The Stopwatch Gardener

A gardening blog from Sheila M. Averbuch

SWG006 Early April in a Scottish cottage garden


Early spring bulbs from the Scottish cottage gardenIn this episode I’m looking at the delphiniums that are growing like wildfire and planning how to get bigger blooms this July.

What planting combinations are looking great in your garden at the moment? A few I’m fond of include festuca glauca and blue anemone blanda, as well as dead nettle (lamium) alongside another gorgeous early anemone, white and daisy-like. I’m also looking at a range of other plants and bulbs in this week’s episode; here’s the full list:

  • Fritillaria meleagris – snake’s head fritillary
  • Fritillaria meleagris var. unicolor subvar. alba
  • Anemone Blanda
  • Tulip praestans Fusilier (scarlet tulip pictured above)
  • Lamium
  • Delphiniums
  • Festuca glauca

The surprising tip offered to me by Langford’s, the delphinium specialists I met at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show last year, might seem like common sense but it had never occurred to me before. The expert advised that I allow only between five and seven shoots to grow from the base of any delphinium plant; any others should be nipped out to encourage larger flower size. Who knew!

Huge thanks go out to Kevock Garden Plants of Midlothian, near Edinburgh, the latest British nursery to pledge donations of rare or unusual plants to my 24 May 2014 fundraiser here in my garden outside Edinburgh (the fabulous Kevock specialises in unusual alpine, woodland, and bog plants, many of Asian origin). If you’re in Scotland at that time, please do come along to the sale. From 10 AM to 1 PM that day I’ll be offering rare and unusual – as well as more common – garden plants and bulbs as a fundraiser for the Advocacy for Neuroacanthocytosis Patients. If you can help with a donation, please do get in touch.

If you have any more tips for increasing delphinium size, I’d love to hear them!


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