This Thursday it’s all about flowers. For as much as I love throwing in questionable photos of borderline weedy plants or offensively tacky color clashes, even I have to brag a little now and then when something goes right. The tall hybrid delphiniums don’t like my garden or me but this one seems to have resigned itself to its fate and has come to an agreement with my garden. It’s beautiful and although I can take little credit for that at least the pictures are pretty.
Four years ago it was love at first sight when I came across a little pot with a fat plant and a solid stem just starting to sprout up into a bloom stalk. I thought to myself “even I can’t screw this up, and it’s going to be amazing”, so onto the cart it went and the rest is history.
These tall delphinium hybrids love a perfectly rich soil in a sheltered spot with steady moisture and shelter from the worst of the weather. They do better in cooler, fairer climates and don’t like drought, heat, humidity, storms, drying winds, children playing, large pets, neglect, stray hoses, clumsy gardeners… essentially everything that my garden represents… but this one carries on. 2016 has been a lean year for it since I’m trying something new (less fertilizer and no staking) but the show is still nice enough.
But you don’t care about lean, anemic delphinium plants. A Thursday feature is fun so here are photos from last year when the fertilizer was flowing and the party really took off!
This one clump which survives (trust me I’ve killed my fair share of these) is on a slope in morning sun near the hose… which means it gets a sprinkle whenever the water goes on.
-but prepare yourself for heartbreak if you give these a try. Three out of four years a storm cell will pummel your garden just as the delphinium reaches its peak, and little in the way of staking will help the heavy blooms. On the plus side they make an excellent cut flower (if you have room for two to three foot flower stalks in your arrangement), but on the down side it’s depressing to say the least.
Few things are fun without a little effort and risk, so give them a try and see where you end up. While I go on to ponder the possibilities of growing these in a classy walled garden with the perfect soil, you may want to check out a few other feature plants to fill your Thursday. Kimberley of Cosmos and Cleome hosts each week so give her blog a visit to see what she and others have featured this week.