Found last night amongst a pile of books on a garden wall with a “please take” note beside them was this one called “Delphiniums for All” published by The Delphinium Society. The address of said organisation as stated on the back is “Takakkaw, Ice House Wood, Oxted, Surrey”. What an address!
Any book that starts with “The title of this booklet is not a joke, nor is it a meaningless catchphrase made to snare a few extra members for the Delphinium Society” has got to be good in our eyes. This bit is classic too: “No, every gardener can grow Delphiniums and, indeed, millions do; the catch, if catch there is, lies in the subtitle “A guide to growing good Delphiniums”. Brilliant.
It’s not a bad book actually, containing 48 pages of info from obtaining the plants, soil preparation, planting and cultivation in some great detail. It must be from a long time ago though as the advice on slugs and snails is mostly about using chemicals that you don’t want get your hands on (and definitely not get on your hands) and probably not available anymore as they are well on the wrong side of health and safety.
They do mention anti-slug methods like using “abrasive material such as, sifted weathered ashes, sharp sand, egg shells, holly leaves as the slimey marauders detest gritty surfaces” which sounds a good idea unlike the nuclear waste-like chemicals.
As we always say, keep em peeled when you’re on your travels as you’ll never know what you’ll find.