Caught Short


This first week of June (the first week of meteorological summer, as the weather-folk keep reminding us) has been marked by November temperatures, torrential showers, and gale force winds.  One of my delphiniums has not had a good time.


Delphinium ‘Magic Fountains White’

Jo's Delphinium Magic Fountains White delphinium 1 A

Here it is, a week or so ago.  The wall (my next-door-neighbour’s wall, so feel free to comment on the shonky brickwork) is a 2 metre high wall.  The Magic Fountains delphiniums are supposed to be short, not exceeding 90cm, which is why I felt okay putting it in a spot that is a bit of a wind tunnel.  Lessons learned there, including, do not believe the labels on Magic Fountains.

The green wire on the wall is meant to be there to train a Jasminum nudiflorum, winter-flowering jasmine, in an effort to hide the wall a bit, and quite possibly hold it up a bit.

So, on Friday night came gale force winds and torrential rain, and on Saturday morning, this delphinium was flat on the ground, behind the not-yet-flowering campanula to its right.

Time to get a couple of pieces of string, then, since I didn’t have any on me.  Unhappily, just at that moment of thought, the first fat drops of the next cloudburst hit.  What to do?

Our Stone Age ancestors often needed a bit of string, too.  They made use of honeysuckle, clematis, and nettles.  That gave inspiration.  This little patch needs weeding, and the main transgressor is bindweed.  A couple of lengths of bindweed stem proved to be perfect.  Know your enemy…


Jo's Delphinium Magic Fountains White 2 A

And here is the end product, 24 hours later.  It’s still tied to the jasmine’s wire by a couple of bindweed stems that, in the words of the Andrex advert, are soft, strong, and very long.

The stem was damaged, so it might not last long, but I should get a few more days out of my white delphinium.