With seeds such as delphiniums, I sow them into trays initially. When they are about an inch high, I thin them out and transplant the larger seedlings into root-trainers, where they grow to form deep roots, after which time I pot them up till the end of the season.
The young plants, even though sturdy-looking by the time they are planted out in Autumn, are a great favourite of slugs and snails. Many of the delphiniums tend to be gobbled up over the Winter months. I make it a habit, therefore, to grow a few of these plants most years as a precaution.
To help combat the effect of the molluscs on the young plants - though not wishing to destroy the slugs and snails as they are all part of the magic web of life - I spread fine grit around the young plants which deters some of the guzzlers, thus ensuring the survival of some of the delphiniums till the following Spring.
In this area where it is open and windswept, we have to stake taller plants, such as delphiniums. However, neither gales nor the threat of gorging slugs and snails prevent me from growing them. I love their tall, tapering, graceful flower-heads, and the tones of the muted ones create a subtle colour scheme within our garden.
Flambouyant! - Today's flambouyant (Royal poinciana) blooms take the show. I grew this tree from seeds I collected in Guyana 5 and a half years ago.
10 months ago