Saturday 22 February 2014

Aquilegia / Columbine / Granny's Bonnets

Last year I sowed the seeds for several different types of Aquilegia, and grew some on into decent plants, but few of them flowered. This year I hope they will produce a good display. Many of them have been overwintering in my coldframe, and are just beginning to show signs of life.

The way in which Aquilegia leaves repel water and promote the formation of little pearly droplets never ceases to fascinate me!

Take a close look at the core of one of the little plants, and it really does look wierd. Here you can see the pink-coloured new leaves beginning to push up through the woody remains of last year's leaves, all covered in strands of cobweb.

In one of the pots there is a very luxuriant worm-cast:

The worm-cast is simply the compost / soil (etc) that has been digested by and passed through a worm. Worm-casts allegedly make an ideal seed-sowing medium since they are very finely "processed".

I'm quite glad I labelled all my Aquilegia, because the young plants all look very similar at this stage!

Last year I had some red-and-yellow ones, grown from seeds sent to me by Diana in Malaysia:

At the end of their flowering season I scattered seeds from these ones all along the base of the fence where in the past I have had only the plain pink and plain blue Aquilegias, so hopefully this year I will have a bit more variety there.

Aquilegia poking up under the fence panels

 I don't want to bore you too much with pics of emerging Aquilegias, so here are a couple of other things that are "bursting out all over"...

The Chives I re-potted are looking healthy

Leaves of Snakeshead Fritillary

Rhubarb "Timperley Early"

Is it just me that sees a Rhinoceros / Dragon head in that rhubarb photo..???


  1. I wonder whether the seeds that you scattered will come trie to type or whether they have cross-pollinated.

  2. I envy your growth. We are in the middle of a short thaw, but it isn't melting the snow very quickly.

  3. I've grown aquilegia McKana Hybrid previously. The different colours make a change from the purple and pink varieties which pop up all over the place.

  4. I've noticed some self seeded ones in my front garden which I have carefully weeded around. I'm looking forward to see what colour they turn out to be.

  5. A very useful post, I've now been able to identify some aquilegia in my own garden. I'm excited to see what colour they will be. They've been sitting under a pile of leaves so look very much like your second photo. You garden seems to be growing so well! I also planted some snakes head fritillaries, but there are no sign of those leaves just yet.

  6. It'll be all go now with plants emerging. It's kind of like a race has started with signs of new growth every day. I haven't noticed columbine in the garden so will have to have a look. Your rhubarb seems to be racing onwards too!

  7. I see the dragon/rhino too, and perhaps a turtle? Rhubarb = the new tea leaves? Glad to see everything is really starting to wake up in your garden.

    Those aquilegia flowers look stunning, hoping the "border" you planted with spare seeds comes up lovely


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