Liam Neeson Saves the Purple King.

The garden is presently not a place of peace. There hasn’t been an unleashing of uncontrolled, or even controlled, violence but there is a seething anger which threatens the tranquility usually associated with this gardening pastime.

Wildlife is part and parcel of our garden: birds, even those which might be considered pest species – pheasants and pigeons, for examplem – are not only welcomed but even fed on a daily basis. Foxes and badgers are regular visitors; there is a resident stoat which keeps the rabbits at bay and mice are enjoyed for their entertainment value and though their liking for crocus corms is hardly appreciated, it is tolerated. Slugs and snails are not considered a nuisance and we never use slug pellets except on seedling plants in the glasshouse. Frogs occupy the garden pond, presently with a very healthy number of tadpoles, and move to the high grass for the summer period. It is a live and let live environment but this atmosphere is under threat for some little #*^%$ (insert expletive of your choice – but be sure it’s a bad one!) has been eating the flowers off our erythronium plants and I am not a happy gardener.

Here, you can see the damage: sample clumps of Erythronium dens-canis ‘Lilac Wonder’ but not one flower survived:

So, this is where Liam Neeson comes in because I recalled his lines from one of the Taken films and altered it, just a little, for my own purposes and in my mind I address the culprits as follows: “If you let my erythroniums alone now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.”

These words have been going through my head every time I looked at my poor beheaded plants and I reckon the little #*^%$s have taken note for one cultivar has come into flower – that’s the “Purple King” of the title – and a few others are also in bud so I live in hope that they will continue to full flower and if not, well, there’s always the Liam Neeson approach to the problem!

And, here is the survivor and the first erythronium to flower this year: Erythronium dens-canis ‘Purple King’:

Erythronium ‘Susannah’ has also survived and is also coming into flower at present:

17 thoughts on “Liam Neeson Saves the Purple King.

  1. That is so frustrating. I feel for you. In the past week wood pigeons have started visiting the garden – just as the cabbages are ready to put out. they seem to be feeding on a patch of bittercress – I weeded it out the other day and saw that it was almost leafless – but now I have pulled that out they will be looking for alternatives – should I leave a patch of bittercress to stop them eating the cabbages? I don’t think it works like that!

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    1. Now, you’ll say what a fool I am for I put out rolled barley for the pheasants and, of course, the woodpigeons enjoy it also so I am attracting them to the garden!

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  2. Muttering should work. I had a stern talking to with the rabbits about all the winter damage they’ve done to the newly planted evergreens, and they’ve obliged by moving on and mowing down the crocus flowers. I’m afraid they misunderstood me.
    I would blame the pheasants.

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  3. Paddy
    My husband John says that if the cut at the top of the stem is slanted with a little whisker left behind your problem is almost certainly mice. We have had the same problem with aquilegia flowers and actually caught one of the little blighters on camera. Mouse traps and peanut butter are the answer. Agnes see

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    1. You have a good number of beautiful native erythroniums! ‘Susannah’ is a cross between two species – can’t remember which now!

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