Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Against the Odds: Aquilegia


Aquilegias are notorious for sowing themselves about with gay abandon, so you might be surprised at my including them in my Against the Odds series. However, this one is growing in one of our sets of steps. It's in the tiniest of cracks and I didn't have the heart to pull it out when it started growing there last year. I haven't the foggiest on how it's found enough soil for anchorage and nutrients for growth.

The aquilegias I did plant in the garden nearby are 'McKana Hybrid's, a purple form, plus a yellow tipped with red. So this one is demonstrating the usual not coming true from seed and its flowers are a fair bit smaller than its parent(s). I rather like this blue with white-tipped flower - it's much nicer than the usual muddy purple or pinks found with the next generation of flowers.

I hadn't noticed until now that aquilegias have 2 types of leaves. Walking past an isolated plant every day makes this gardener for one pay much more attention to form as well as flower.

Update 16th June: Spot the parent? ;)



20 comments:

  1. My tray of Aquliega seedlings blew across the garden in the wind last week. I hadn't noticed until a few days later & found one unscathed seedling had survived.

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    1. I hope you planted it - it sounds like it'd be a tough survivor!

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  2. Lovely little flower with a white edge, very pretty. Its amazing how some plants survive on nothing, my original Erigeron died, but its seed is surviving years later between the paving cracks, very determined!

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    1. Thanks Pauline. I've sown some Erigeron in the hope it'll flower all over the central steps. I saw a photo of Great Dixter like that and also wandering the streets of Portland (Dorset not USA), every house had some outside their front door. As you say, very determined!

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  3. Beautiful!
    Lea
    Lea's Menagerie

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  4. Mine seem to sow in the most unusual places and even in the middle of other plants...it is always a delight to see where they show themselves every year.

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    1. Mine haven't wandered very far so far, but now they've escaped, who knows... ???

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  5. I do admire life's survivors ! I never have the heart to uproot them no matter where they grow ! Unlike Alchemilla Mollis which is determined to colonise the gravel at any cost ...

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    1. Welcome and hello Jane! Now, Alchemilla mollis is lined up for another episode in this blog series...

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  6. Sometimes those volunteer plants are the hardiest of all and if uprooted and transplanted they don't do so well.

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    1. That's worth remembering CG - I haven't decided whether to move it into a more wanted area, or experiment with some collected seeds, or both...

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  7. I usually find aquilegias down behind a low brick wall I have where even the weeds struggle. They pop their heads up over the top of the wall and I'm always happy to see them as I don't really have any space dedicated to flowers.

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    1. That sounds like a good result CJ! I think Aquilegias are a good value plant as their foliage is interesting as well as the flower.

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  8. Your aquilegias are lovely. I am relying on mine in the short term as groundcover/weed blocker until I can get more plants into a particular bed. I do love that they can grow in the oddest nooks and crannies.

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    1. I have them as a groundcover/weed blocker on the allotment too - such a good way of using this plant :)

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  9. Such a pretty color. I have columbines all over my garden, often at the edge of the paths where they impede passage or growing out of holes in rocks. Still I love them and it's always fun when a new color shows up.

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    1. They're really tough aren't they? I have a white form growing on my allotment which I really must see if I can get it coming true from seed.

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