Cottage Garden Flowers: Delphiniums

Pink white and blue delphiniums with loosestrife
Delphiniums with loosestrife

I felt like we all might need a treat today – myself included. So I’m sharing a few pictures of delphiniums, one of the best loved cottage garden plants, as part of my pictures for dreaming series.

I tend to associate delphiniums with blue flowers, but a wide range of colours is available from specialist nurseries, including purple, lavender, pink, cream, white and bicolours.

Delphiniums with Rosa Lady Emma Hamilton and Rosa Scepter'd Isle
Delphiniums and roses at Wollerton Old Hall

Delphiniums simply beg to be combined with other plants. I didn’t catch Rosa ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ (the orange rose) at her peak here, but Rosa ‘Scepter’d Isle’ (the pink one) is not far from it.

Lilac delphiniums and white rambling roses
Lilac delphiniums and rambling roses

I wonder if there is a more classic combination than delphiniums and roses?

Short delphiniums at the front of a flower bed
Short delphiniums in a mixed flower border

These delphiniums feature in a design for a courtyard garden and are (unusually) placed towards the front of the border, due to their compact size.

Tall, double flowered delphiniums
Towering, double flowered delphiniums

A pretty pink double delphinium next to the spiral topiary puts the giant purple ones into perspective. The tall ones make me smile, especially as wind has been up for the last day or so. Elegant, they may be, but they’d not last long without substantial support and they would look better to my eye if they were a more established clump. But ought I to ask more of such a splendid double? Their towers certainly made the garden much more memorable.

Delphinium elatum 'Walton Gemstone' is a very pale lilac
Delphinium elatum ‘Walton Gemstone’

It’s tempting here to raid my files and share as many delphinium pictures as I can find, but I’ll content myself with just a few more. Delphinium ‘Walton Gemstone’ is a very pale lavender double, its greyish tones lifted by the creamy bee.

Blue delphinium with lavender eye and dark bee

This classic blue delphinium has a lavender centre and a dark bee.

White delphiniums

Finally, creamy white Delphinium with golden plates of Achillea filipendulina and – are those spikes of Veronica in the foreground, do you think?

Mmm. Dreaming of a cottage garden with a few of these in would raise a smile. And in our dreams, we don’t have to think about staking… or snails…

See all pictures for dreaming posts

46 Replies to “Cottage Garden Flowers: Delphiniums”

  1. Money Don featured them this week and I’m determined to grow them next year even though I don’t really have the room. My garden is miniscule and I cram far too much in there but I love colour and these delphiniums are fantastic.

  2. Wow, how beautiful. I am intrigued with the compact blue one and will have to look at local nurseries and garden centers here in Michigan. I need some spike in my garden.

  3. I have a couple of delphinium plants grown from seed and I love them as do the bees. Mine are blue though and I am quite taken by those white ones. Lovely post.

    1. Whenever I have heard of delphinium being used as a colour name it has always been a pretty blue. But seeing all the variation does make you think there would be a lot of leeway!

  4. Blue with lavender eye has always been my favorite. Not sure I like the doubles, as the ‘bee’ is what makes them special to me. If they weren’t so intolerant of wind, I might grow them. In the past, I’ve lost them in full bloom because a storm brews up and even staked, there is damage, alas.
    I think the flower in the foreground of the last photo is Culver’s Root.

    1. I did have some doubt writing this on what would count as a double. I tend to be very literal about singles. There are petal counts for roses to determine singles, semis and doubles – I’ll have to try to find out if there is something similar for delphiniums.

  5. I want that white one! I had a white delphinium once that was my pride and joy for several seasons and then just gave up. I still miss it. I also love the deep blue. It is so easy to want more flowers and so hard to figure out where to put them. But photos like these make me shamelessly covetous.

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