Monthly Archives: April 2024

flower combinations in the stumpery

End of April 2024

Finally we have had a few nice days – still cold but not quite so wet.  The news was saying that we have the wettest 18 months till March this year since records began (maybe they just meant England but we have been very wet up here too).  I am still eagerly waiting for some signs of new growth from a few newly planted plants (last year) but so far it looks like they have died.   I had also taken quite a few Nepeta Junior Walker cuttings to sell at the Duddingston Kirk Garden Club sale but sadly they didn’t make it.  Some nepata in the stumpery also didn’t make it.  I found vine weevil grubs in one of the large pots on the patio that contained  some heuchera,  but at least I managed to take cuttings of the heuchera and saved them, I then fed the grubs to the birds.  I found one adult vine weevil in the conservatory but so far I haven’t found grubs in any of the plants in there, that may be because I put a top layer of gravel on the succulents so it couldn’t lay it’s eggs in the soil.  So, I have ordered vine weevil nematodes to treat the patio, conservatory and back garden.  I hate the blighters – apparently every adult is female and they can lay hundreds of eggs from April to September.  Just as well they can’t fly.   Trouble is, that to use the nematodes you need a soil temperature of above 5ºC and wet soil.  In Scotland we have to wait a while longer than England before the soil temperature is high enough for the nematodes to survive.  The temperature is ok now so I had better get on with it.

vine weevil grubs in a brown saucer
Vine weevil grubs

Most of the narcissi have gone over now except for the narcissi Pipit  Most of the tulips are over, as is the cherry tree, mahonia, spirea Bridal wreath, rosemary and  the epimediums.  Now taking over are the saxifrage mossy white and saxifrage andresii carpet purple along with the purple honesty, white wood anemones, bluey purple pulmonaria and yellow erythroniums in the stumpery.    The bright orange berberis is looking good just now and the ferns are all just beginning to unfurl their fronds.

flower combinations in the stumpery
Colour in the stumpery
saxifrage mossy white
Saxifrage mossy white
red coloured saxifrage plant
Saxifage andresii Carpet purple

There are loads of little splashes of purple all around the back garden from the Viola labradorica.  Not only does it have delightful little purple flowers but the leaves take on a purple tinge too.  They will self seed everywhere but I love them.  People do say that to make your garden feel more cohesive it is good to do repeat planting, either the same plant in various places around the garden or a similar colour repeated throughout.  I have done this with a few plants such as the viola, bugle, perrywinkle, hellebores, geraniums and aquilegias.  I was hoping to do the same thing with nepeta and erigeron but a few of the erigeron just died leaving empty spaces in some areas.  One of my spirea japonica white gold died too but the one right beside it is fine – I have no idea what happened there.

violet flowers of viola labradorica with purple tinged leaves
Viola labradorica

I am glad to hear that the weather will be getting a little warmer soon so I will be able to get in the garden a bit more, although the colder weather has maybe kept the number of slugs down as I haven’t seen that many – yet.