May 28, 2009

Larkspur Blooms from Seeds

To say that I love these annual larkspur flowers is an understatement! The range of colors, the height and width of the larkspur is easy to use in several garden locations.

I planted a mix of Larkspur 'Galilee Blue' and Giant Imperial 'Lilac Spire' in a random pattern in October 2008. The seeds sprouted up during winter and the seedlings really began to show some height in late March 2009.

Larkspur 'Carmine King' seeds were also sown in October, but those are just now beginning to bloom and are much shorter, about knee-high. I don't know if the height is associated with the variety or with the location in my garden. The color of deep pink blends harmonically with spirea 'Neon Flash', but I also sowed the seeds all along the outside of the cottage garden fence. The Knock Out® Roses 'Radrazz' are inside the cottage garden fence, so I attempted to work with the deep magenta color scheme. Since I'm not getting the height/bloom yet, I can't provide feedback on whether or not I'll use this color again.

I am using the larkspur in both the deer resistant garden and the cottage garden. In both locations, the larkspur is used for color until my peak summer bloom season. The narrow width of the larkspur makes it easy to use between the larger perennials and shrubs. I did get a bit close to some of the perennials as they have filled out, but it doesn't seem to matter how close the larkspur is to the other plants.

Larkspur is deer and rabbit resistant. Although a rabbit sampled a few of the seedlings (all parts are supposed to be poisonous), the plants bounced back and bloomed.

Sowing the seeds was simple. I just pressed them into good garden soil in October while I was planting fall bulbs. I am so pleased with the results that I will sow more seed again this autumn.

Story and photos by Freda Cameron; Location: home garden; May 2009
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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