Hello Susan

My intention this spring was to keep the front yard a little more organized and really put my foot down against the reseeders which took over last summer….. but then the rest of the world happened and just like many good intentions my organization theme fell to the wayside.  This year rudbeckias took over.

gloriosa daisies rudbeckia

Rudbeckias, black eyed Susans, gloriosa daisies, whatever you want to call them these rudbeckia hirta hybrids really bring gold to the front border.  Fyi this is as far along the bed as the edging and mulching got this spring.  You can see my spade handle just where I left it about two months ago 🙂 

For as much as I like the softer yellows, and for as summery a tint golden yellow is, bright gold is probably one of my least favorite flower colors.  The golden takeover of the front garden really goes against any design theory I have for this bed and I suppose if I were of the more controlling type it would cause me a little mental turmoil but I think I’m ok with the brightness.  It helps bring a little sun to what’s so far been a pretty wet and ‘pearly’ summer.

rudbeckia hirta gloriosa daisy perennial bed

The front border with plenty of rudbeckias.  I was firm with seedlings of amaranth, standing cypress, and oxeye daisies but this year the black eyed Susans slipped by.

A casual passerby might think things look well under control and maybe even close to well tended, but just inside the bed turmoil reigns.  Here the inner section was supposed to be a restful patch of dark leaves canna…. which it’s not… because too many ‘good enough’ plants came up and the gardener just didn’t have the heart to pull them out.  It worked out for the best though, the variety of green centered and brown eyed rudbeckia which grew is a nice tradeoff (as long as you can continue to ignore the unplanted cannas sitting on the driveway).

mixed annual rudbeckia plantings

Mixed shades of selfsown rudbeckia seedlings. 

There used to be a greater variety of darker shades mixed in with the straight gold daisies but over the last few years I’ve tended to pull the browned eyed versions.  They seem more prone to mildew in my garden and rather than look at that I just pull them and send them to the compost before their seed ripens.

mixed perennial border

A more ‘refined’ view of the border.  Less is surely more with these bright colors but to be honest the patches where the rudbeckia grows and blooms thickest are the patches which make me smile 🙂

A week or two ago would have been a good time to seed out a few zinnias to fill in for when I get tired of the fading rudbeckias but all the rain seems to have drowned my seedling tray, so we’ll see what happens now.  Fortunately there are always volunteers willing to step up.  Here are a few sunflowers coming along (in a totally inappropriate spot) and I know a few verbena bonariensis seedlings could be found elsewhere.

sunflower seedlings

The future sunflower patch.  Goldfinches have already been stopping by but they’ve got a few more weeks to wait before this seed factory starts up.

The entire border hasn’t been given over to gold.  Here’s a now classic combination of Perovskia, Echinacea, and ‘Karl Foerster” feather reed grass made famous back in the ’90s by the Washington DC based design team of Oehme, Van Sweden.  They were one of the pioneers in publicizing the ‘New American’ prairie style planting style which moved American design away from lawns and English style gardens to a more relaxed look filled with lower maintenance swaths of color and forms which sway in the summer breeze.

Oehme, van Sweden inspired planting

My Oehme, van Sweden inspired planting of ‘Karl Foerster’ grass, coneflowers, and Russian sage.

Coneflowers also anchor the far end of the bed, and the golden rudbeckias haven’t quite conquered this far down the line.

morning light perennial border

This end of the border is were my enthusiasm for weeding and maintenance always wears a little thin.  As long as the lawn stays mowed and the edges get trimmed I think the weeds and lack of deadheading aren’t quite so noticeable.

The black eyes Susans which grow in this front border are nearly all the tetraploid version of America’s native Rudbeckia hirta, and for plant geeks such as myself the history of these plants is one of those cool wintertime stories which make gardening just that much more interesting.  A version of the story can be found by clicking here, but the short summertime summary involves Dr. Blakeslee of Massachusetts’s Smith College treating seed of the native rudbeckia with the genetics altering chemical colchicine and doubling their chromosome count.  Eventually David Burpee got a hold of the new race of flowers and set his company to work refining and selecting for more colors and forms, and in 1957 introduced the plants as we know them today.  The tetraploid version is bright and big and bold, but the normal diploid Rudbeckia hirta still has its fans for its daintier, summertime wildflower look.

rudbeckia hirta quilled petals

A straight Rudbeckia hirta which showed up in the back garden.  I like the spoon shaped petals on this one and hopefully can save a few seeds.

Rudbeckia hirta comes in two basic forms, the regular and the larger tetraploid version.  They’re both short lived perennials which may bloom the first year or may die after blooming, depending on their mood, but they’re both far from troublesome.  Don’t get this Susan mixed up with the truly perennial, clump forming Rudbeckia fulgida which is just starting to come into bloom now.  This one (usually grown as the ‘Goldsturm’ version, another Oehm,Van Sweden favorite as well as Karl Foerster introduction) is another indestructible rudbeckia but for me it’s just too much of a perennial commitment to gold 🙂

rudbeckia hirta light yellow

Another wild rudbeckia hirta which I’m keeping an eye on out back.  It’s a lighter yellow shade with a spidery inward curl to the petals (which often shows up in the darker ones as well).  I like it! 

So there you have it, the glory of gloriosa daisies in the garden of a gardener who doesn’t like gold.  Some will surely point out that I’m in gold loving denial, but daisies and gold are completely common and unrefined and I’m going to try and claim it was against my will and better taste that they took over this summer.  Either that or I just don’t care what good taste and garden trends dictate!

Enjoy summer 🙂

June. Rained out.

Don’t get me wrong,  I’m not complaining about the rain, but this kind of weather would have been much more welcome in April or May when things were going brown and shriveling up.  Still I love it.  It’s perfect for the procrastinating planter and the person who hates to lug the hose from plant to plant (that would be me), and by now even the grass has put on a green color once again!

gerbera daisies planter

Green grass makes any color look acceptable.   I’m finding that gerber daisies are one of my wife’s favorite plants, so on the rare occasion she comes to the nursery who am I to say no?

The rain is also not a problem bloom-destroying-wise since my garden seems to wade through a lull at this time of year.  There are plenty of blooms which could be gracing my beds right now but I just don’t have many of them in the ground.  My garden peaks closer to the midpoint of summer and beyond, and I’m fine with the extra wait since this time of year is when I always seem to be ironing out the last plantings and thinking through all the projects which may still happen… such as widening the front border (again).

mixed perennial border

Up near the house the blue of the ornamental fescue fills in an earlier expansion of the foundation bed, here closer to the street you can’t even make out the extra foot or so I added to this bed, so it barely counts as a project.

Sometimes with your nose to the wheel day in and day out you forget that there’s plenty of good coming together while you slave away at the not-so-good.  Here if the viewing angle is just right, the front street border looks fairly well put together.  A thick mulch of shredded leaves, a nice edge of shredded bark, and removal of nearly half of everything in the bed gives it an ‘under control’ look for at least one month this year.  A clean bed edging always helps,  but expanding another foot into the lawn really gave some breathing room… I should remember to enforce this rule next year as everything seeds and spreads out into the newly open space!

June perennial border

The front street border this morning.  The dark magenta lychnis coronaria and white oxeye daisies are essentially weeds, but if there are just a few I guess it’s socially acceptable.

A plant which spreads out wherever and whenever it wants is my trusty giant reed grass (Arundo Donax ‘variegata’).  I smile and make excuses for it when people comment about its possibly too-large size, but deep down I’m proud of it.  I won’t even bat an eye when it consumes the iris and other plantings around it 🙂

arundo donax variegata

Arundo donax ‘variegata’ overcoming the far end of the street border. 

Another spreader is the ‘Tiger eyes’ sumac which sits in a couple spots around the yard.  For me yellow leaved and chartreuse plants are an addiction and I am constantly in need of reminding of the fine line between a few accents and the way-too-much stage, but the tiger takes care of this on his own.  He (actually a she since this clone of cutleaf sumacs produces the colorful red female seed heads when mature) will pepper your beds with small yellow shoots here and there and I suppose someday take over the world, but for now I just pull the innocent little shoots.

drought tolerant perennials

Pennisetum ‘Karley Rose’ is putting up the first of many fluffy pink seedheads.  They’re always dancing about in the wind and keeping things lively.  Maybe a few clumps closer to the light pole would look nice next to the bright mess of ‘Tiger Eyes’ which surrounds it right now.

For some reason this spring the kids have been coming along on nursery runs.  I suspect they have some hidden agenda which includes a stop at the Dollar Store but regardless I’m going to enjoy their company while it lasts.  Both insist on helping pick their own plants and sometimes even want to plant.

lychnis coronaria

Bright magenta Lychnis coronaria faced down with a few sunpatients.  The girl insisted on putting labels front and center, I couldn’t quite get out the reason for it.  Also I couldn’t talk her out of the magenta-orange combo.  This might have to be replanted once she moves on to other things.

The front borders are looking pretty good right now but there are also a few nice surprises out back amongst the weeds.  One of my favorites is the first blooms on this strawberry foxglove (Digitalis x mertonensis).  It’s been a struggle getting this one to bloom since the harsh winters seem to do a number on the crowns, but this year a few made it, and I finally get to see the strawberry-ish blooms on the relatively short stalks.

digitalis mertonensis strawberry foxglove

A cross-species hybrid of two foxgloves, the strawberry foxglove should be slightly more perennial than the regular type, and hopefully come true from seed as well. 

Another spike out in the garden (I like my spiky bloomers) is this verbascum which hitch-hiked in with a gift plant.  You know a plant (in this case a shrub dogwood) is coming from a good garden when two special plants tag along on the root ball.  This verbascum (maybe V. chaixii?) is blooming nicely now, and follows up some nice scilla blooms which flowered in spring.  It was only the dogwood I wanted, but surprises are always fun as well!

verbascum chaixii

Verbascum blooming amongst the sunflower seedlings which I didn’t have the resolve to rip up….. and yes that’s a huge thistle in front of the fence.  I like them, please don’t judge me.

Some would call the uninvited sunflower seedlings weeds, many would call the verbascum the same, and many more would immediately rip out the thistle, but I have a more laissez faire approach to the less invasive of the volunteers.  I let plenty of things go, but oddly enough this year the beautiful purple campanula glomerata is what I’m ripping out.  I’m trying to reclaim the red border, and it’s the campanula which has made a takeover play.  Enough is enough so a few weeks ago roundup was sprayed and it’s only a few pretty stalks which remain.  I’ll hand pull these and hopefully with a little summertime vigilance will be able to clear this plant out.

campanula glomerata with clematis

Once the campanula was beaten back I realized there are a few really nice plants in this bed.  Clematis ‘Ville de Lyon’ is one of my favorites and it deserves much more than the hardscrabble life of a vine left to struggle along the ground…. but it does look even better with the campanula blooms :/ 

Another borderline weedy area is the meadow.  Last summer’s dry spell weakened the lawn turf so much that it barely had the strength to send up bloom stalks this spring.  That’s a shame since I love the look of the tall grass waving in the wind and enjoy watching the bunnies work their way through each morning filling up on seedheads.  But the lazy gardener needs to take these things in stride (I could have made the effort to water last year) and realize the daisies and butterfly weed show up much better in the more open meadow.

meadow planting asclepias tuberosa

The meadow garden with some particularly drought tolerant butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa).  Depending on my mood and the weather this area will be mown down in late summer to neaten things up keep the taller plants from dominating.

The butterflies are enjoying the meadow, but everything else is focused on the linden blooms (Tilia europaea I think).  The tree buzzes with honey and bumble bees, flies, beetles, wasps, and a load of other things which I can’t even identify, and the scent is fantastic and fills the yard with a soft flowery honey aroma.  It’s a decent size tree and I can’t even imagine the number of insects which fill its branches.  If only I could follow the bees home and get a cut of the honey they’re making from all this.

linden blooms tilia basswood

June is when the linden tree is in its glory. 

Another plant which does its own thing without me raising a finger is my trusty hydrangea ‘Annabelle’.  New hydrangeas will come and go, but I can’t think of a reason good enough to cut this one loose.  It can flop, but in the spring it’s cut back completely and between lean living and full sun it holds up well enough.  If I had the room I’d do a mass of these, maybe under a grove of white birches, but here all I have room for is a few scattered along the edge of the yard.  Obviously I love the chartreuse of the opening blooms best of all since the next best thing to chartreuse foliage is a chartreuse bloom!

hydrangea annabelle

Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’.  You can count on this one to bloom every year.

I’ve seen some photos of the newest ‘Annabelle’ siblings and they’re an amazing range or pinks to near reds in addition to the never out of style whites, so I would surely have to add one or two, but I think I’ll always have room for good old ‘Annabelle’.  Speaking of room, it’s still a never ending seed starting and cutting taking rollercoaster here and for some reason I still start more.  Hopefully I’ll be patting myself on the back when these late marigolds and amaranthus come into bloom and everything else is looking a bit tired!

seedlings sown in summer

Still sowing seeds and taking cuttings well into June.  They grow so fast at this time of year, I should have fresh flowers in no time at all!

I better get this posted, it’s been a work in progress since the weekend, not because there’s any amazing content in this post, but because I’m stealing minutes from birthday parties, baseball games, and pool time and would rather sneak in a trip to the nursery than sit at the computer 🙂  But lazy summer days are coming and things should ease up shortly, until then may you enjoy summer as much as I do!

GB Foliage Day- October Highlights

Ok I know I’m a few days late, but I still wanted to get in on Christina’s GBFD post.  It is her 500th post after all!

For us the foliage season is going downhill fast.  Here in NE Pennsylvania the foliage color has peaked and most has dropped, and it’s just some of the slowpokes and lingerers which are still giving a show.  The gray days of winter are approaching fast….

fall color in a mixed border

Color along the front porch. In a few more days the hostas will turn bright yellow, but for now the dogwood seedling (now a sapling?) steals the show.

We’ve had a good amount of rain lately and I’m digging and planting and cleaning away.  I love a nice green lawn in the fall, and spent yesterday mowing up the fallen leaves and leaving behind a neat lush carpet.  What I should have done is transplant the flowering dogwood seedling which is way too close to the porch and house…. but I guess I’ll just have to live to regret that one’s placement.  Maybe it will somehow work out 🙂

burning bush fall color in a mixed border

Burning bush (euonymus alata) living up to its name with a few final zinnias and giant reed grass (arundo).

The red of the burning bush foliage is a fantastic color at this time of year, but I think this will be its last fall.  It’s an invasive plant around here and although several neighbors also grow it I don’t want to contribute to the problem.  There were enough seedlings coming up last spring to tell me it needs to go, and maybe a native blueberry will be a better choice for the spot (tastier too).

yucca color guard with ceratostigma (leadwort)

Yucca ‘color guard’ with the burgundy foliage of ceratostigma (leadwort).

Last winter was rough on the yucca, killing off most of its leaves.  I’m glad to see it has recovered since I love the foliage so much.  Right now the leadwort has a nice reddish tint which sets off the yucca well, and even without the bright blue late summer flowers it’s still a great plant.  Too bad I never planted the colchicums out here.  That would have been a nice look!

variegated boxwood

I like boxwood, and this variegated one surprised me by making it through last winter without a single scorched leaf. The odd little drumsticks to the right are seedheads from an anemone who’s name escapes me at the moment.

The big foliage stars around here are the hardwoods, and if you move around to the back deck, the red maples are still hanging on to a few leaves.  Without any wild storms or hard freezes the color has lasted quite a while this year.

Pennsylvania deck in fall

It’s been a nice long fall this year, and I’ve had plenty of time to work through the summer containers figuring out who comes inside and who doesn’t 😦

Off to the other side of the deck the not-quite-tropical border has faded to dead stalks, and I’ll probably leave it like that all winter.  Fortunately the grasses are at their peak, and with a little late afternoon sun everything has a nice glow to it.

autumn color ornamental grasses

Panicum ‘cloud nine’ is a big fluffy grass which really comes in to its own this time of year.

I’m not much for fall cleanup, I tend to leave everything standing throughout the winter and then mow it all down in March.  I do get a little greedy with the leaves though.  I’ll mow up as many as I can and use the mulched leaves to blanket vegetable beds and bulb plantings.  They’re perfect for keeping out winter weeds and feeding the earthworms.

heuchera fall foliage

The heucheras are showing new colors and patterns now that the weather has cooled. It will be interesting to see how these settle in and perform next year… I bet these would love a nice chopped leaf mulch.

More evergreens would go far in setting off some of the fall foliage, I just don’t have much in that department.  Overgrown yews are about all I have, and they’re a little close to the house to let them develop into the small trees they could be.

fothergilla fall foliage color

Bright reds and oranges of fothergilla. It’s a great native shrub for late season color, just keep the rabbits away from it in winter.

… and of course cyclamen.  How can you talk fall foliage without mentioning cyclamen?

cyclamen hederifolium

The last flowers on cyclamen hederifolium. As long as snow doesn’t cover them I’ll be able to enjoy these leaves all winter.

I’m much later in posting my foliage than I should be, but on the 22nd of each month Christina at Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides hosts the Garden Bloggers Foliage Day, and gardeners from all over the world show off what leaves are doing for their gardens.  Take a look and see what they’re up to…. I’m going to try to, but I have so many bulbs to plant and leaves to mulch it’s going to be a busy weekend!

Same old story, dry again…..

The rains came, the grass greened, and all was well for a few weeks, but now it’s dry again.  I shouldn’t complain though since it hasn’t been hot enough to kill off anything, just a few wilting annuals and sad looking, dry dahlias.  Fortunately the perennials have deep enough roots to carry on, and overall the front yard doesn’t look too bad.

zinnias in a mixed border

The front border may be dry, but there’s still enough color and texture to keep things interesting.  I watered a little after taking these pictures…. the guilt of wilting zinnias and coleus was too much of a weight on my conscience.

When things go dry I start to lose interest.  The plants look sad and I hate watering, so my daily inspections just turn into bored sighs and a quick return to the porch furniture or air conditioning.  It’s a shame since so many things are still peaking and a little water would do a world of good for my thin quick-to-dry “topsoil”.

sedum spectabile brilliant

The sedums (maybe sedum spectabile “Brilliant”?) are in full bloom with bees galore, and help give some nice solid color to what otherwise might be too busy a planting.

I don’t like a planting that limps into autumn in a half dead state of decay.  I want something that hangs on until the last hard freeze forces things to come crashing down to an end.  In the front yard that means a mix of long season “lingerers”, late perennials, grasses of course, and plenty of planted and self sown annuals.

late season flower border

It’s mostly green in this border in June, but the color really revs up in September.   The yellow rudbeckias in bloom now came up as seedlings in June (when I finally got around to weeding and dividing and planting my way through this bed).

Occasionally some of the earlier perennials take a second bow.  This clump of delphiniums was great in June (for a few days before strong winds flattened them all), but now they’re back for some late season color.

rebloom on delphinium

Green grass, full borders, and rebloom on the delphinium.  The next storm will surely flatten them (again) but for now this corner by the garage is a nice welcome home.  This picture is looking out from the garage, across the walk to the front door, and on to the front border along the street.

The beds along the house are ok too, but much calmer.  This year I tried to limit the usual “too much color” look and stick with more gray and blue tones with some yellow of course.  The red coleus just happened…. you know I can’t go cold turkey when there is open soil and a few extra plants in my hands 🙂

ranch house foundation planting

The plants are a little spotty, but the overall effect is much calmer than last year…. even with a couple clumps of orange mums coming along 🙂

I guess a bright accent by the front door is sorta acceptable.  This almost became the year of the geranium considering how two pots overwintered became eight big plants when divided.  I really shouldn’t, but maybe I can just roll this pot into the garage and hope for the best when winter kicks in.  I’ve already got nearly a billion plants coming in so what’s one more pot?

potted geraniums

Potted geraniums, a perfect container plant for gardeners with a less than perfect watering record. Seeing the blue leadwort (ceratostigma) blooming reminds me that I wanted to try a few colchicums here.

So the front garden is aging gracefully and as long as a little rain comes our way it should still be a nice, colorful fall.  Seeing the pot full of geraniums reminds me of some developments this year which could now become an ugly problem.  My containers have been multiplying and it might be time for some plant confessions.

Resist temptation

Summertime DIY projects are an awful thing, and not just for their interference with pool time.  This beautiful time of year with its warmth and sunshine is also the time when nurseries and box stores try and clear out their inventory, and as long as I’m at the store picking up lumber and sandpaper I might as well take a stroll through the plants to see what’s going on.  So far an oleander and golden arborvitae have joined the screw and hinge purchases, and under the relentless strain of repeated returns to the store it’s no surprise my resistance wears thin and a small eucalyptus or succulent falls in the cart too.  Some people buy chocolate, I buy plants, and at a midsummer 50% off sale I run the risk of getting fat.

The DIY store is not a nursery.  The plants are not well cared for and are right in there with washing machines, pipe, and soda coolers…… but sometimes you get lucky.  Sometimes you don’t though, and it bothers me that they sell diseased and dying plants such as these ‘Tropicana’ cannas.

virus in canna leaf

Canna ‘Tropicana’ should be a gaudy blend of yellow, pink, and red stripes on a purple leaf, without breaks and mottling of color. You’re looking at canna virus.

I would guess the store doesn’t know and doesn’t much care to know but the grower should, and to send out plants looking this bad (and to then sell them for nearly $15!) seems irresponsible.  Reputation must not matter much as long as the bottom line keeps looking good.

diseased cannas

Back in the day people went crazy over the wild colors which would show up in virused tulips….. but they learned the lesson and dumped the plants. ‘Tropicana’ growers didn’t get the memo, and each year I see these deformed offerings.

I would think if it’s your business you would want to send out the healthiest plants possible, and I’ve seen several online sources openly discuss the canna virus struggle, but some don’t seem to care.  ‘Tropicana’ can be a really cool plant…. if not entirely tasteful 🙂

healthy tropicana canna

Tropicana out by the mailbox last year. Maybe not virus-free (I’m back and forth on whether or not it’s clean) but it sure looks better than the store version.

I like my cannas and try to toss anything that looks suspicious, but I hate to see the pros doing a worse job than me.

I’d also hate to leave on a down note so here’s another lapse in judgment that you might enjoy.  Santa Rosa is an excellent online source for plants, and they run some amazing sales, here are the goodies which arrived last month after I fell victim to their online summer clearance.

plants from Santa Rosa gardens

I wasn’t even aware of my heuchera addiction until this showed up. My collection of one plant just increased by a dozen more….

The sale is still going on by the way, and if you use the coupon code of JULY10 when checking out, another $10 will come off your $35 minimum order… that’s practically giving plants away and I’m not going to go there (but I would never judge others who lack my amazing will power!)

 

Laura is a great phlox.

It’s been a tough summer but “Laura” is still holding her own.  If you can ignore the  photo quality long enough, I hope you’ll see her still blooming away into September while ‘barsixty’ (coral flame) towards the front is just a shriveled brown mess.  The freshness might not be with “Laura” any more but at least she’s doing her part to keep the color going  Two months and counting is a good job considering I’ve done nothing other than water enough to keep the poor thing from wilting too badly.  I’m officially going to name Laura my best phlox paniculata 🙂phlox Laura

Garden Dolphin

Ok, so it’s kind of a dumb title but the name delphinium derives from the latin word for dolphin.  Something about the inner parts of a delphinium flower reminded someone somewhere of the shape of a dolphin.  Good enough for me, but last night’s deluge drowned all my little dolphins.  The rain was too much and nearly every single bloom is bent over or snapped off.  Fortunately I can remember them through last weeks pictures.

This is the sole survivor of a packet of “New Millenium” seed.  They sprouted well but a week of neglect in July left only this one.  Several more weeks of neglect stunted the seedling but then for some reason a late fall planting in garden soil and a winter rest inspired it to send up a bloom stalk.  My vote is nay on the fuzzy brown/black center but others are in favor.

perennial delphinium I’m much in favor of the dark center of this violet(?) bloom….. (sorry but my color vocabulary doesn’t go much further than blue and purple).  Note the permanent crook in the stem that comes from waiting too long on staking.perennial delphinium

This is another which was inspired to bloom well this summer.  It’s possible the cool weather has had a lot to do with this.perennial delphinium

These blooms are nothing compared to the flower show this plant is capable of.  Growing delphiniums is a borderline activity anywhere temperatures routinely go into the hot and humid range, and if you’re the type of person who enjoys spending the summer poolside or shaded under the porch (or hidden away under central air) well then you’ve probably got the beautiful summers that delphinium hate.

This amazing plant was obviously not the product of my upbringing.  Purchased this April for maybe $4 it’s worth every cent.  Unfortunately I can’t find any good pictures from when it was opened, just this starting view.  If you’re selecting a delphinium in the spring, look for one with a strong single stem, not multiple growing points.  One with a flower stalk showing if possible.perennial delphinium

One day I might give these plants what they really need.  In my zone (6-ish) that means morning sun, rich soil with no root competition, regular watering, and any soil amendment you can spare.  They are heavy feeders and if you noticed the yellowish leaves on my plants you’ll know I don’t fertilize them like I should.  Maybe somewhere deep down inside I know delphinium season always ends badly, and this year is no exception.  Summer storms and snapped stems let me cut what I never would have thought of cutting and bringing indoors.  The kids have something nice to look at today while they eat their breakfast.perennial delphinium