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.