Delphiniums, family and fun

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Open Days

Our annual open week end is this coming December 1st and 2nd. We’re open from 9am until 4pm. This is the time of year when most of the delphiniums are in flower and there are always a steady flow of visitors with cameras. Visitors love to see pollination demonstrations but mostly they just ogle the delphiniums and wonder how they can repeat that in their own garden. Simple, buy our plants and seeds and follow the instructions!

I love these open days. They are like an annual validation of the work we do and I just love to see people enjoying the sight.

This year the large paddock of seedlings on trial will not be there as we’re using the land to build another plastic house, which may well be started by then December 1st. There will still be plenty to see however as we have a few hundred flowering plants outside to supply pollen for the seed crossing. The two existing plastic houses (600 square metres total) are loaded with delphiniums in flower too.

Come and enjoy the day with us. If you are unable to make it at the week end then give us a call anyway and we’ll try to arrange a suitable time for you to drop in. We had two travelling couples, a mother and daughter from Canada and a couple from Sweden, call in last week so if you are avaid gardeners touring New Zealand, give us a call, we’ll be happy to arrange a time for you to visit.

More questions answered:

Do we ship plants to the USA?

Many folk ask if we ship plants outside New Zealand. The answer, unfortunately, is no – we only ship seeds. If, however, you would like a plant similar to say, Sarita or Sunrise (for example), then ask and we will suggest the best possible seedline to give you a great chance of producing similar plants.

Dwindles? What are they?

I was recently asked if I get “Dwindles”. At first I thought this may be a personal question that I don’t care to answer but then realised it may be referring to plants that gradually lose vigour and don’t come back the next year. Yes, we do get the occasional dwindle. In seed grown plants there is always a chance of the odd weak one. It is useful to remember that the soil in your garden can vary enormously over very small distances. You may have perfectly healthy soil in one place only to find that a couple of metres away there is either a disease problem, fertiliser imbalance or some physical difference that can have a large impact. Don’t always assume that “dwindles” are the fault of the plant.

How often should I divide my delphiniums?

Unfortunately this is very akin to asking “How long is a piece of string”. It depends on the plant, the climate, the soil and most of all, the personal preference of the gardener. As a general rule I suggest that if your delphiniums are taller than you would like, have thinner stems than ideal, are too crowded for your taste or have a very large crown but send up weak shoots, it may be time to divide. The best time to do this is in the very early spring when the new growth is either just about to start or very shortly afterwards (shoots are only just breaking buds or no more than an inch or so tall). Use whatever method suits you and damages the crown and roots the least.

We very rarely divide ours and don't have a vigour loss problem. I know
many folk do divide the clumps after a couple of years though, with good

The image to the right is of our delphiniums growing in the garden of Anne Cooke of Dawson Creek BC, Canada

Cheers for now


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