Flowers on Friday

A charming, old-fashioned cottage garden plant with bonnet-shaped flowers, often two-tone and with long graceful spurs these herbaceous perennials are invaluable for flowering in May and early June .

Aquilegias fill the seasonal gap between the last of the spring bulbs and the first of the summer flowers. Self-sown they can look charming naturalised amongst shrubs and roses although some people find the colours become muddied. They lend themselves to cottage or semi-wild settings. Most relish dappled shade. They love deep, rich soil.

Two different birds lend their names to this flower – Eagle and Dove (in Latin, eagle = aquila and the dove = columbus). The petals are supposed to resemble the outspread wings of these birds, and the spurs their arched necks and heads. All aquilegias have wonderful foliage that emerges early in the year, creating clumps of bright green among the sharp verticals of daffodils and other bulbs.

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18 Comments Add yours

  1. restlessjo says:

    Funny! I’ve just left a comment over at Tish’s to the effect that my daughter regarded them as free gifts when they first moved in to their house. An inexpensive way to fill their long borders. 🙂 🙂 Beautiful shots, Jude! Wishing you a pain free Friday. Off to an Islamic Festival today 🙂 (one that Becky recommended). There is no known cure for whatever it is I’ve got. Festival fever?

    1. Sue says:

      Festival fever it is, Jo! I just admire your sheer energy!

      1. Heyjude says:

        Admiration from me too! She exhausts me!

        1. Sue says:

          And you’re no sloth, Jude!

        2. Heyjude says:

          I am compared to Jo! I am much more of a home bird, I like relaxing at home.

    2. Heyjude says:

      You have definitely got festival fever! Does Mick enjoy all this stuff too? Or are you bribing him with cake? Pain not too bad today until this evening. Hopefully on the mend.

      1. restlessjo says:

        He could live without it, but he doesn’t live for it, if you know what I mean. 🙂 🙂

  2. Sue says:

    I love that phrase ‘dappled shade’ ….

  3. I love these so much and have tried more than once to grow them, but never with much success. You’ve inspired me to give them another chance because they are so pretty.

  4. susurrus says:

    I had heard of the dove, remembering mea columba from my schoolgirl Latin, but had not realised about the eagle part. It’s a lovely plant and all the lovelier for escaping into lanes then growing wild around here.

  5. Jo Shafer says:

    I planted seeds of an English Columbine the Saturday before Easter Sunday. So far, only three or four have germinated. I usually do much better with bedding plants but this packet of seeds was a gift from a fellow gardener.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I bought a small plant a few weeks ago, but it isn’t doing much. Hopefully next year it will make an appearance.

  6. Your photos are utterly beautiful, Jude. They do the aquilegia justice, in so many gorgeous colours and subtle forms.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Ali. They are lovely flowers.

  7. Leya says:

    So lovely – I adore them!

  8. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Like faeries at the bottom of the garden, lovely Jude!

  9. BeckyB says:

    These are gorgeous . . .I have had hardly any appear this year, they were all self seeded and in the past few years been incredible. Maybe it is time I remind the birds to drop by with some seeds again!

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