I couldn’t let Nick’s delphiniums go without a Vase on Monday mention. There are two varieties included in my vase: ‘Blue with White Bee’ (shown above) and ‘King Arthur'(a smaller and daintier flower with an interesting combination of different blues and a small white eye).
They came as a Hayloft Plant collection in 2014 (against my better judgement, following dogged nagging by the Bon Viveur). In fact we had two collections from Hayloft. The postal system managed to thoroughly mess up delivery of the first. They sat around in a holding station for 4 days (while I twiddled my thumbs, waiting endlessly for their arrival).
When they eventually arrived, I managed to salvage about 2 plants (there were supposed to be 30) from the black mud in the container. Hayloft were terrific and sent me another parcel immediately after I phoned them to say what had happened.
The plug plants were potted up in 2014, then planted out in March 2015. We were pleased with them last year (see my previous Vase on Monday when they first flowered). But I didn’t expect them to make it through this winter on our heavy clay. They did, suffered very little slug damage, were duly fed and supported.
And now we can enjoy the results.
The only thing that worries me is that the BV claims these are just ‘a start’ … we already have about 23 of these beautiful but demanding beasties. Do we really need more?
I used them today with yellow Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus (a gift from a good friend) just coming into flower in front of the delphiniums. Frances from Island Threads identified the species (correctly, I believe) when I showed a picture of it on my blog last year. It has a light scent, quite delightful. Thanks Frances!
Caper spurge (Euphorbia lathyris) …
… and the buds of Thalictrum speciocissimum added a kind of foliage effect.
Then I dotted in some wild grasses at the end.
I treated the caper spurge (which produces that milky, poisonous sap typical of all euphorbias) by dipping the cut ends in the hope it would seal them and stop contamination of the water for the other vase subjects. (It seemed like a good idea – I’ve no idea if it will be effective!) The single stem of spurge was quite useful when put into the vase first, its branching flower head supporting the other flowers when added.
After removing the lower buds of the delphiniums, there were enough bits and pieces left over to make a baby version for the kitchen table.
Now have a look at the Cathy’s vase on her blog Rambling in the Garden and click on the links to see what end of May delights everyone else has to offer this week.