storm warnings –
the deep blue reach
of delphiniums

                                                                      – Billie Wilson (Alaska)
from Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years (Norton, 2013)

My delphiniums have been terrible this year. I shifted the two that have done all right in previous years to what I thought was a better spot for them. One promptly died and the other has put up a pathetic little spike. Meanwhile, the new one I bought in spring, which was planted alongside, has also stood still. Pah!

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Delphiniums in VanDusen Botanic Gardens, Vancouver, Canada. Photo: Sandra Simpson

planting delphiniums
in dark soil –
the taste of rain water 

– Sandra Simpson, published in tinywords 13.1.2013

The Vege Grower’s great-grandfather was a champion delphinium grower and we have the RHS medal to prove it. The Vege Grower, however, refuses to have anything to do with them. Dowdeswell’s Delphiniums, in Wanganui, is the home of this country’s top (only?) delphinium breeder, Terry Dowdeswell.