Saturday, March 26, 2011


COLUMBINES, or AQUILEGIA, start out in early spring by beginning their growth of attractive emerald green mounds with lacy foliage.  Their graceful flowers, born on wiry stems, bloom in early summer.  They come in a wide range of colors, and bloom in dappled shade to full sun, although plants in full sun bloom more, are more robust, and more compact than ones grown in the shade.  (But flowers last longer in the shade).  The ones you see in the photos were sown by seed last summer after they bloomed.  They aren't long-lived plants, and so I always reseed every year, to ensure that I will have plants from year to year.  (Be aware, however, that their color may or may not be true to the seed).  They last about two years before they get woody in the center and their blooms suffer.   They have a deep taproot, and established plants don't like to be transplanted, although small seedlings are easy to transplant when they first leaf out.  Do this right now, in early spring, if you do want to move yours.  Pinching off spent flowers help promote the blooms, and then cut back the foliage at the end of the summer, after it turns yellow, and new foliage will appear when the temperatures cool a bit--you may even get a second bloom.  Planted in clumps, their airy, graceful blooms add much to your beds.  I have mine interspersed with iris, peonies, hosta, ferns and hellebores.   The only problem mine have ever had was aphids.  If you get them, cut those stems off at the first sign, and discard in the trash.  They do little damage, but will create a 'stickiness' on the foliage.   One of the things I like best about these popular flowers is that bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds like them.
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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