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BellaOnline's English Garden Editor

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English Garden Delphiniums

Guest Author - Hellie T.

Delphinium blooms are one of the best loved traditional flowers in the early summer English Garden, and can be a dramatic feature in your herbaceous borders.

Delphiniums come in a lovely range of colours from blues and purples through pinks to white and in a variety of heights.

They have tall upright flower spikes which look good when grown towards the back of a border – plant them in drifts for the best effect. Grow them in amongst old-fashioned roses , catmint , lavenders , peonies , salvias or yarrow .
Whilst you can get delphiniums in pure colours they also come in delightful colour contrasting bee or eye varieties. This means that the centre of each flower is a contrasting colour - some have white centres, others can be black. All of the delphiniums make excellent cut flowers, so grow some for the garden and some for cutting.

Be careful when you buy English Garden delphiniums that you check the height of your chosen plant. Some varieties can grow up to 6 or even 8 feet tall, and will definitely need staking!
The shorter or dwarf ones will grow 2 to 4 feet high, and are best used in flower beds and are excellent for the windier areas of your plot.

How to grow
Delphiniums are easy plants to grow.

  • They like a sunny spot but will do quite well in an area of part sun and shade.
  • Plant with the crown of the delphinium at ground level not below.
  • To get the best blooms give them plenty of well drained deep, rich soil.
  • They do not like soggy soil and will appreciate a dressing of fertilizer in late spring or a good dressing of well rotted manure.
  • For the taller varieties as the plants reach approx 2 feet high, stake carefully with bamboo poles
  • They need to be watered daily during their rapid growth months of April, May, June and July.
  • They are hardy perennials – in USA - hardy from zone 3-8.
  • Plant seeds from April to September –sowing them sown directly into the garden – to get the best results try freezing your seeds in the freezer for a couple of days before sowing .
  • Lastly once you have planted them leave them there- they do not like being moved!

In the language of flowers - Delphinium means an open heart and ardent attachment and so are often used in bridal bouquets..

They are easy to dry and their bright colour means they look good in pot-pourri – check out English Garden pot-pourri for my recipe

Here is my selection of the best Delphiniums for an English Garden

    .
  • Astolat – Rose Pink with a black eye
  • Black Knight – Deep violet, with a black eye.
  • Blue Jay – semi double deep blue flowers
  • Galahad - A showy pure white.
  • King Arthur – bright violet with white eye.
  • Princess Caroline -a deep salmon-pink with traces of red.
  • Sky Blue - Dwarf, sky blue flowers.
  • Summer Skies -light blue with white heart.
  • Magic Fountain Series - These are medium height in all shades of blue, lilacs and whites

Contact the Delphiniums Society here .

Enjoy your English Garden!


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Content copyright © 2014 by Hellie T.. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Hellie T.. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Carol Chernega for details.

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