Delightful Delphiniums

Christine Gill (left) and Tweed Hort President Joan Morton

Christine
Gill and her husband Peter from Nestleton (near Port Perry) were the guest
speakers at the June meeting of the Tweed and
District Horticultural Society. Christine is a member of the Ontario Delphinium
Club. Using a power point presentation, she shared photos of delphiniums in Canada, England
and Iceland…the
photos of these magnificent plants were stunning! Some grow as tall as 8 feet
and the colours were equally as impressive!
According
to Christine, these hardy perennials will grow in any soil with 6-8 hours of
sunlight. She suggested planting them where they will NOT get the hot afternoon
sun as it is too strong. Always keeping the plants damp not wet was one
important piece of advice Christine gave members. She also suggested placing ashes
around the base of the plants to enhance the colours. The plants come in a
variety of colours….pink, purple, blue, white and lavender-mauve-violet. The
plants with purple flowers tend to be stronger. Members asked about red
delphiniums….the plants with red flowers do not come back…they are  like an annual! Due to their height
delphiniums often need to be staked. The flowers will bloom from June to the
end of September.
The
plants do not like to have their crowns sitting in water in the spring. After
the spring thaw, it is important that the plants do not dry out. It is
suggested that the plants are watered deeply every 2-3 days during a hot
summer.
To
produce stronger plants, Christine recommended leaving 3 spikes at the end of
the season and don’t let the plant go to seed during the first year.
Growing
from seed requires the use of promix and clean trays with domes. Simply grow
the seeds (using seeds from a reliable source like the Ontario Delphinium Club)
in the trays rather than using the small peat pots…this encourages a stronger
root system. When plants are 2-3 inches tall, transplant to pots and put
outdoors to harden…end of April…depending on the weather. Root cuttings can
also be done to grow new plants
In
the spring, Christine suggested cleaning out the old stalks close to the
crown…cut with snips rather than pulling the stalks. 
An
invitation to the Ontario Delphinium Club Field Day was extended to all
members. The event will take place in Brooklin (just north of Oshawa) on June 27 @11:00. Christine’s
husband will be manning the barbeque….and apparently he is a great
cook…according to him!!!! There will be plants/seeds for sale, a flower show
and an auction….a fun day for all! For more information, check the
website…www.ondelphiniums.com
COMING
UP
….
June
13
….Clean-up
of flower beds in town.
June
15
…Bus
Trip to Winery and Gardens…contact Linda @ 
613-478-6850 for more information.
July
10-12
…Tweed Agricultural Fair…The Club will be having a floral
display and a collage of club events. Fair entries must be set up by noon on
Friday July 10.  Set-up for the club is
Saturday July 11@ 8am.

July
7
….Strawberry
Social and Power Point Presentation with Penny Stewart. Penny will be showing
some of the outstanding gardens she has visited.

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