Tuesday 26 April 2011

Columbines and Convallaria

I have a few Columbine (Aquilegia) plants along the side of my house. They are self-seeded volunteers, but I love them anyway, so I let them stay. The first of their flowers opened last week. (Kelli, I hope you are noting this).

There is one with mauve-tinged pale pink flowers, that is very prolific. It self-seeds very profusely, even though I try to remove most of the seed pods before they mature.

There is also one with dark blue, almost purple flowers - which I prefer - but this one is less vigorous. Despite my attempts to favour this one over the pink one, the pink one still wins the battle for space!

In a shady corner next to my shed, where little else will grow, I have established a small patch of Convallaria Majalis (Lily Of The Valley).

The delicate white, bell-shaped flowers are very strongly scented. At this time of year I normally bring a small bunch of them indoors, where they impart a beautiful fragrance to the Living Room. If only the flowers had a longer season!


  1. I love lily of the valley - my late mum always picked me a bunch for my birthday.

    I also decided to grow some aquilegia from seed and in spite of them readily seeded themselves the packet warned they could take up to three months to germinate anyway they are coming up already within about a week so i'm really pleased.

  2. Lily of the valley is such a beautiful flower. I love how it looks in the vase.

    When i was first reading up on identifying wild garlic, it was advised to be careful not to confuse with the lily of the valley (which is poisonous to eat). I can see the similarity in the leaves for sure.

  3. Remember my post about 'Granny's Bonnets'? Isn't it weird to be following blogs in another season...weird but good.

  4. Your columbine flowers are quite beautiful. I think the ones we grow are pink flowered as well and they do indeed self seed like crazy.:)

  5. Oh I just love that last photo, lily of the valley is it? What a beautiful flower, now that is something I would love to be able to grow. Lovely Mark!

  6. My aquilegia has just come in to flower, they're a purple like your's. I bought some lily of the valley from a plant fair last year but it seems to be struggling this year. I love the delicate little flowers.

  7. Hi Mark, I was out taking photos of my aquilegia last night (funny you posted about them)... but I was too tired to post on my blog (i've been planting my 'mini forest' & its tough work). I've the pink and the purple aquilegia you have - like you, I prefer the purple flowers. I don't mind too much that they self seed (yet) although a good head's up. The lilly of the valley is superb & great bouquet!

  8. The first of my aquilegias are flowering too, a combination of purple and very dark almost black. The latter are doubles, I much prefer the singles, but as you say, they do tend to self seed in inverse proportion to how much you like them! I am waiting to see if the one we bought last year comes up again, it is being very tardy, and whether the ones I grew from seed will flower in their first year - supposed to be a rather lovely single blue. In fairness, the pink one you have is rather pretty, there are worse things to have self seeding around your garden!


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