That’s aquilegia (also known as columbine, granny’s bonnet and jack-in-trousers). We’ve had it in our garden for several years, but I never tried to find out more about the plant. It starts flowering in the end of May and its pastel coloured petals immediately attract my attention – they seem so soft and delicate!
A few days ago I went through some old Country Living magazine’s* (hey, isn’t one allowed to look at that beautiful country life they depict and dream?) and found an article on aquilegias. I couldn’t believe my eyes – they can be blue and violet, red and light orange… Oh, and all of those petal shapes… What a variety!
It turned out that the plant comes from north America and that there are about 70 species. They can be tall and short, single and double, with long and short-spurred blooms and in almost every colour. This flower can easily cope with a bit of shade and isn’t very fussy about soil – that’s ideal for an amateur gardener like me. So I decided that I want more aquilegias and as you can imagine was very happy to find this phrase in the article: ‘…[they are] shamelessly fertile’.
All you need is to wait till the plant drops its seeds - tiny black one's, that ripen in small pods. The best time to sow them indoors is March. If you do so they will be ready for bedding out in autumn, but will flower only the next spring.
I don't think that my blog gets a lot of readers (probably just occasional few), but if you are reading this, if you are a keen gardener, if you have other species of aquilegia and if you would like to grow the one I have (oh, so many conditions...) I'm offering you to swap the tiny black seeds and to widen the scope of aquilegias in your garden! Well, if you are interested just leave a comment, so that I could contact you.
* Country Living, May 2007
A touch of magic
1 day ago