Saturday, 23 May 2009

Aquilegias in the garden

. . . or Columbines . . . or Granny's Bonnets, whatever your preference. I have always grown them and still remember the thrill of finding them growing wild on a verge near Arne in the Purbecks. Deep blue they were - probably garden escapees - but here in Wales they grow wild, and also grow and self-seed in my garden and I encourage them. You can't have too many Columbines . . . and they are addictive. When I spot a new-to-me one, I am done for . . . The most recent was last weekend at the car boot sale. A huge well-grown (very tall) William Guinness, which as you will see below, is virtually black with white inner petals.

I have discovered that there is a small Nursery in Swansea specializing in Cottage Garden plants, and she has couple of Open Days to view her Aquilegias, including today and Monday. I am very tempted, and think I may just be taking a little drive later today, pennies clutched in hot sticky hand . . . She has the National Plant Collection of Aquilegia vulgaris and cultivars and hybrids at Touchwood Nursery . . . and bare-root seedlings are VERY reasonable . . .

A feast for Aquilegia lovers . . . Some of the ones I have growing in my garden (and I'm about to get some more!)

My black Norah Barlow about to come into flower.

Pink stellata form near the pond.

Um . . . lost the label . . . but a dwarf form.

I have lost the label for this one to, so will have to identify. Isn't it gorgeus though? On the Touchwood site there is a single called Adelaide Addison which is similar.

William Guiness above.

White double aquilegias. I think they are also known as 'ballerinas'.

The many-petalled Norah Barlow form, above.

This is the stellata form.


Greentwinsmummy said...

I adore aquilegias :o) this is the first garden I have grown them in & I am thrilled each time I see another in flower :o)
I will get some pictures of mine tomorrow.

Rowan said...

I'm with you on the columbines, they are beautiful and I let them seed more or less wherever they like. I've found a double powder blue one this year which is a self sown seedling - just gorgeous.

Kelli said...

After the bleeding heart, this is the my favorite flower! The ones you have are gorgeous! I need to get some more colors, I just have the yellow and it finished blooming last week.

Bovey Belle said...

Hi all, esp. Kelli - good to hear from you again. I had a lovely time at Touchwood Nursery today and shall write it up tomorrow. I came home with a fistful of packets of special seeds . . .

Preseli Mags said...

I love aquilegias too. We have a garden full here and all were here when we arrived 24 years ago. I must get some more... I'll be back to read tomorrow's post!

Morning's Minion said...

In New England the wild columbine is red with a yellow center--it will grow in very difficult places such as small cranies in a granite ledge.
In the Wyoming mountains white columbine blossoms most of the summer. I have three nursery varities struggling in my "garden"--periwinkle blue, yellow, deep pink--I planted them to mark the graves of dear departed cats.

Wild Somerset Child said...

I too love columbines but find they hybridise all too easily and I have to weed out the offspring I don't like. I let them self-seed until I see the ensuing form and colours, and if I don't like what I see ...OUT !