The delphinium (also called larkspur) is a magnificent and sturdy plant. Their blooms rise like tall spires to a height of five to seven feet giving the garden a wealth of blue which it might otherwise lack.
The blue delphinium comes in many shades from the soft azure of the forget-me-not to the rich blue of gentian. Deep sapphire, royal purple, lavender and mauve hues are all represented and delphiniums of all shades harmonize well with each other.
Delphiniums are particularly effective in a hardy or herbaceous border or massed in front of or among shrubs. Plants which contrast well with them are yellow or white hollyhocks.
The best way to propagate delphiniums is by saving seeds from the choicest plants. The seed can be sown in the open ground in mid-summer or early autumn as soon as the seed is ripe.
In early spring, the seedlings can be moved to a permanent position and all will be in bloom by mid-summer. If the first stems are cut off as soon as they finish flowering, the plants will produce a second crop of flowers in September or October.
Seed sown indoors in February and transplanted into the garden once the danger of frost has passed, will happily flower freely during their first season.
During the second year, if the plants are fed properly and the soil is of good quality, the height, number of blooms and size of the flowers will increase. Delphiniums thrive best in a sandy loam soil which has been thoroughly worked and well drained.
Delphiniums are hardy so there is no need to protect them during the winter.