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Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Pacific Giant Delphinium in Austin

A few people wondered how I grew this delphinium which was budded for GBBD on May 15th and is now opening blooms. They're not generally recommended for Austin so growing it wasn't part of a just sort of happened:

April 2006, dig out St Augustine grass to make a triangle-shaped bed. Buy an obelisk and add it to the bed. Grow things in this bed for 3 years, continuously adding compost & decomposed granite. Water, weed and use Hasta-gro, Liquid seaweed and John's recipe.

In winter 2009 plant sweet peas to grow on obelisk. By March 30, realize drought followed by hail equals no sweetpeas. Stop by Shoal Creek Nursery on way home from somewhere else and impulse-buy a vigorous plant of Mixed Pacific Giant Delphiniums for less than $2. Add more compost, plant, water in with seaweed. Water a couple of times a week for 6 weeks and rejoice when we get a short spell of cooler weather just as bud stalks emerge.

Since the flowers are semi-double white, the variety might be 'Galahad'. I will think of this genuine Knight of a Delphinium as an annual, a consolation prize for the failure of the usually dependable larkspurs/annual delphiniums. (EDIT: Added this second photo May 21 - weather heading back to 90's so it may not last longer than a cut flower - but cost no more than cut Delphiniums and I had the pleasure of watching it grow and unfold)

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