Sunday, 9 June 2013

Aquilegia - Columbine

Illustration by Cicely Mary Barker from her book of Alphabet Flower Fairies published in 1934  via
Dear Friends - thank you for your very kind comments on my previous post - all of which I appreciated and enjoyed reading. 
The common name of the Aquilegia - Columbine comes from the Latin for "dove" due to the resemblance of the inverted flowers to five doves clustered together. A bird is also involved in the genus name Aquilegia - Latin word for eagle (aquila) because of the shape of the flower petals which are said to be like an eagle's claw.
I wrote about the influence this book had on me when I was young here.
You would be right in thinking that I have lots of Aquilegias in the garden, after all when I was very very small I would love to have been fairy Columbine.
Aquilegias are extremely inter-fertile.  For example it is possible to have two or three different pink flowering plants and after a few years end up with numerous hybrids. If you wish to keep the flowers pure then it is necessary to collect the seeds each year for replanting. Even so the bees can play havoc when pollinating your flowers and undo your efforts. I just let mine go with the flow. If flowers are promiscuous then Columbines must be at the top of the list. This year they seem to have had a "ball" in everyone's garden that I look in to.

The flowers on this post were photographed at the end of May just before our trip.
Four Peony Trees 
Solomon's Seal
Lunaria - honesty - the bees have visited and worked their magic. The seed pods are forming - there will be plenty of silver seed discs for the winter vases.

64 comments:

  1. This is a magic post, I wonder how nature can create that kind of beauty.
    Have a nice Sunday Rosemary!

    Marina

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    1. Dear Marina - how right you are - nature is beautiful and a constant delight to the eye.

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  2. I just love your Columbine collages. That flower with the flat seed pods is quite extraordinary. I have never seen anything like it.

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    1. Dear Valerie - Honesty has a very simple purple flower and yet these complex seed pods result from it's pollination. In the Autumn they will turn silver and make a lovely addition to winter flower arrangements.

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  3. The illustration is so beautiful. I love the columbines too. You never have to many of them. What a wonderful peonies you have. Great to see.
    Have a wonderful sunday Rosemary

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    1. Cicely Mary Barker's illustrations are pure magic and even though she created them 80 years ago they are still popular with todays children.

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  4. Aquilegias
    what a beautiful name
    and how many different of those! I recognize a few from my surroundings but not that many up here at the north

    your flower posts function as a mood board for me dear Rosemary : )

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    1. Thanks for your lovely comment dear Demie - it is lovely to hear from you.

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  5. What magnificent flowers you have in your garden.. I can just imagine that "English Garden"
    Columbine i do not know.. but must find out if they grow here..
    its very hot during summer for some flowers in alentejo.
    I hope that you had a lovely trip../holiday. I missed out on where you went.. on a train I know.!
    I was going to my apartment today.. but its started to rain..
    I hope that i can get my blog sorted and looking more presentable .. Perpetua is going to help..
    At least i can keep in touch with 'bloglovin'..
    I still dont know how you get your rounds so so round and large.. they are stunning Rosemary.
    wishing you a happy Sunday
    val x

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    1. Dear Val - Perpetua is brilliant at helping, I am sure that she will sort you out. I am really sorry that google reading list is ending but the followers button continues - however, I really prefer google reader to bloglovin.
      Do ask if there is anything I can help you with.
      I have not posted about the trip yet as we have only just returned - I did this post before we left and just added to it briefly on our return.
      You get the rounds big by pressing on to the extra large or original size when you put the photos on the post. When you have put your photo on just click on to the photo and it will give you choices of size, and whether to position them to the left centre or right.

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  6. Dear Rosemary, Welcome back. You gave us a flower show that would rival any garden anywhere. It is the fix I needed. Your choice of composition in color and style is so beautiful. I am just a little envious that you have so many beautiful flowers growing this soon in the season. It will be a while before my garden will come alive. Happy Sunday to you and yours. ox, Gina

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    1. Dear Gina - thank you for your lovely welcome back. I will post about our trip very soon. This year, may be because of the chilly spring, the garden has gone mad with so many flowers looking better than I have ever seen them. The grass is also such a rich green this year and the trees so lush. This afternoon I have visited the most magical garden which well and truly puts mine in the shade - I will show it on a post at sometime.

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  7. The colombine is really wonderful.
    Nice photo's.
    Have a nice sunday.

    Greetings,
    Inge, my choice

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    1. Dear Inge - the columbines are so prolific this year, my garden is just full of them. However, they are such pretty little flowers that they are welcome. Thank you for your kind comment.

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  8. Dear Rosemary, my garden isn't so colorful anymore. I'm so jealous of this multicolored garden full of fresh green and flowers. Here, the meadows are already yellow and the gardens have loosen most of their blooms. So delightful for the eyes!

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    1. Dear Olympia we had such a long chilly spring and now everything in the garden has gone crazy - it is a riot of colour. I have never seen the countryside and all of the gardens looking quite so lush and green before. Glad you enjoyed seeing the photos and thank you for your kind comment.

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  9. Such petty pretty flowers. I can now see the Dove connection to the Aquilegia, makes this pretty plant even more special now. x

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    1. I found that quite interesting when I came across it, and also the tops of the flowers do look like eagles feet. The Aquilegias this year are absolutely lovely, I have never seen them in such abundance and looking so pretty before.

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  10. Those Columbine fairies are such cheeky little monkeys, messing about with everyones plants when they're not looking. Nice to see that you returned to lots of vibrant colour in your garden Miss Rosemary. Happy days!

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    1. Dear Paul - everything is looking so wonderful this year following the long chilly spring. I have never seen our countryside looking so lush and beautiful for a long time - the hedgerow, the trees, the meadows, and the gardens are perfect.

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  11. Hello Rosemary , I see your flower collage and I admire the colors of these flowers !
    I try to find one kind of flower which is growing up here ! Nothing ! We don't have these flowers !Lovely images !
    Have anice day !

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    1. Dear Olympia - may be it is too hot and dry in Greece for columbines. However, I have read that the columbine was a plant of Aphrodite which makes me think that it must grow in parts of Greece.

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    1. Thank you for your visit and pleased that you liked the images.

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  13. Hi Rosemary,

    I enjoyed your tutorial on Columbines. I have several varieties in my garden, but hope I will get a special one, one day. I will call it 'Madelief' off course ;-)!

    Have a lovely new week!

    Madelief x

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    1. Dear Madelief - when you get a new Columbine hybrid and call it Madelief, please can I have one for my garden?

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  14. Welcome back, Rosemary! Gorgeous flower grids / collages! Your pink columbines are very pretty. My lavender ones flowered really well this year. But not my peonies - only had a few blooms :(

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    1. Dear Loi - I wonder if your peonies are the shrub ones or the tree ones? All of our flowers have been exceptional this year, they seem to have enjoyed the chilly start to spring.

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  15. Aquilegia is one of my favorites, so easy and healthy and does everything by itself, and you can be sure to find them year after year, more and more . What else can one ask for ? :-)) Love your show of the gorgeous flowers!

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    1. You are right Jane - once you have them in the garden they are no bother at all. They never die to my knowledge, but seed themselves around beautifully.

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  16. Welcome home, Rosemary, and thank you for this fabulous riot of flowers - it must be extraordinary to see them! I don't know the columbine flower, which is very pretty, but I remember the book - which my mother had - and do remember Columbine Fairy. When I was six my mother made me a fairy costume based on her, mainly from pink crepe paper, as I remember it. I thought I was quite magical!

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    1. Dear Patricia - lucky you to have had a fairy Columbine outfit - I wonder how many other little girls must have wished for the same. I think that the Columbine is not a southern hemisphere plant but it is very wide spread here - literally.

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  17. Hello Rosemary, the Aquilegia is not one of my favourite flowers but we have lots in our garden. It is true what you said about their inter-fertile because every year we seem to have more of it in our garden. All of your flowers are lovely. We lots of the cornflower blue too. Our peonies are going to bloom soon.

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    1. Dear Pamela - I wonder if your peonies are the shrub ones or the trees. My shrub ones have not flowered yet, but are covered in buds and should perhaps be open by next week.

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  18. Hi Rosemary! So many varieties of Columbines in your garden! What a treat that must be, especially for you who always wanted to be a Columbine fairy when you were little. Now you're the Columbine Queen in your garden ;)
    I didn't know Columbines until I saw them along a forest once when we already had a garden, where I collected the first seeds. I had never seen them as a child, my parents didn't have them in the garden, nor did my grandmother. I do see them in gardens more often now but I think I'm the only one who let's them 'go free' just like you do. It is one of the few plants that grows well here and the time Columbines bloom is the time our garden looks most colourful of the whole year. I can only imagine how colourful your garden must look then, with even more Columbines than here.
    Have a lovely new week!
    I wonder where your trip brought you, but I bet you'll be posting about it sometime. First came the Columbines ;)
    Marian

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    1. Dear Marian - lovely to hear from you and to know of your love of Columbines too. This year they are really exceptional having spread themselves everywhere, looking much taller and stronger than usual along the brilliance of their colours - I think that they have enjoyed the chilly spring even if we did not!!!
      Yes, I will post some photos of my trip very shortly - may be before you can say "Jack Robinson" as the saying goes.

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  19. The variety of flowers in your garden must be a joy to see and return to after your time away.
    It's always good to wander around the garden and see what plants are coming into flower.

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    1. I know that you will agree Linda that this late spring is wonderful. The flowers seem to be relishing the sun now that it is here.

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  20. Beautiful. One of my favourite..

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    1. They seem to be popular flowers with most people - so dainty and pretty.

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  21. Beautiful photos. The Aquilegias/Columbines are gorgeous flowers; a favourite of mine in late spring, too. Unfortunately I did so lose mine, so I'm looking for some more (although it's not easy to choose which!)

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    1. I wish that you were nearby and then I could give you some. Sorry that you lost yours, I wonder why that was?

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  22. What gorgeous photos of one of my very favourite flowers. my mother loved them too, but never mabnaged such a range of glorious colours as you have here, Rosemary. I hope you had a super holiday in Scotland.

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    1. Thanks Perpetua - I did this post before we left apart from a few small tweaks.
      Scotland was fabulous, and as you know the weather glorious. Tartan posts in the pipeline.

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  23. I've never seen such a variety of columbine. I love them every one. I have the plant in my garden but it doesn't propagate itself as yours does. Great photos Rosemary!

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    1. If you have several different ones they will propagate. Mine have virtually taken over the garden and pop up everywhere even in the paving cracks.

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  24. Rosemary, it seems you must have a whole field of columbine! I've never seen so many varieties and would be hard pressed to choose a favourite. They are each so beautiful. Of course, I am not surprised to find that we each own a copy of Alphabet Flower Fairies :)

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    1. Thats what an obsession can do for you Rosemary. It is a long time since I bought any, but they do just keep on multiplying - good job I like them.

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  25. Rosemary,
    You have a wonderful selection of columbines. They are such a good plant in the garden and I like the way new varieties are created, you never know what you will find.
    Sarah x

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    1. As I am sure you have found too Sarah the columbines have been exceptional - tall, robust pretty flowers that appear to have loved the chilly spring which we did not.

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  26. Dear Rosemary,
    Welcome back from your Caledonian adventures!. As an avid reader of the same book when I was small I know exactly why you like these flowers. It was that book that got me to set off on the road of gardening. I too like columbine. A very pretty and versatile flower. I always like looking at the photographs you take!
    Kirk

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    1. Dear Kirk - It is interesting how many bloggers knew and loved the little books illustrated by Cicely Mary Barker, and how much influence she had on their future love of gardens and flowers. Thank you for your kind comments about the photos - the collages are all done on Picmonkey.

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  27. Such a joy to read your post and see all those lovely plants on those artful photos, Rosemary! Columbines are one of my favorite flowers. I admire their fragile appearance and their mellow tints. We also have an illustrator in Switzerland he is called Ernst Kradolf and he has given flowers and plants a personality in his book. I remember reading them as a little girl. I was (and still am) of a big fan of them. Happy, flowery day to you! Christa

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    1. Dear Christa - thank you for the introduction to Ernst Kradolf and his fascinating world of flowers and butterflies etc. I have had a look on google and could only find some very small illustrations on Amazon which sadly would not enlarge. His books seem to be very collectible. I would love to be able to see the illustrations in a larger format - how about considering doing a post on him? I for one would love it.

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  28. Your columbines are wonderful and I'm very envious or your peonies! x

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    1. The peony trees are just wonderful - we have them sitting in the four corners of a square garden with a sundial in the middle which we call the peony garden. Already they are virtually over until next year.

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  29. The blue and pink ones grow wild and although they can sometimes appear when they are not wanted, I do love to see them growing up in mixed flower borders, because they always look so pretty.

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    1. Columbines do add a prettiness to the borders I agree. Yes, you are right there origins are wild - of course many of our so called garden flowers originate from wild ones both here and from abroad.

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  30. Your circular or square photos make me feel as if peeping into the secret garden where each and every flower is so beautiful that makes my heart stop. Collage is wonderful as always.

    Yoko

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    1. Thank you Yoko for your kind comment. I was just thinking the other day how so many of us do photos of flowers, trees, our gardens etc, but all of them are completely different from one another. I am sure I would be able to recognise your lovely photos anywhere as they are so distinctive, and the same goes for other flower blogs that I follow.

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  31. Rosemary,
    I loved reading about Columbines and your photos are amazing.
    I can't even imagine what your garden must look like.
    I am sure it is spectacular and magical.

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    1. Thanks Gina for your kind comment. We do love our flowers here.

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  32. Gorgeous photos, Rosemary. I love them all. Sorry, I'm dreadfully behind in reading blogs and commenting.

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    1. Blogs are a pastime for when we have time to spare, but lovely to hear from you, and pleased that you liked the photos.

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