced than mine. Up here among the open farmland of north Shropshire my rhubarb is barely breaking bud! I love your violets. I remember being taught, during my RHS General Examination course, that they are vectors of various pathogens and should always be eradicated. Thank goodness attitudes are changing!
    Thanks for your early burst of spring. Best, Graham

  2. How lovely seeing all your delightful spring flowers and hearing how you are going forth and conquering! The rhubarb looks wonderful. I grew sweet cicely last year and totally forgot to taste it. I must sample the seeds this year. Good to hear it goes so well with so many things. Here's to an end of the storms and some better weather.xxx


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