Delphinium Astolat


At this time of year, delphiniums stand about in the garden like rockets or fireworks that have left their blazing trail standing in the air – the most vigorous and meaty verticals the summer garden can provide. Eremurus and foxgloves are somehow gauzier and more delicate, making less of a solid block, but that big clumpy, forest-like density of delphinium colour is their great contribution.

Julian and Isabel Bannerman – the great garden designers – have made a bed devoted almost solely to delphiniums in their own garden at Hanham Court. In their characteristically confident style their bed is not 5ft long, not 20ft, but a 50ft expansion of every tone of blue.

They were inspired by the great show stands of specialist nursery Blackmore & Langdon, one of the highlights for years at Chelsea Flower Show (RHS exhibitor since 1903), but the Bannermans' church-backed bed in their flower-crammed garden surpasses even that. Each plant – now three years old – stands well above my head, and they are in colour blocks, three or four plants in each group.

Many of us are tentative about using delphiniums together as their show is magnificent but brief, but – if we have the room – we should rethink that. This month of concerto is worth the other 11 months of quiet. If you know the plants you like, back them all the way, fill whole areas of your garden with just them and revel in it. 

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Our home-grown hardy plants are sold with a 5-year guarantee to grow, should your plant fail, simply return it with proof of purchase and we will happily offer you a replacement, with delivery free of charge if purchased online.
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