‘Ideal time’ to plant King Charles’ favourite flower

Mary Berry reveals family link to a type of delphinium

Since the start of the month, interest in King Charles’ favourite flower, the delphinium, has increased by 88 percent. The beautiful perennial is known for its rich colours with the flower available in shades of blue, purple, pink, red and white.

The plant is also great as a cut flower and is a great addition to a wildlife garden.

So why are delphiniums the King’s favourite flower? The Royal Family’s Twitter account announced the King’s favourite flower was the delphinium in 2020 as part of a “#MyChelseaGarden” thread.

When discussing the flower, the monarch said the plant “holds pride of place in my botanical affection”.

He also told Radio 4: “I have an absolute passion… for delphiniums – and I’ve always had it.

“There’s something about those Edwardian watercolours… To me, gardening is rather like painting. You need to get the paint on – and not muck about.”

The plant is also available in a beautiful royal blue variety, which makes it the perfect accompaniment to a coronation bouquet.

With the coronation just days away, Lucy Taylor, manager at Vine House Farm, has shared how to care for delphiniums and get the most out of the plant.

When to plant delphiniums

Lucy said spring is the “ideal time” to plant delphiniums as the soil is warm and moist.

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The expert claimed the coronation bank holiday is actually the perfect time to plant the flowers in the garden.

Delphiniums bloom in the summer which means gardeners can enjoy their beautiful colours while socialising in the sun.

How to care for delphiniums

Delphiniums grow tall which means they need to be staked early on to ensure they don’t collapse under their own weight.

Lucy also said the plants need a lot of food and protecting from garden pests.

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She said: “These plants need a lot of feeding so ensure they don’t dry out in hot weather and use fertiliser every two or three weeks.

“They are also vulnerable to slugs when they’re newly planted so be sure to protect them.

“Inviting birds into your garden with other food sources can bolster your defences against slug pests, proving how important it is to consider your garden’s biodiversity.”

How delphiniums help wildlife

As they’re flowering plants, delphiniums provide great nectar for pollinators like butterflies and bees.

Encouraging pollinators will also increase biodiversity in the garden which could mean more birds entering the garden.

The experts said some of the species that like catching insects include house martins, spotted flycatchers, swallows and swifts.

Because these species have declined in recent years, providing them with more food sources could help support their numbers.

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