Saturday, 6 June 2015


Late May / early June is the prime time of year for Aquilegias. Judging by the blogs I read, everyone has them. They must be amongst the most popular garden flowers. I think one of the reasons for this is that they are very undemanding about site and soil. They seem to be able to grow just about anywhere. Along the side of my property there is a very narrow (6" / 15cm) strip of very poor soil at the base of a fence, and several Aquilegias are growing there quite happily:

As you know, Aquilegias hybridise very readily and you never know from one year to the next what colour their flowers will be or what form they will take. I'm sure this is part of their attraction. This year one of those that has come up by the fence is almost white, which I have never had before.

It's not pure white, it has a slight pink tinge, so I think one of its parents is probably the very common pink one that pops everywhere.

The yellow-and red ones have produced some strange shapes this year:

And some different colours too. This one is almost gold.

Unfortunately, Aquilegia seeds have got into my home-made compost. I was recently weeding the raised bed in which my Carrots are growing, and it was absolutely full of little Aquilegia plants. The ability of a plant to self-propagate readily is not always a desirable feature!


  1. Oh they are beautiful colours, i must admit i have never heard of them though :)

  2. I love them - but I always call them Granny's Bonnets as that is such a sweet name. You have some lovely colours. I have never seen a yellow and red one before.

  3. I think their ability to self seed is the reason why most people have them. My red and yellow one hasn't flowered yet this year but it's got loads of buds on it, more than ever before so I'm looking forward to it blooming. At least the seedlings are easy enough to weed out if they're growing in an undesirable location, unlike lots of weeds.

  4. I have that trouble of my self propagating plants propagating a bit too much. Sweet alyssum is pretty bad. As are my johnny-jump-ups. Even my alpine strawberries are coming up all over the yard. Columbines are so pretty though that they would be worth it. I don't like there here though as the leaf miners just destroy the foliage and the pretty flowers aren't worth the rest of the year with that. Which is too bad as the flowers are so pretty.

  5. I've never heard of them, but perhaps they come under a different name in Canada. Lovely!

    1. In Canada we often refer to these as Columbines.

  6. I love your blogs and have ordered myself some of these as anything easy is good by me.

  7. We have self seeded white aquilegia that is identical to yours. Ours grows around the base of our palm. It looks very attractive so I've let it be.

  8. They are definitely on the list of plants that does well in most any situation - I have a few different varieties all over, including our very shady north facing walkway & they all bloom each year without fail.


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