Monday, May 16, 2011

The Larkspur Ascending

(For those who don't get it, the title is a reference to a beautiful classical piece by Ralph Vaughn Williams called "The Lark Ascending.")

Larkspurs are an annual related to Delphiniums (which unfortunately don't grow in the Deep South.)  They are planted from seed in October or November down here and will grow throughout the winter and bloom profusely from March through May.  The flowers are highly prized by bumblebees and hummingbirds.

My variety is called "Rocket" larkspurs and they get quite tall.  They are very reliable re-seeders and come back year after year without me having to replant.  I sometimes scatter the seeds in new places if I want them in other areas.

They come in all shades of blue, purple, pink, lavender, and white.  I really like the blue ones.  They are essential for the cottage garden look and for the insects and birds that I love so much.

They are best planted at the back of a bed because of their height.  I think they mix well with sweetpeas, dianthus, nigella, and petunias for a cool season bed.


NellJean said...

They are beautiful. Butterflies visit, too.

I like the purples. I'm gathering seed now as it gets ripe to scatter in November. I've selected out until I rarely get a true blue. There was one pink this year. I'd like to select out for only doubles.

Jeannie B. said...

These are so pretty. They will go on my list for next year!