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They soar towards the sky and play dummies in the garden: sow giant plants that will give height to your exterior. They can even create rural occultations in summer!
The largest: hollyhock, sunflower and delphinium
Hollyhock and sunflower are the two biggest flowers of summer, closely followed by the delphinium: they measure between 1.20 m and 3 m! They are perennials that require little maintenance, and their decorative rendering is exceptional thanks to their generous floral stems or their large imposing flowers, blooming from July to October. You can combine them in a massif with caryopteris, gerberas, alliums for example, for an assumed country style. - The hollyhock, which can be admired in all the streets of the Ile de Ré in particular, can grow up to 3 meters. There are different varieties today, lemon yellow or orange, apricot, pink, deep red, purple ... Enough to make beautiful scenes. Very easy to live with, this spontaneously flowering flower is sown on its own from one year to the next. It often grows along south-facing walls and likes to be in full sun and sheltered from the wind. If you live in a windy region or subject to thunderstorms, tie your hollyhocks to prevent them from breaking. Once flowering is complete, simply cut them and possibly place the seeds where you want them to grow; the following year, they will have multiplied. And if you import them into your garden for the first time, sow them first in small pots at the rate of one seed per bucket, which you will let grow behind a window, then after 3 weeks, you can plant them in the garden, when the earth is warmed up. All the charm of hollyhocks is expressed in open ground, where flowering is long throughout the summer, but they remain delicate in bouquet because they quickly wilt when cut. As for diseases, there is little risk other than rust attacks, this orange-colored fungus: contamination is possible by the wind and the ground. The best preventive solution is an application of Bordeaux mixture. And if your plants are affected, carefully cut the sick leaves and destroy them by fire or by throwing them quickly in the bucket out of your garden (and not in the compost because it would be contaminated).
Composition of sunflowers / Composition of delphiniums (credit: Florajet)
- The sunflower, it can reach more than 2 meters and is commonly known as the 'sun plant', since it turns from east to west as it grows. His need for light is therefore important, and he also likes to be planted in well-drained soil - moreover, it will be necessary to plant new seeds each year, unlike hollyhock. From the end of March, you can sow the sunflower in small pots because it is sensitive to frost and slugs, then once the frosts have passed, you can put it in the ground. At the end of flowering, cut it short under the head, remove the faded petals and keep this big brown heart to place it in a basket of coloquints. - The delphinium, also called 'lark's foot', measures up to 1.50 m. Often blue or purple, it can also be pink or white. Like the sunflower and hollyhock, it likes very sunny but not very windy situations, and prefers rich soils. So fertilize the soil well before planting and space the feet 40 cm each. It is a flower that is perfectly suited for making bouquets with its magnificent floral stems garnished - fresh but also dry bouquets because the delphinium keeps its shape and color well. The size also allows it to branch out and strengthen it. It will allow it to multiply in the garden. Tufted in a massif, the delphinium is superb!
Other spectacular plants
A little less tall but just as slender and pretty, there are other vertical plants: lupine, bellflower, amaranth pendula and digitalis, which can reach more than a meter in height. Also think, to complete the picture, echinacea, acanthus mollis or spinosus, aconite, agastache, and asphodeline lutea (exceptional with its star-shaped flowers!). These are spring start-up flowers with guaranteed success.
Decorative, giant plants can also play a role in the garden…
… That of structuring the latter! Because of their slender shape, they can be used to create decorative screens, to delimit spaces, to enhance part of the garden. Why not use it to hide a compost, a damaged piece of wall or even the car if it is parked near your house? Give them the direction you want by planting them online or in a group.
Tips from gardeners to magnify giant plants
For all these flowers, the flowering will be longer and prettier if the gardener rids the stems of faded flowers as they go. To protect them from the wind and prevent them from breaking and breaking, you can support them or place them in a group of plants of different heights so that the lower ones support them (lupins and bellflowers can for example support hollyhocks); or, sow them along a wall, stretching a wire that will support them and keep them straight. Finally, in late fall, mulch the soil to ensure regrowth. To read : -Cultivate your garden , Prat éditions, € 17.90. -The guide to easy-to-grow plants , Rustica editions, € 24.95. Thanks : -Emilia Oliveiro, artistic director of Florajet, -François Pauly, plant sector manager at Jardiland.
1-Acanthus mollis, 2-Aconit, 3-Agastache Black Adder, 4-Asphodeline lutea, 5-Delphinium elatum, 6-Delphinium elatum, 7-Echinacea purpurea, 8-Lupins (credit: Jardiland)