WELCOME to the BLOXHAM - BROUGHTON region of North Oxfordshire

In these pages, David & Shirley Bassett share their experiences in growing


Details of our Book are given below





1. Summerfield Delphiniums 2. Fascinating Florets 3. Delphiniums from Seed 4. Delphinium Species

This page was last updated 24/03/13


Background: View to Broughton across a crop of autumn sown Oil Seed Rape in late March 2013

5.Delphinium Society Show   Consider joining the Delphinium Society if you love delphiniums


The second half of 2012 will be remembered for record rainfall that ruined our flowers and made it difficult to collect seeds. By early November the soil in our garden and all the fields around was totally saturated with water. This situation persisted through the first three months of 2013 and garden maintenance has been very difficult due to the wet and cold conditions with overnight frost and periods of snow but, above all, a shortage of sunshine. Our neighbour's crop of Oil Seed Rape seen in the background picture looks to have gone backwards in the last 3 months, with serious damage being caused by wood pigeons and roe deer that have also attacked evergreen shrubs in our garden.

As the end of March approaches, increasing daylength is at last encouraging our delphiniums in the borders to push shoots above the soil surface. There have been other signs of Spring in the lovely flowers of assorted Iris, Anemones and Hellebores like that in the left-hand picture above. Delphinium seedlings given the protection of a warm environment indoors are growing well, as seen in the right-hand picture. A wide range of Delphinium species in pots is growing steadily in the cold frames outdoors, with a fascinating variety in the form of their leaves. Young plants of D. hansenii ssp ewanium, like that in the centre picture, are of special interest as clusters of buds are already apparent at the top of slender flower stems.

Unfortunately the fencing that keeps rabbits out of our garden is not a barrier to Roe deer, which we see nearly every day and we are now experiencing severe damage to many shrubs in our garden. For example, the lower branches of willows and two mulberry trees were stripped of leaves last summer and during the winter leaves have been stripped from the lower branches of Viburnum tinus and Arbutus unedo. The deer are clearly in close proximity to our delphiniums. We have not yet experienced obvious damage, although it is perhaps only a matter of time and we must remain vigilant for any signs of damage.



"Delphiniums" by David and Shirley Bassett

ISBN (13digit) 9780713490022

was published in the UK in November 2006 by Batsford, an imprint of Anova Books Company Ltd.

It can be ordered direct from the publisher at their website: www.anovabooks.com

In North America the book is published by Timber Press and can be ordered from their website: www.timberpress.com

Alternatively, try other booksellers, eg Amazon

Extensively illustrated with our photographs, this 160 page book has a detailed survey of delphiniums in cultivation and also includes a survey of wild delphiniums from around the world. We discuss the basis of breeding cultivated delphiniums and describe how we make crosses. We describe how delphiniums may be used in gardens and give details of cultivation methods for plants in the open ground and containers. We describe how to raise delphiniums from seed, how to propagate them from cuttings and the pests and diseases that can affect them. We include details of special procedures required for growing some wild delphiniums.