Tuesday, 10 August 2010

ABC Wednesday - D

D for Delphiniums

my delphiniums - better next year!

delphiniums at The Eden Project (aren't they beautiful)

I love delphiniums and have tried to grow them, without much success until this year. Planted in my gardens they were the favoured food of the slugs and snails and I would not put down any deterrent as I was anxious about the birds, hedgehogs and frogs that also frequented the garden. When we moved to our first floor apartment I decided I would try again and grow them on our tiny balcony. I have succeeded and am delighted. Dainty blue flowers along the tall stems are still flowering. My determination has paid off at last.

I am very fond of the following poem by A A Milne, which was in a book given to me when I was a child.

The Dormouse and the Doctor
by Alan Alexander Milne 1882-1956

There once was a Dormouse who lived in a bed
Of delphiniums (blue) and geraniums (red),
And all the day long he'd a wonderful view
Of geraniums (red) and delphiniums (blue).

A Doctor came hurrying round, and he said:
"Tut-tut, I am sorry to find you in bed.
Just say 'Ninety-nine' while I look at your chest....
Don't you find that chrysanthemums answer the best?"

The Dormouse looked round at the view and replied
(When he'd said "Ninety-nine") that he'd tried and he'd tried,
And much the most answering things that he knew
Were geraniums (red) and delphiniums (blue).

The Doctor stood frowning and shaking his head,
And he took up his shiny silk hat as he said:
"What the patient requires is a change," and he went
To see some chrysanthemum people in Kent.

The Dormouse lay there, and he gazed at the view
Of geraniums (red) and delphiniums (blue),
And he knew there was nothing he wanted instead
Of delphiniums (blue) and geraniums (red).

The Doctor came back and, to show what he meant,
He had brought some chrysanthemum cuttings from Kent.
"Now these," he remarked, "give a much better view
Than geraniums (red) and delphiniums (blue)."

They took out their spades and they dug up the bed
Of delphiniums (blue) and geraniums (red),
And they planted chrysanthemums (yellow and white).
"And now," said the Doctor, "we'll soon have you right."

The Dormouse looked out, and he said with a sigh:
"I suppose all these people know better than I.
It was silly, perhaps, but I did like the view
Of geraniums (red) and delphiniums (blue)."

The Doctor came round and examined his chest,
And ordered him Nourishment, Tonics, and Rest.
"How very effective," he said, as he shook
The thermometer, "all these chrysanthemums look!"

The Dormouse turned over to shut out the sight
Of the endless chrysanthemums (yellow and white).
"How lovely," he thought, "to be back in a bed
Of delphiniums (blue) and geraniums (red.)"

The Doctor said, "Tut! It's another attack!"
And ordered him Milk and Massage-of-the-back,
And Freedom-from-worry and Drives-in-a-car,
And murmured, "How sweet your chrysanthemums are!"

The Dormouse lay there with his paws to his eyes,
And imagined himself such a pleasant surprise:
"I'll pretend the chrysanthemums turn to a bed
Of delphiniums (blue) and geraniums (red)!"

The Doctor next morning was rubbing his hands,
And saying, "There's nobody quite understands
These cases as I do! The cure has begun!
How fresh the chrysanthemums look in the sun!"

The Dormouse lay happy, his eyes were so tight
He could see no chrysanthemums, yellow or white.
And all that he felt at the back of his head
Were delphiniums (blue) and geraniums (red).

And that is the reason (Aunt Emily said)
If a Dormouse gets in a chrysanthemum bed,
You will find (so Aunt Emily says) that he lies
Fast asleep on his front with his paws to his eyes.

Perhaps my love of these flowers began then.

Thanks to Mrs Denise Nesbitt and her team who host ABC Wednesday. For more looks at the letter D please click here.


Maggie May said...

I love delphiniums.
What a great little poem. Makes you think that we don't always appreciate what we have till we lose it!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Sylvia K said...

Great post for the D Day! I love the poem by A.A. Milne, an old favorite! And your flowers are beautiful, as are your photos, Anne! Hope you're having a good week! Enjoy!


Jingle said...

very beautiful d post.

Alcoholic Daze (ADDY) said...

I adore the poem. I'd never heard it before. And your delphiniums and geraniums look beautiful.

photowannabe said...

Delightful ditty by Milne. Your delphiniums are very regal.

Winifred said...

Delphiniums grew amazingly in my granddads little front garden. I remember sitting on the handkerchief patch lawn looking at the gorgeous shades of blue. Like you I've never had success with them. I can't put slug pellets down either not just because of the birds and our cat. I can't stand the thought of killing the snails either. I take them for a walk to the bottom of the garden when I find them. What a softie!

I should have tried this summer as there's been barely a snail in sight for some reason.

Love that poem which I've never seen before. Very sweet. Must go and get a jam sandwich!

K(Banterings of a Basketcase) said...

I have never read that! I love it! and what a great poem to teach primary colors (red, yellow, blue). I particularly adore the picture of the doormouse.

Leslie: said...

I've never had success with them, either, but maybe I'll give them another go next year. :D Yours are beautiful!

Siromade said...

Its pretty flower love the second shot and your poem is wondeful to read.

Hildred and Charles said...

Beautiful delphiniums, and I love that poem! My delphiniums are just starting to bloom again after cutting them back after their earlier blooming and I am so pleased with them!

Gramma Ann said...

What a delightful little poem to go with your Delphiniums (blue) and your geraniums (red) pictures.

Roger Owen Green said...

so THAT is what that flower is!

nice poem, too.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Tumblewords: said...

A delightful D post - love the delphiniums and the dormouse poem (it's been a long time since I've heard it)!

joo said...

They are so beautiful Anne! One of my favourite summer flowers, but I have the same problem - don't know why, they don't like me and my garden:(
Yours are so pretty!

Manang Kim said...

Those flowers are so pretty! Great shot!

ABC Wednesday~D

Cezar and Léia said...

Bonjour dear Anne
your delphinium are so lovely.My mommy didn't know the name of this delicate flower, it's so cute, thanks for sharing.
Also beautiful poem! ;)
We love Luna

jabblog said...

Well done with your delphiniums. I've never grown them but think they're wonderful blues.
Love the poem.

mrsnesbitt said...

I love it - this is what I love about Wednesdays I always learn something! And that poem - inspiring I can tell you!

Anonymous said...

lovely blossoms.. :) and a great poem too..

Cynthia L. H. said...

The poem is wonderful...I can see why you have a fond emotional attachment to it. ;^)
Your delphiniums are lovely...I've admired this flower for ages, but unable to grow them here...maybe too dry and hot???
I enjoyed your post! Thank you for sharing!

Denise said...

Your delphiniums are super Anne, such beautiful flowers aren't they? I also loved that poem you shared. Thanks so much.
An English Girl Rambles

Pam said...

Lovely lovely lovely!