Monthly Archives: May 2024

Colourful plants in the stumpery mid May 2024.

Mid May 2024 Colour in the garden.

Hooray – the sun is finally shining and it is warm!  The plants (and weeds) are romping away.  There are lots of colourful flowers open now, the aquilegias with all their different pinks, purples and whites, and the foliage colours are just as amazing.  I do love the bronze foliage of some of the younger leaves especially some of the ferns and the rodgersia.

bronze foliage on Osmunda regalis 'Purpurascens' fern.
Osmunda regalis ‘Purpurascens’
Bronze leaves of Rodgersia podophylla
Rodgersia podophylla

There are different green and purples in some other ferns and browns in the ones with ‘hairy’ fronds.  I think the hairs are actually called scales although they don’t look like scales.

green and purple foliage of Athyrium otophorum var. okanum fern
Athyrium otophorum var. okanum
Green fronds of Asplenium scolopendrium 'Cristata'
Asplenium scolopendrium ‘Cristata’
Close croziers of Dryopteris crispa congesta fern.
Dryopteris crispa congesta
Bushy green croziers of Polystichum setiferum Cristato pinnulum fern.
Polystichum setiferum Cristato pinnulum
'Hairy' fronds of Polystichum polyblepharum fern.
Polystichum polyblepharum
Silvery and purple fronds of Athyrium niponicum 'silver falls' fern.
Athyrium niponicum ‘silver falls’

The tree heath Erica arborea is flowering it’s heart out and the bees love the tiny flowers the centre of which a purple.  It has come back very well after it got big chop in 2021. The rowan was covered in blossom last year but this year is very disappointing.  You can just about see a few clusters at the top of it in the left side of the next pic.

White and purple flowers of Erica arborea alongside the pink flowers if the Hebe Pink paradise.
Erica arborea and Hebe ‘Pink paradise’.
White flowers with purple centre of Erica arborea.
Erica arborea close up

The amazing purple (garnet) foliage  of the Acer palmatum ‘Dissectum Garnet’ is looking  gorgeous just now contrasting well with the bright greens around it.  Although it looks very purple, the closer you get to it you can see a green tinge to it.

Deep garnet foliage of the Acer palmatum 'Dissectum Garnet'
Acer palmatum ‘Dissectum Garnet’.

The stumpery has plenty of colour with the white primula Snowflake which has a pink tinge to it,  blue ajugas mixed in with white galium odoratus, purple honesty, pale blue forget-me-nots,  a few pulmonarias and the pale blue Veronica Gentionoides Blue streak and more dark purple foliage of the huecheras.  We have borrowed the dark foliage of next doors tree.  The lime green of the Acer shirasawanum aureum really shines.

Colourful plants in the stumpery mid May 2024.
The stumpery in mid May 2024.
Blue Ajuga reptans bugle mixed with white Galium odoratum in the stumpery.
Ajuga reptans mixed with Galium odoratum.

A few beasties that I found this month were a Rosemary beetle (Chrysolina Americana) which looks absolutely beautiful.  The RHS says just to live with them unless they become a problem.

Purple and green shiny Rosemary beetle (Chrysolina americana).
Rosemary beetle (Chrysolina Americana).

A rather lovely white-legged snake millipede (Tachypodoiulus niger).

White-legged snake millipede (Tachypodoiulus niger).
White-legged snake millipede (Tachypodoiulus niger).

We are always told that slugs and snails don’t like moving over sharp objects but I have found slugs and snails going up the very sharp prickles of my moss roses.  This slug doesn’t look bothered at all.  I have found the tell-tale slime trails all over a very prickly cactus in the conservatory before too.

Slug going up prickly moss rose stem.
Slug on the very prickly moss rose stem.

And lastly for now the heather beetle (Lochmaea suturalis).  Apparently it wasn’t just my garden they were swarming into but even on beaches elsewhere. It isn’t a great photo. They have been quite a problem in the moorlands so I am hoping they are not going to be a problem here too.

Heather beetle (Lochmaea suturalis).
Heather beetle (Lochmaea suturalis).

I have seen plenty orange tip butterflies and holly blues and a few speckled wood butterflies so far.  And the usual bees, wasps and flies are around, but so far, no more wasp nests in the raised bed.  Our next-door neighbour had a lovely garden visitor the other day.  Our gardens back onto a golf course where the is a small herd of deer, and one of them got through her broken gate.  On the one hand, I would love to have them visit our garden, but on the other hand, they may cause a lot of damage.  I have no idea what plants they would eat.  It is back to chilly weather and overcast skies now.  It was nice to see the sun while it lasted.


Burgon & Ball Japanese Razor Hoe.

Scraping tool.

Scraping the weeds out from between the patio slabs has to be one of my least favourite gardening jobs.  I have to be bent double over my stomach putting my neck into an awkward angle in order to see what I am doing and getting my tool at just the correct angle.  I used to use a long handled scraping tool but it didn’t do a very good job.  My Burgon & Ball Japanese Razor Hoe is the best tool for the job.  It gets into the crevices and can scrape off moss and liverworts from the slab surface too.

Burgon & Ball Japanese Razor Hoe.
Burgon & Ball Japanese Razor Hoe.

Once the scraping is all done I can tidy up using an upright dustpan and brush set.  I position the dustpan bit into the space between my right foot rest and the right front castor so that I can sweep the rubbish into the dustpan easily without having to bend down.  Then I lift the dustpan up and empty it into a trug to go out.  The one I am using is from Lakeland (although I am using an old brush with it) and I like this one as is clicks into an upright position so I don’t have to hold onto it to keep it in place.

Upright dustpan.
Upright dustpan locked in position.
Upright dustpan and brush.
Upright dustpan and brush.