A Flower By Any Other Name …

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Blues are my favourite and this solid blue is close to perfect.
Blues are my favourite and this solid blue is close to perfect.

Last year I posted pictures of my Aquilegias – also called Columbines and rather charmingly, Grannies Bonnets. They are probably my favourite flower and are just coming into season.

A red Songbird - perfectly named.
A red Songbird – perfectly named.

 

 

 

 

 

The colours are so variable but always stunning. They also self seed, so multiplying plants can be a treat. I both allow seeds to scatter as well as collect them each year to spread early Spring. This year I’ve also taken the step of trying to sew some in trays to see if I get any results.

Anyway, here’s a selection of the earliest starters.

A pastel dusky pink - the first Aquilegia to flower.
And a pastel dusky pink – the first Aquilegia to flower.
And an even paler lemon.
A pale lemon.
Totally different, a very deep purple Barlow.
Totally different, a very deep purple Barlow.

Aquilegia, Granny’s Bonnet, Columbine – a flower by any other name…

The blues have always been my favourite
The blues have always been my favourite
Pure yellow next to the Grotto
Pure yellow next to the Grotto

I’ve loved Aquilegias for some years and always had a few in my garden. They have such stunning flowers but are also fairly hardy plants that self-propagate well by seed. Since being at the Convent and indulging a little more in different varieties now I have the garden beds and suitable conditions, I am loving these lovely perennials more and more.

Yellow with a touch of pink near the Grotto. Is that pesky ivy I can see making a reappearance?
Yellow with a touch of pink near the Grotto. Is that pesky ivy I can see making a reappearance?

They prefer dappled shade but seem to flourish in a variety of conditions. The flowers are so diverse in colour and quite spectacular for some varieties with towering spikes of flowers. The flowers last well and are also great cut for indoors. The old flower heads set seeds which are easily collected and resown. So the plants are great value, coming back year after year as well as providing new stock.

A gorgeous mauve out the front. So delicate a flower.
A gorgeous mauve out the front. So delicate a flower.

I have a penchant for blue and have opted for a few different varieties. It’s still pretty early in the season and I’m continuing to plant new varieties that haven’t flowered yet, but these pictures may give you an indication of why I love these so much in my garden and intend to make them one of the mainstays in the Convent garden. Somehow they seems so appropriate.

Pure white elegance
Pure white elegance
Dramatic red - you can see the spurred petals clearly
Dramatic red – you can see the spurred petals clearly