As you probably know by now, I am a Flower gardener not a veggie gardener. When we moved to this large property about 25 years ago, I envisioned endless beds of shrub/perennial combinations changing beautifully with the seasons.
Well…….. let's just say I have learned a LOT since we got here! Achieving this type of look involves a lot more than choosing favourite flowers and planting them close to each other. In previous posts I have talked about how important design is for a lovely landscape. This is most definitely true.
Design = good bones. The plants are the "makeup" and embellishments. But they are definitely the "fun" part!
There is certainly a lot to be learned about the plants themselves. I have experimented with many, many flowers and have had varying success with them. I wish I'd kept better records as to what I purchased and why a particular plant didn't thrive.
But I do know that some flowers prove reliable despite lack of experience and even neglect. Here are some that have never let me down. Part One of this series features the Columbine.
Aquilegia (Columbine, Granny's Bonnet) is a lovely spring flower that is known for its spurred petals.
I have had a number of columbines that have bloomed every year since we moved in. My favourite is a pure white one which grows about 18-22"( depending on the season's rainfall). It's in a front yard bed beside a wonderful small shrub called a Slender Deutzia, which coincidentally blooms at the same time. The Aquilegia blooms are long lasting and deceivingly fragile-looking. The stalks are strong and it even makes an excellent cut flower.
While on vacation last summer, I photographed two lovely columbines growing beside an old house.
I am not even sure anymore how I got the original plant, but one of the most interesting Columbines that I have is the self-seeding Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadansis). They pop up in different spots every year. They are very unique, growing 3 - 3 1/2' tall and being a strong red colour with a yellow inside.
Last spring I bought 3 pots of a new Columbine and planted them near the linden tree and rabbit statue.
Their official name is Aquilegia Clementine Rose (plant marker says: Clematis-flowered Columbine). "A unique series of Columbine, featuring fluffy double flowers that resemble a small Clematis bloom, held upfacing on stems, well above the lacy green foliage mound."
I am looking forward to seeing how they bloom this coming spring.