These blue beauties inspire societies, designers and parties, and they enthrall and exasperate gardeners. Delphinium, commonly called larkspur, are possibly the most famous, the royal standard, in the English cottage garden. Their extravagant and elegant blue spires rise from a mound of soft green. The ruffled layers of blue petals entrance like Cinderella’s skirts, as if mini sheaths of the bluest sky have dropped to the earth. However these blue jewels come at a cost - delphiniums are particular with a long list of demands: they like full sun but not our hot, humid summers, they prefer what I consider elusive ‘moist, well drained’ soil, they are big feeders, and their tall hollow stems need wind protection and/or staking. I plant delphiniums like an annual, since they tend to be short lived anyway, then dose them with regular watering and twice a season applications of composted manure. Delphiniums are an indulgence in a large, low maintenance garden like mine, but I am unable to resist the call of the blue!
Technical stuff – Larkspur/Delphinium, hardy perennial to zone 3, height of about 36” with variance in height depending on species, dwarf varieties available, spread of 12”-36”, full sun, blooms in early summer, comes in blue, purple, pink, or white, but blue is the cat’s meow!