Columbine or Aquilegia are a wonderful addition to the spring garden. They tend to be a nice small, dainty flower, when everybody else is large and showy, here-I-am, look-at-me, in-your-face kind of personalities. I especially like the long-spurred McKanna Giant varieties. They come in such unique colour combinations.
Two years ago I bought a pot of long spurs, at the end of the season. There looked to be a couple of plants in the container, so I just stuck them in as is. Turns out there were actually four different colours and they made quite a contrasting display for a couple of weeks. So what was accidental one year, I did on purpose several times over this year, and I really like the combos.
Unfortunately there is a little green worm that can attack your columbine plants early in the season, and they will usually strip all the leaves, before you even notice you have a problem. That happened to one of my clumps this year, and while the plant will probably survive to see another year, it is considerably weakened.
Columbine are a perennial, but a rather short lived one, so you do want to add a few new plants each year, just to keep your population up. You also might want to keep them deadheaded, as I had an acquaintance tell me that she hated columbines because they self seeded everywhere. I've never had that issue. In fact I've found them fairly difficult to establish from seed. I believe they need to go through a freeze-thaw cycle for reasonable germination rates.
|The humble wild Honeysuckle or Columbine|
|One of my combo plants.|
And that is about all I have to say for today.
Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.