Delphiniums are titans of the cottage garden with large, showy flower spikes in a variety of shades of blue, lavender, pink, red, white and yellow, extending as high as 1-1.5 metres tall. The chunky flowers have the appearance of a blazing firework trail left standing in the air - making them the most meaty and vigorous blooms of the summer garden. They're denser and bolder than fox gloves and what they lack in delicacy is made up by the contribution made by their huge solid blocks of colour. Delphinium plants are best suited for the back of flower beds or mixed borders, particularly effective planted en masse. Preferring a consistently moist soil, they love the gentle morning sun but don't like extreme differences in temperature, so some afternoon shade in hotter, southern parts of the UK is preferable. Consider staking in more exposed sites.