July 12, 2010

Why You Should Stake Delphiniums



I never got around to staking my 'Pagan Purple' delphiniums this year. I was kind of hoping that since they're overcrowded in a bed with a large lilac shrub that they'd all kind of hold each other up. Apparently I was wrong.



Here is a picture of one of my backyard flower beds taken a couple of days ago. You can see Campanula 'Pearl Blue' down low, a crimson 'William Shakespeare 2000' english rose shrub, violet 'Caradonna' salvia, and the giant 'Pagan Purple' delphs. The tallest ones are over six feet (two meters) tall.



Here is the same view from this afternoon. We've had a very windy day today. Even the rose has flopped over. Its stems should get stronger with a few more years of growth, so I'll not worry about staking it. But I definitely need to remove a few of the delphs and stake the ones that are left for next year.



This is a pretty shot, despite the fact that the delph stalks are pointing the wrong direction. In the background are bleeding heart foliage and 'Lime Rickey' heucheras. I love lime green and deep violet-blue together.



If I didn't love their flowers so much, I'd never put up with all the work needed to grow good delphiniums. They need rich, moist soil. They need extra stalks removed in early spring so the clump doesn't become too congested (I didn't do that either this year, oops). And staking, of course.



The good news is that you don't have to feel guilty about chopping off a ton of flowers to fill up a vase when the stalks are already laying on the ground. Do you notice how the vase looks like it's leaning? The wind knocked it over a couple of seconds after I took this shot. Nothing broke, though, and I put the flowers in a bigger vase.



I also cut some of the crimson roses and put them in a vase with delphs to give to a friend. These are some seriously pretty flowers! Although the delphiniums don't smell, the 'William Shakespeare 2000' roses have a very strong, romantic scent.



At least I caught a shot of the bed before the wind trashed it. Live and learn.

22 comments:

  1. Your garden is stunning and i'm so jealous of those delphiniums! They'd never make it here, so I grow larkspur instead.

    The rose and delphiniums together -- wow, what a great color combination!

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  2. I am so glad to see you made lemonade out of lemons....or something like that. I hate staking plants/flowers, I almost never do it. It's the Crocosmia in my garden that suffer from my laziness.

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  3. I guess there is a benefit to everything being short in my garden. :)
    I have delphs but rarely stake them. I am lazy like danger garden.

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  4. My heavily staked delphinium really didn't fare much better than yours. We had torrential rains with high winds, and the sodden flowerheads simply bent over just above the highest point where I had tied them to the stake. So, instead of mine being horizontal, they were pointing straight down at the ground. Next year, I'm going to get a couple of the "garden grids" from Gardener's Supply and see how they work. The bottom line is that I love delphiniums enough that I think they're worth all the extra trouble. -Jean

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  5. I really like the color combinations in your garden! The delphs are such a wonderful shade of blue! They look fabulous growing against the white wall.

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  7. Hi VW,

    I do love those Delphs, you're tempting me far too much with them now!
    This year I planted some monkshood which seems to be a similar shade... perhaps they will quench my delph thirst??

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  8. They are beauties indeed, even if they do flop a bit. I wish I could grow them.

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  9. Oustanding delphiniums, my darling!!!! Sorry they fell down, I would also thought they wouldn´t need a stack... I will learn from your experience!!!
    many hugs to you,
    maria cecilia

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  10. Same thing happened to mine, all three of them. At least I was able to solace myself by cutting them and placing them in a vase. Seems like if they are meant to get that tall, they should have the stalk strength to handle the top-heaviness. Oh well, I'll be better prepared next year.

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  11. The delphinium flowers are gorgeous, vertical or horizontal. The wind blown ones made a very abundant bouquet, and are especially showy with the crimson roses.

    I don't have too much that I have to stake, other than the peony, but I just throw a metal ring over them after they emerge. It doesn't involve tying. If I don't stake my raspberries, it makes for prickly berry picking.

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  12. They are gorgeous plants~I love the water color effect of the flower. I am terrible about staking~Makes the bed look messy, but then so does a plant lying broken and battered by wind! gail

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  13. I usually wait to stake things until they are falling over, I always hope they'll stay up by themselves too.
    The Delphiniums are just gorgeous, I love that color! The rose is really pretty too. It looks like you you got two nice bouquets out of the work though.

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  14. I am so happy to see that I am not the only ones with horizontal delphiniums. THe colour of yours is beautiful - so rich and deep and a perfect combination with William Shakespeare 2000

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  15. It isn't too late to take some sort of ropelike matreial and hook it back to the wall behind and corral the delphs if you are distressed about them and the roses. Sometimes a bamboo stuck in here and there can be helpful and not too obtrusive. You don't even have to tie things to them, they just seem to know , "Oh, there is my stake, I guess I'll lean here." Happy Gardenening fellow blogger!

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  16. Hi VW, I feel your pain. Gardening can be so joyous and so frustrating and sometimes within the span of a few minutes. And nature is not always in our court. But like you said, you've got photos and they are indeed nice. And there's always next year--hardly a comfort right now though, is it?

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  17. They look good though!

    Stake 'em early next year.

    Your Will Shakespeare looks in rude health.

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  18. Beautiful delphs, even if they aren't pointing in the right direction! Haha Just found your blog through Blotanical - glad I did. Looking forward to future posts! Tracy

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  19. Oh my..those delphiniums are such a beautiful color! I have never grown them but would love to try them one year. Putting them on my wish list. Do you grow larkspurs? I have bought the seed but want to get them planted next month so they'll get a headstart and will bloom in the Spring of 2011. That rose..oh she's a beauty too!

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  20. I've complimented all your postings but they are not showing up..is there a problem with your site? Your blogspot is full of wonderful photos and information to share with other gardeners.

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  21. Last year I had the same misadventure ! I sweared I would never plant delphinums again but meanwhile I changed my mind...I couldn't miss them. I will stake them better this year.

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