Thursday, August 1, 2013

I Stop! for the Delphinium blues....

I stop for Delphinium elatum
 One of the many pleasures of wandering the mountain towns of Colorado in the summertime is to be assaulted by the emphatic blues of delphiniums. The so-called "Pacific Hybrid" forms of Delphinium elatum (which I have observed in the wild in Central Asia--not exactly Oregon) grow just about everywhere, but they seem to grow with special vigor at altitude--and the flowers last all summer long. Here is a particularly striking clump we saw a few days ago in Crested Butte--one of my favorite mountain tourist towns...

A closer look
 I can't think of many garden plants that capture this tint--heavenly blue Morning Glories, perhaps. The true Gentiana farreri. But neither of these have similar dense columns of furious blue...

the white eye enhances the whole effect
More delphiniums...
 These pictures are hardly exceptional--I just happened to like the variety of colors that happened with these--also in Crested Butte...

Dark and light together
 The contrast between one of the darkest navy blue selections and the pale robin's egg is enchanting...

Two tones of soft blue
And here we have two variably tones of Cambridge blue together--also delightful don't you think?
Delphinium occidentale
These pictures of the native, wild delphinium of the hills around Crested Butte (on Kebler pass to be exact) is not quite as dazzling as the cultivars...this is one of three tall larkspurs found at higher elevations in our state--all three of which are usually a dark, violet purple color (lovely, but not as dazzling as the true blues).
Delphinium grandiflorum
For those with smaller gardens, even on the plains, this miniature Chinese delphinium can be a terrific addition. I have had this persist for many years and it can bloom for weeks in the middle of summer.I took this a few days ago in the garden of Dan Johnson--but mine at home are almost as nice..

Whatever shape or form they come in, the delphinium blues are welcome any time!

1 comment:

  1. I only wish Delphinium elatum was a perennial in my area. I grew a bunch from two different seed sources. They bloomed profusely the second year then promptly died. I wish the seed that had fallen in the garden germinated. However, this did not occur. This species would be worth growing as a biennial in partial shade in my area.

    Chicago Area, IL


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