Poisoned Roses and Peacocks

29 June 2024

June is here

Now that June is here, our roses are flowering and although, as yet, we only have a few, they are a welcome sight as they bring colour and perfume into the garden. More than that though, they signify that this plot of land is turning into an established garden. One of my favourite roses is the heirloom Rosa Mundi. This ancient rose was introduced around the year 1200 and has been a popular rose ever since owing to its striking colour and stunning perfume. It is described as having “fuchsia flowers striped with white and although flowering only once a year, it is a very showy plant, producing a mass of fragrant blooms.“
Legend has it that it was named after Henry II’s mistress, Rosamund. Henry’s wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine became jealous this mistress, and supposedly poisoned ‘Rosamund ’using oil made from the red ‘Apothecary’s Rose’ and the white ‘Rosa Alba’. After her death, a new red and white-striped rose appeared nearby. It was named Rosa Mundi in her honour and thereafter Henry decorated her tomb annually with this rose.

Wisteria

Warmth brings the butterfly

In addition to flowers, the warm, dry weather brings out our butterflies and on a sunny day you might see quite a few different varieties of our native insects, ‘Small Tortoiseshells’, ‘Peacocks’ and ‘Orange Tips’ to name a few. Small Tortoiseshells and Peacock butterflies lay their eggs on nettles and their caterpillars munch away on these delicious leaves without any seeming effect from the sting. It’s always worthwhile keeping a small patch of nettles tucked away in a corner of your garden – if you can spare the space- so that these beautiful creatures have somewhere to breed. The caterpillars of the Comma butterfly feed on nettles, elm and birch leaves. If you are lucky, you might see this fast-flying butterfly at the edge of a woodland or shady area and if it is resting, you might be able to spot the distinct white marking, in the shape of a letter ‘C’ on its underwing. If you want something to do in the summer holidays, why not take part in ‘the Big Butterfly Count’ between July 12th – August 4th.
You can get information here The Big Butterfly Count.

Labyrinth

Scotland’s Garden Scheme (SGS)

We are busy preparing for our official Garden Opening on Sunday, August 25th this year, as part of Scotland’s Gardens Scheme (SGS). The scheme raises money for charity by encouraging, promoting and supporting garden openings, whilst making the whole experience inspiring, rewarding and enjoyable for all involved.
Last year Scotland’s Gardens Scheme gave £289,700 in total to a range of good causes. The gardens range in size and style from grand formal gardens like Drummond Castle down to private houses and village groups providing real-life inspiration for ‘your own backyard’.
If you are free and want a relaxing day out with a promise of a nice cup of tea and some tasty home-baking, and maybe even a pretty plant to take home for your own plot, then why not pop the date in your diary and come along to see where it all happens.
We will be open from 10:00 to 4:00 p.m., and you will be most welcome. Tickets for this event will be available soon. Please keep an eye on our Facebook page.
If you can come along in the weeks before the 25th when we will be pruning, planting, watering and weeding then you will even more welcome. If you are interested in volunteering, please get in touch with us by clicking on our Volunteers page.

‘Fairy Foxglove’ ( Erinus alpinus)
Photos and text are by Margaret
Margaret.
Margaret is the Head gardener and leads the Gardening team.

 

Catherine Bradley.<br />

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