I admit it.
I’m very excited about the fact that these have flowered for me. This is the first time I have been able to grow Lupins since living in London (and even then I had to grow them in a pot because of the heavy clay).
Despite their ubiquitousness in the last decade or so, it isn’t widely appreciated that Russell Lupin hybrids almost became extinct after the death of George Russell in 1951.
His Lupins all but succumbed to the cucumber mosaic virus and of the 150 or so named varieties that he bred, only a dozen were able to be ‘re-discovered’ during the 1970s and re-bred at a nursery close to where George Russell spent over 20 years perfecting his flowers, so while there these ‘Russells’ are probably not quite the same as the ones bred by the man himself, I am certainly grateful for their reintroduction!
At any rate, I love their glorious early summer display. As I have put them in the most wind sheltered spot of the garden, I haven’t had to stake them. There should be quite a few more blooms this summer and next; in Spring 2015, now that I know what each flower colour is, I shall take basal cuttings of those I like so I can get more of these for years to come.