Too Few The Mornings Be
July 16 2021
This is from a poem by Emily Dickinson-it popped into my head this rainy cool morning when one is given to such pensive thoughts. Also, it’s the summer solstice; the days will start getting shorter and it feels like summer just began. Actually, it did, here in northern Montana. We need to celebrate every moment, every passing flower, every shade of green, and those long, long summer days of abundance in the gardens. Between sunrise and sunset, we have sixteen hours of sunlight and add in another hour or more of dawn and dusk, the days are long and glorious after a winter of the opposite.
In the interests of said profusion, I plant everything I can jam into my gardens-yes, to the point of overcrowding. A couple of years ago, my grandson came with me to a greenhouse and I told him to pick out a flower, any flower. He chose a delphinium, probably because it had a tall spike of blue/purple flowers with white centers-kind of dramatic. I’ll never look at that ‘King Arthur’ delphinium without thinking of that little boy carrying it so carefully with one arm protectively around the flower spike, though I suspect he has forgotten.
The name ‘Delphinium’ comes from a Greek work ‘delphinion’ which means dolphin-I guess I can see a dolphin in the flower shape since I read that, but I wouldn’t have thought of that on my own. This early summer day, the delphinium is just beginning to bloom with one to two foot spikes of flowers on six foot tall plants, though I have seen some eight feet or more. It’s good to give them some wind protection or tie them up a bit. I normally cut off the spent flower stalks (they will seed themselves around) but apparently I slacked off on that job because they reseeded -in the immediate vicinity, not all over the place. Now I have a happy thicket of delphiniums and some to share.
The flower meanings for delphiniums are cheerfulness, levity and joy, quite suitable I think, for the overflowing gardens of summer when every day is a gift. But there’s just not enough of either summer days or flowers, which is maybe all the more reason to appreciate each and every one.
Delphinium ‘King Arthur’ zone 3-7, Delphinium elatum, perennial