Last year, early in the history of this humble blog, I profiled this favorite of mine, Blue Butterfly Delphinium. (I'll refer you to the previous post for more details on cultivation and some perspective on how it looked just a year ago last week.)
Since I've not had great luck with the Pacific Giants and Magic Fountains Delphiniums the past few years ... none of last year's returned this year ... they seem to last about two years and then disappear. At this point I've more or less given up on them for now, and am now concentrating on establishing more of this dwarf variety around the garden. This stand has diminished somewhat since last year, but I think that again, the April weather had something to do with that, not to mention that the Liatris who once "shared" this bed have virtually taken it over at this point. So I think this plant may be due for moving later this summer once it has quit blooming.
In May, I discovered a new, similar variety called Blue Elf and planted two of those, and thus far they appear virtually identical except for the blooms, which on Blue Elf have a nice purplish center to them, while Blue Butterfly exhibits that intense true, deep blue, which is difficult to accurately capture in photos (and believe me, I've tried!) . The new ones are getting close to blooming but are still getting settled into their new quarters, and when they put on their show, they'll be appearing here.
This year I'm going to be more assiduous about collecting the seeds from these specimens, as I want to try to get some groupings going around the original plants, just to assure them their space and future plants from the parents ... just to make sure they stick around!
One of the resources I've recently found very useful and eminently readable is Paghat's Garden, a wonderful chronicle of a Pacific Northwest garden just filled with fascinating flowers. In case you're interested in getting her perspective, Paghat's Post on Blue Butterfly Delphinium is here.
Note on the photos: Taken June 24, 2007 on a cloudy and damp day by IVG.