Thursday 21 February 2013


Regular readers will know that the emphasis in my garden is on vegetables rather than flowers, but I do still have at least some flowers and shrubs. I am currently enthused by the Aquilegia (aka Columbine).

Photo from 2011

Last year I grew some Aquilegias from seeds sent to me by the ever-generous Diana of Kebun Malay-Kadazan Girls. I sowed the seeds too late in the year for the plants to flower, (you can read about it HERE), but I am hopeful that this year I will get some blooms. I am particularly looking forward to this because I still don't know what type / colour they will be.

The six little plants that I had potted up had died right down, and were looking decidedly scruffy, but nevertheless they have successfully survived the Winter and are just putting up their first new leaves.

Seems like the right time to give them a little TLC...

I tidied them up, removing all the leaf-stalks from last year along with all the accumulated pine-needles, birch leaves etc, and then re-potted them. Growing them in pots means I will be able to move them around the garden at will, whereas in the past my Aquilegias (until now only self-seeded volunteers) usually grow in a very unlikely place - alongside the fence between my back door and the compost bin!

So three of them have gone imto individual terracotta pots:

And the other three have gone into one much larger glazed pot:

Now I hope I won't regret this. I have no idea what colour(s) the flowers of these plants are going to be, and I suppose it is entirely possible that they will clash horribly with the red and brown of this pot, but I'm taking a chance on it.

As well as the six plants grown from seed, I also potted-up a plant that I brought back from my MIL's garden last year:

At least I know what the flowers of this one will be like, because I took some photos of it in MIL's garden:

This year I am growing another batch of Aquilegia from seed. The seeds were sent to me by David Ford of Wellcome Allotments, another blogging / Facebook friend. David is not only an avid gardener, but also a very accomplished photographer, so of course he had the foresight to send me a photo showing me what to expect!

Isn't that a beauty? Neither of us know its official name, but in my garden it will be known as Aquilegia "David Ford"!  there's a long way to go yet before I get any flowers, but these tiny seedlings are looking good so far...


  1. I've some aquilegias grown from seed too and some that have self sown. It is exciting waiting to see what colours you end up with.

  2. I've grown McKana Hybrids from seed in the past, some wonderful colours come up from these, though any which self seed still end up the usual purple or pink suspects. Your plants look to have overwintered well so it's just the waiting game now to see what colours you've got.

  3. worth growing for the beautiful latin name alone!

  4. I have a little patch of them in the front garden. I'm not sure if I also have some over wintered in the greenhouse. I must check the labels at the weekend.

  5. I have Columbines in my garden too. Once established they happily seed themselves and tend to take over the flower bed. If I don't want the seed I snap the follicles off before the seed is ripe. Of course, when you collect the seed you cannot expect to get the same variety.

  6. I have not been able to grow these yet. At one time I had a lot of seeds for columbine but they didn't like the way I strew them through the flower beds apparently. I hope your turn out to be as lovely as David's.

  7. Aquilegia "David Ford" look lovely! I think the new growth of aquliegia look attractive and encouraging this time of year.

  8. Love the Aquilegia David Ford - a beautiful colour - mine tend to be random rather than hybrid as they are cross-pollinated. I notice at the bottom of the page you say you have moderated your older posts - can you let me know how to do this as some of my old posts are getting a huge amount of spam. Many thanks in advance.

  9. This is one of my favorites too. And what I like is that even in the cold of winter, it maintains some green.

  10. It will be either yellow or red Mark if it follows the original parents.

  11. i started my own columbine plants last summer, too! they are in the same condition as yours, and i can hardly wait to see what they are going to be like (its a mix of colours). i also planted loads of alliums and tulips in the fall, so im banking on a good display this spring!


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