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Delphinium 'Coral Sunset'

28th August 2013

Usually it takes something bright and shiny or tasting of chocolate to leave me gibbering, dribbling and quivering with sensations that don't bear analysis but sometimes it's just a Delphinium.
I say "just a Delphinium" but this astonishing warm pink flower is a marvel, far removed from the usual pink Delphinium which are generally mulberry at best, more often the colour of a raw blister when you take the plaster off too early.
I couldn't resist it though I doubted it would live long. Throw caution to the wind, perfect gardens and perfect plants aren't measured by their durability or dogged determination. They are unmeasurably in the moment, gleeful, unbelievable, instantly overwhelming. I was taken, I was very taken and I don't care that eventually I will be given back.
Discovered by Nico Wigchert in the Netherlands as a sport on 'Princess Caroline'. 'Princess Caroline' was the first of the red University hybrids raised by Professor Legrow, the colour deriving originally from D. nudicaule which also seems to have led to the hybrids being short lived. They have been widely available thanks to tissue culture but only remain in cultivation because of the cut flower industry.
Perhaps I have jumped ahead of myself by admitting that 'Coral Sunset' was dead by the end of the year despite my attempts to get it to produce a basal shoot. Perhaps if I had cut the flower spike off immediately but that takes more rational thought than I'm going to let in.