Monarda Cambridge Scarlet

Monarda cambridge scarlet is one of those hardy perennials which give a brilliant show every Summer. The RHS has given this popular old variety Bergamot it’s prestigious Award of Garden Merit.

A clump forming Herbaceous plant which has rich scarlet flowers from late July through till early autumn.  The foliage has a wonderful aromatic fragrance.  Grow the plants in moist but well draining soil in full sun.  If you do try it in a partially  shaded spot, like ours, which is in an East facing position, it will still flower, perhaps not Quite so well, and you may well find that it is a little later in coming in to bloom.

Some of the other Monardas which we grew in the past suffered from mildew, Cambridge Scarlet seems to be less susceptible to this problem.

Hardiness – Fully hardy

Position – Full sun/partial shade

Height – 3ft/90cm in our shady spot



Last Summer I didn’t half go on and on about the very cool weather conditions, In spite of this the Clematis in the garden performed rather well.

This one, Blue Angel has been a treat, even from indoors the back of the flowers look pretty good. Expand one of the pictures and it will take you to my post with some information about this Clematis.

Our nine year old grandson Owen, since the age of five has been nominated by his school, East Wemyss Primary, to  represent them for (The Robert Burns Poetry recital Competition.) This year is his fifth win. The competition is open to all the primary schools in the area, and the poem has to be Scottish but not necessarily by the bard, the one this year by Bill Keys is both excellent,touching and hilarious.  Will you understand it? well you can have good fun trying.





skite oan fhe lug—slap around your ear  (no longer allowed)

A Dug A Dug

by Bill Keys

Hey, Daddy, wid

you get us a dug?

A big broon  alsation Ur a wee white pug

Ur a skinny wee terrier, ur a big fat bull.

Aw, Daddy, get us a dug. Wull


Whit! An’ whose dug’ll it be when it durties the flerr

An’ pees a oer

the carpet an’ messes the sterr?

It’s me ur yer mammy’ll be tane furra mug.

Away oot’n play. Yer no gettin’ a dug.

But, Daddy, thur gien them

Doon therr at the rspca.

Yeu’ll get wan fur nothin’ so yi wull.

Aw, Daddy, get us a dug. Wull yi?

Doon therr at the rspca!

di ye think ave goat nithen else tae dae

Bit git you a dug thit ah’ll huv tae

Yur no needin a dug: yi urny blind.

Aye, but, Daddy,

therr rerr fur guardin the hoose,

An thur better thin cats fur catchin a

An see wee Danny, his dug kin gie his barra a pull.

Aw, hey, Daddy,
get us a dug. Wull yi?

Dji hear um? Oan

aboot dugs again?

Ah think that yin’s goat dugs oan the brain.
Ah know

whit ye’ll get: a skite oan the lug

If a hear any merr aboot this bliddy dug

Aw, Daddy, it widnae be dear tae keep

An’ ah’d make it a
basket fur it tae sleep.

An’ ah’d take it fur runs away ower the hull.

Daddy, get us a dug, Wull ye?

Ah doan’t think thur’s ever been emdy like

Yi could wheedle the twist oot a flamin’ corkscrew.
Noo! Get doon

aff ma neck. Gie’s nane o yur hug.
Aw right. That’s anuff. Ah’ll get ye a

Aw, Daddy! A dug! A dug!

If you happen to leave a comment I will be sure to visit your site and do the same 

© 2012 – 2015, Alistair. All rights reserved.

55 thoughts on “Monarda Cambridge Scarlet

  1. Hi Alistair, I love monardas but they always end up with mildew after mid summer. Monarda punctata is the only one that doesn’t suffer in my heavy soil and dry, hot summers. It even self seeds! I guess I should try this hybrid of yours and see what happens!
    I didn’t get the poem, too difficult to read for me, weird because it’s easier for me to understand a Scottish talking than an American, written is different though.

    1. Alberto, you had me looking up punctata, it is such a very different Monarda. The poem does have a very heavy Scottish flair and most scots would hold back on their accent when talking to you.

  2. Monarda is one of my favorite native plants here in NY. I love the fragrance and the bees and hummingbirds love it too…I like the form and flower of this one and will check it out…what I wouldn’t do to see your grandson recite this poem. I actually could read most of except the one phrase so thx for the translation 🙂

  3. Love the poem!!! Congratulations to your grandson. What an achievement to have been chosen so many years in a row. Your ‘Blue Angel’ was a treat to see. Oh, how I wish my clematis would grow like that! I’ll just keep trying.

  4. I love the poem! Those hugs will work every time! You must be very proud of your grandson, and I bet you have enjoyed a few of those hugs from him. I have tried to grow monarda three different times in my garden. No luck. It perished in full sun and refused to bloom in shadier spots. Sigh. But yours are beautiful!

  5. Alistair , I’ve seen monardas in the US blogs, didn’t know we could grow it here.

    I understood most of the poem, good luck to your grandson. Made me wonder if you have a very Scottish accent ? I have always read you with an English accent so far – may have to change your voice in my head …

    1. B-a-g, Monardas are indeed very hardy, not to sure regarding the one which Alberto speaks of. When I was a youngster most of us spoke with a broad Aberdeen accent. In the 70s when our children were young a lot of us were inclined to Anglicize our children, well this was easier for Myra to do, she is posher than me. My accent changes depending on who I am talking to, but recently speaking to an Englishman on the telephone and disguising my broad accent, he said I like your Scottish accent.

  6. Congratulations to your grandson. I bet you’re all really proud of him.
    I purchased 3 Monarda last year, and I really suffered with mildew. Well not me personally, the plants I mean, two of them anyway. The third one was Monarda Cambridge Scarlet. I thought it was just a fluke that it didn’t get mildew, now I know different. I’ll look after it now.

  7. I think this is the monarda that provides such a gorgeous scarlet patch in my meadow at the end of June. I love the clematis from inside—like stained glass. I have spent a lot of time reading novels about Scotland so I got most of the poem except “tane furra mug” and “yi urny blind”—translation please. Wonderful that your grandson is being exposed to poetry in a meaningful way.

    1. Thanks Carolyn, yi urny blind—you have perfectly good eyesight (and in this case do not require a guide dog)
      tane furra mug—taken for someone that perhaps is not firing on all four cylinders. (daft)

  8. I recently acquired some Monarda seed (not sure which type now), I will have to plant them, they look so good in your garden. I wish my Clematis looked half as lovely as yours. That’s a plant I’m really battling with but I think it was you who told me they take a few years to get going – and mine are still young plants, so I’ll keep hoping and trying.

    I understood the poem. I’m guessing you’re a very proud Grand Dad – Congrats 🙂

  9. WTG, Owen! Good luck in this year’s competition, too. I read through most of the poem but stopped when I realized I was reading with my interpretaton of a Scottish accent. Did not sound good at all. LOL!

  10. Hi Alistair, the flowers are very beautiful, but the poem related to your grandson, is more! I am not very familiar with Scottish accent, but somehow relate it near the English. However, you said you are still different from them, but i am sure yours is much much different than American or German English. I noticed that you changed your i to u or vice versa. We have lots of dialects in our small country, and there is a big dialect group which has many words with “i”s to “u”s or otherwise. This has also been a source of amusement and jokes. To top it all, they pronounce our short “e” to long “i” and vice versa too. Languages and dialects are amazing!

  11. Ah, now that is something to add to the list, I really like monardas, but they always get mildew. I’m sure part of this is because I tend to plant too many things too close together, but if this one is resistant…

    Congrats on the Grandson’s starring role, hope it goes well!

  12. That was really a fun post Alistair, and I like all the follow-up comments about accents. In the US there are so many different little regions. I have been told I have an “Oregon drawl” which, like you, I can inhibit or relish, depending upon the situation. But I went to Texas once and had a terrible time understanding people… Your beebalm is inspiring. I have one mobilized (in a pot) and will look for more sun in the relocation.

    1. Linnie, I have decided to become instrumental in having a great Scottish word introduced to the American vocabulary. Greggo has already made use of it. The word is (chuffed) now it will be null and void if you all go changing the spelling as you guys often do. The word means, happy, ecstatic, over the moon. You may say to your son, congratulations on doing so well with your exams and he would say, yes, I am well chuffed.

        1. Linnie, I do realise the spelling thing is just something that evolves, and I know your the type that winna get yersel a workit up we a little bit o teezin. Enjoyed your link, looks like chuffed has already found its way to the US, well only just. I dont think it is used much in England.

  13. I just love that view out into your back garden. It must be heaven to sit there and view it. I could not follow the poem at all, even if I could figure out the word it meant.

    1. Hello Donna, I can understand the difficulty which you had with it. Probably you picked up the gist of it, all to do with a little boys pleading with his dad to get him a dog and his eventual success.

  14. Lovely Monarda! I tried one one year, and it did fine except for the mildew, but they are not grown here for some reason. I also really love the Cimicifuga in the other post, too. That will not grow here–they want a winter chill that my climate does not provide. I loved the poem; cannot help but think a lot of little children (wee bairns?) are going to be asking for puppies because of it. 🙂 Congratulations to your grandson!

  15. Thanks to Linnie at Women Who Run I have discovered your blog. The view out the window is AMAZING! I don’t know that I have ever seen such a lush backyard garden. It’s beautiful!

  16. Maybe I should try them again. I lost the whole large clump many years ago and the garden has never been the same for me without them. Your clematis is stunning and seems to love that position next to the house with a lovely cool root run.

  17. I have a question – I see you use a bamboo (?) fence along the back garden under the large bushes. How do you like that type of fencing? I’ve considered it in a similar area in our garden but I was afraid it would disintegrate over a short period of time with the wet weather. Is it a hardy fence and will it last a while? Thanks, just found your site and it’s lovely.

    1. Rebecca, the fence which you see is not very strong, in fact it is willow. The dog next door was coming through the hedge, I just put this up to discourage it, seems to have worked. I do have a section of bamboo fence elsewhere and it has been in place for twelve years.

  18. Love the poem, especially the second line of the last verse where defeat become apparent!

    Well done to the peedie chap!

    Monadras I love, (earl grey tea ingredient, what’s not to love), my first thought when reading was love them, but ergh mildew. Might be a good one to try, thanks chap!

    Always informative and a Pleasure


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