Cold, cold, cold, cold

….just for the record – it’s been blummin cold!  You may have even noticed.

With the weather and and even busier than ever working life, progress has been slow with building our second greenhouse for this year’s Chelsea Flower Show delphiniums.

For the record, last December Mark bid for, and won, a used Robinson 12*8 greenhouse.  The footings were dug at the end of the Xmas hols.  They then promptly filled with water and 4 weeks ago we eventually got our builder friend around to build the walls for the frame to sit on.  He came on the two days of reasonable weather we’ve had this year – early March and there he was laying bricks in his shorts!

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There’s the result, we’ve lined the inside of the brickwork with a damp proof course membrane.  This keeps the greenhouse free from the damp of the soil and bricks.

Next, the floor is laid – just loose pea shingle which lets the pots sit nice and level in their saucers.

Continuing with the cold theme – here’s Anne cleaning down the greenhouse frame.  With the weather being cold anyway – it was excruciating once you’re wet from slopping plenty of water about!

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Romsey Show 2012

Flush from the success of 2011, we entered the show for 2012.

But sadly, it wasn’t to be.

Following the hideous summer, our plants were very late in producing their second crop of flowers.

As a result, we decided to withdraw rather than stage an exhibit that did not do the delphinium justice.

But every cloud has a silver lining and this meant we were free to help out Sue Ward stage her exhibit for the Hampshire Group of the Hardy Plant Society.

As ever, Sue put together a wonderful show to achieve her second Large Gold on the trot.  Here’s her 2012 stand having the finishing touches applied!

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Romsey Show 2011

Romsey Show in 2011 was quite something.  After being dropped in it by Mark entering us for a horticultural trade stand without my knowing, it was all hands to the pumps to get the plants growing well to produce the cut flowers we would need.

As you can see in the picture below, it went well enough with our being awarded a Gold Medal at our first attempt.  As you can imagine we were rather pleased with ourselves!


The judges were great, very complimentary and full of helpful suggestions.


We were even lucky enough to get a small piece in the local paper – the Romsey Advertiser.

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It’s been far too long!

I think along with many others we started this blog off with the intention of regular, maybe even weekly, updates!!!

Wow, what was I thinking?  So, I will make an effort to try and bring things up to date with some pictures in the coming days.  For this post I will just provide a review of the last 6 months or so.

Well, September 2011 will be remembered for our first ever Gold Medal for a display of delphiniums.   We also had a number of seed raised delphiniums flowering in to October and even November and I will try and post some pictures in the coming weeks.

The winter was spent preparing for opening our garden for the Hampshire group of the Hardy Plant Society of which Mark is Vice-Chairman.  Whilst we really enjoyed the opening and did complete a number of projects it took up time that we could have used to develop our small nursery.  But never mind, this will continue during the summer and autumn.  Our opening took place in February with spot on timing to catch our one and only snowfall of the winter.  At breakfast time we expected not a soul to show up but were delighted with 28 hardy planters coming to take a look at the snowdrops.

Since February we have been beavering away on finishing some landscaping jobs in the garden – the vegetable garden now has gravel paths with the growing areas contained within boards to keep things nice and tidy.

We have also sown LOTS of seeds and are busy now pricking out and growing on.  We’ve also been able to take lots of cuttings of some favourites including phlox, asters and penstemons.  We’ve learned a good few lessons in doing this and we will definitely make it the subject of a more detailed post.

Well, I did say it was a quick update!  The next post will, I promise follow a little sooner!


Best wishes, Anne and Mark.

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Simply Delphiniums

Welcome to SimplyDelphs.Com! – the delphinium pages of Anne and Mark Lyman.

These pages will be used to chronicle our experiences of growing garden delphiniums.
We also plan to provide lots of useful (we hope) information for those who are keen to grow these beautiful plants in their gardens.

Speaking with many gardeners over the years some people seem to struggle to grow good delphiniums  – those of the quality seen at the Chelsea Flower Show and the like.

However, we have found them to be very accommodating, requiring the minimum of care that deliver fantastic results year after year.  Many people report their delphiniums flowering well even after 15 years in the ground!  In fact, one of our Mums has moved house three times, on each occasion digging up her beloved plants and replanting in her new garden with great success.

Others whom we have given plants in the past have also reported success where they have suffered repeated failures in the past.  And that is why we have decided to put our experiences on line in the hope that more and more people will grow these plants and find them to be a real talking point in their gardens.  Some of the plants we grow even appear to be resistant to slugs!

The secret to growing good delphiniums lies in obtaining the very best plant material; the answer is literally in the genes but more of that in future posts…

Enjoy your garden, best wishes, Anne and Mark.


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