May Flowers: Delphinium

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Delphiniums are perennials grown for their showy spikes of colorful summer flowers in gorgeous shades of blue, pink, white, and purple. They are popular in cottage-style gardens and cutting gardens. Delphiniums are a favorite of many gardeners and sometimes a challenge. They prefer moist, cool summers and do not fare well in hot, dry summers. The plants also dislike sudden wind or rain.

Plant in spring, spacing plants 1 to 3 feet apart, depending on the variety. Prepare the garden bed by using a garden fork or tiller to loosen the soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches, then mix in a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the pot the plant is in. Carefully remove the plant from its container and place it in the hole so the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Carefully fill in around the root ball and firm the soil gently. Water thoroughly.