Delphiniums and other dreams

20 thoughts on “Delphiniums and other dreams”

  1. Ah, the cobbler’s children have no shoes, and so much work, so little time! 😀
    I find that I can’t work in the garden much more than a couple hours at a time these days. Thank goodness for mulch, or I’d have a bigger mess on my hands. 😉 Keep your chin up!

  2. My comments seem to disappear as soon as I press the send button and I have no idea if people are receiving them. Perhaps they go straight into spam! Any way, I’m going to comment here and see what happens. It’s lovely to see your garden without the snow, Cathy, it looks restfully green to me. You do have a lot of work ahead of you and a Wwoofer sounds like a very good idea. Aren’t delphiniums notoriously tricky? I’ve tried once, with little success but I think they need a much kinder climate than ours. I certainly understand why you like them so muchm the blues are glorious.

    1. Jane – I had to approve your comment and was so slow I only approved the first yesterday – but should all be well now! Yes, delphiniums are wonderful. I will give them another year or two of effort and then maybe throw in the towel!

    1. We do have a lot of ivy here – all growing on walls, which it loves (we also have a lot of walls!) It’s a perennial struggle at Chatillon to keep it cut back. Everyone has the same problem – the whole of Chatillon is walls, since we are an old medieval fortified village (always in the middle of a war zone!). I think you are probably noticing the results from the last time I clipped it all back. Thanks for visiting Tony!

      1. We have acres of English ivy that we ‘try’ to control. It gets into the big redwood trees and climbs beyond reach. It is pretty on the ground, but is so bad for anything else we want to preserve. Even where it is really pretty, we try to get rid of it every chance we get. It is sad. When I lived in town, I rather liked it. I had the bigger Algerian ivy too!

      2. You are so right, Tony. It’s a pest, although it can look pretty. It’s harder for the older people at Chatillon – they have to pay someone to control the ivy that inevitably grows on their walls.

  3. I had the same dream, well about opening the garden although quite a lot of people go come for various reasons. Large gardens are hard when you’re beginning from scratch. Probably the only way is to start slowly, one part at a time but if you’re like me you feel you have to get it all done. Times marches on and all that!

    1. I reckoned you had the same dream Christina. Your garden is so very beautiful, would love to visit you some day in your ‘natural habitat’! I need to take it slow, as you say (but it feels like time’s running out!) Thanks for commenting … will try to visit all the IAVOMs this week – yours is always next for me, after Cathy’s,

      1. You are too right – and maybe I’ll get down to see you some day. It would be lovely to share your garden for real!

  4. I would love to visit your garden, even with a couple dozen or hundred weeds. I know it will be amazing once things come on a bit, just like they have each year so far. I can’t believe how much you’ve accomplished!
    I have that delphinium bug as well. I’ve killed many but now finally have one (or finally have just the right spot for it to) do well… until a windstorm strikes and I have a twisted pile of cut flowers. They are amazing when they do well.
    I hope you have time to post photos of the open day. Good luck on the help!

    1. Hi – I noticed on Sunday that you had just posted and am hoping to get over and enjoy your post later today. Yes, the delphiniums, well … I ain’t giving up yet and good luck with your survivor this year – hope the wind doesn’t strike at the wrong time this year!

  5. Finally managed to catch up with tis post, Cathy and I am so glad I did. It was so good to read what you have been up to (or NOT up to!) and to read about your dreams. What an interesting background you have 🙂 Well done for agreeing to eneter the world of garden opening – it is quite a daunting step, isn’t it? I do hope you manage to find a WWoofer (what is the signficance of the name, do you know?) to help you pull the garden into shape before your special days, or at least as much as you will be comfortable having achieved by then. Good to read that greenhouse is pulling its weight and you are now enjoying growing seedlings in a better environment. You may be interested to know that I sowed a mix of Blue with White Bee and White with Blue Bee last July and have a few plants waiting to be planted out, two of which are (very surprisingly!) in bud; I have sown similar mixes before but without any real success. No idea what the secret might be, if there is one! I also have a plant which came from Hayloft (Excalibeur Series, I think) a few years ago which has survived and flowered for the last 3 years. Look forward to hearing how you get on – with everything!!

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to visit and comment Cathy – you are all over the place, aren’t you? I had to google WWoof – it means Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms! So there! Great about your delphiniums – I remember you had them too when I bought the Hayloft collection. I shall be waiting to see your seedlings in flower. Today, when I was working in the garden I noticed that 3 (at least) have survived, so perhaps all is not lost, but I do think my soil is so very heavy and the poor things have been subjected to endless rain over the last 4 months or so. I am wondering whether in fact I should go down with some grit and feed when I weed around them just to encourage. The problem is that the way my gardening life goes here, when I try to be proactive I usually end up killing something. I am very, very nervous about the garden opening, but was hoping that two friends will show willing and open on the same day.

  6. Thank you for sharing your woes with us, Cathy. I’ve had a very bleak period with my much-smaller garden over the past six months or so, triggered by things mostly unrelated to the garden itself, but of course those things get in to mess up the dream, don’t they…? I really hope you’ll be able to come by a bit of help (a good way to get a better perspective on things) and get a fresh pleasure in it all soon! What you’ve been creating certainly looks like a dream come true!
    I am curious about the delphiniums, as I felt I could not grow them even in my earlier garden in Missouri because of the hot summers. Do the truly perennial types have any better reputation in heat? I did try the smaller D. grandiflorum ‘Blue Butterfly’ at one point, but it disappeared faster than I could get any good of it – not sure whether it was rabbits or just my ignorance of proper growing conditions! In any case, I most certainly can’t grow them here in the desert, otherwise I would probably be among those addicted. There is certainly something about those statuesque spires of pure blue… 😉

    1. Hi Amy – so lovely to have contact with you again. Yes, you are rightm there’s something about them. I have them in a lower part of the garden where I thought it might be cooler. I really did think it would be too hot on the terraces. I know that Christina, gardening in Italy, doesn’t grow them at all because it’s too hot, she says. She focuses on the annual larkspur instead (with a bit of water, you might try them too – I don’t know, have never gardened in a desert). I wouldn’t be able to comment on the truly perennial types as supplied by Blackmore & Langdon in the heat. When I was reading up, however, I discovered that in England and on the north-east coast of the States they are grown from basal cuttings in spring (as befits a truly perennial plant) and that the reason the west-coast ‘Pacific Hybrids’ were developed was because that didn’t work over there (in the Californian heat?) I’m no expert and this is mostly conjecture. But I’d say they prefer intense cold to any sort of intense heat (someone once left a comment for me saying they grew superbly (and almost wild!) in Alaska.
      ‘Blue Butterfly is a different kettle of fish. It is an annual – so in the same class as the annual larkspur. Maybe try sowing seed early in cells rather than open ground, growing in pots (it’s quite small, very beautiful) and giving it lots of water? So lovely to hear from you again! I am not doing to well at blogging currently!

  7. Hello from the US! So, I think we all must be experiencing the same because I feel way behind on my garden. And I love your dream of a garden opened to the public. It is a lovely dream. The wonderful thing is that your garden has wonderful “bones” so the beauty is there just waiting to happen. I was an American version of a WWooofer when I lived in Germany– not because I needed it but because I loved it. It was so much fun! And I got to meet wonderful people.

    1. How interesting Angie – you actually did it, like my cousin’s daughter. I have ‘paused’ that search, but am steaming on with the garden! I think you are right – many of us on both sides of the Pond experienced such extreme weather in Feb/March that we seemed to be stuck in a perpetual winter. Thanks for visiting!

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