Graham Austin of Home Farm Plants in Bovingdon was our guest speaker for the third meeting of 2019. Graham’s talk was entitled ‘Success with Delphiniums’ and provided a master class on the propagation and growing and showing of Delphiniums. His nursery grows everything from seed, nothing is brought in.
The majority of garden centres sell ‘Pacific Giant’ delphiniums originally bred in California. This species are annual and do not survive in cold conditions.
Only Elatum delphiniums will thrive for many years given the right growing conditions. They are good and hardy and are not affected by colder weather but they must be given good drainage.
The hard crown must be cut to take cuttings and should be thinned to no more than 3 shoots shoots in the first year. Feeding after thinning is important to ensure good growth. To deter slugs sharp sand in generous quantities should be heaped around each plant. Plants less than 12 inches high should be staked early with 3 canes around each plant. Organic slug pellets can still be used but sprinkled around the plant but not to use too many. Nematodes mixed with water and compressed wool are other options.
Some favourite named delphiniums available from the nursery are as follows:
Blue Nile, a true blue variety.
Sandpiper Floret , white
Cassius can grow to 8 ft.
Bruce, purple 6-8ft
Darling Sue, white 4-5ft
Vanessa Mae blue and stripey
Elizabeth Cook, white ‘rosebud’
Ruby wedding new exciting cranberry colour
Boadicea new variety 5-6 ft
For further information contact Graham on 07773 798068 or via the website: homefarmplants.co.uk
The next meeting of the Society at Roundwood Park School will be on 14 May when one of our favourite and popular speakers, Timothy Walker the Botanist and Author, will talk about ‘How to be a 21st Century Gardener’
We look forward to welcoming members and visitors then.