Tucked away in a corner of my garden, there is a nook where spring bloomers take over. One of the stars of this show is the columbine. What is more cheerful than sparkly fairy flowers dancing on tall stems? Columbines are a magical addition to the garden! The slender stems reach up from a nest of whorled, matte green, lobed leaves. From spring to early summer, the spritely blossoms nod in colours of pink, purple, red, white or yellow. Many cultivars have yellow or white inner blooms with elegant spurs in contrasting colour. There is a native columbine, called wild columbine or Canadian columbine, with yellow blooms and red spurs. Columbines are not invasive, but do love to self-seed, and are quite capable of cross breeding to produce multi-colour blooms in new colour combinations – what fun! I mix this perennial with bleeding heart, sweet woodruff, forget-me-nots and solomon’s seal for a sweet spring show.
Technical stuff – Columbine/aquilegia, hardy perennial, prefers part shade to sun and fertile, moist well drained soil, but will adapt to most conditions. Height of 18”-36” and spread of 12”-24”. Blooms spring to early summer.