Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Columbines and Cranesbills

It seems we are in a transitional time period: post-tulips, but pre-lilies. There's something about those show-stopping flowers that defines the rapid passage of time the summer garden. In the meantime, I am now enjoying the columbines (Aquilegia) and cranesbills (Geraniums, the hardy perennial kind). I have an English friend who claims not to know the North American common name for Aquilegia, though I think she's just trying to outwit the people who don't know botanical names! You know, I'm surprised I haven't heard of any [eccentric] celebrity naming their child "Columbine". I rather like floral names for children, but RLM would not agree to any flower children. Too bad. I guess we will never have a little Amaryllis or Petunia (just kidding).

Here is my favourite white columbine, surrounded by the pink cranesbills on the bottom right and cheddar pinks on the top right. I grow several of my columbines in full sun, which is generally not recommended, but I get away with it here. Of course, the columbine foliage looks rather ratty later in the summer, so I sometimes cut it back.

At the bottom of the picture is the pale purple alpine aster "Goliath". I love the color combination. It's just perfect, since there is NO ORANGE. That is essentially the color theme of my yard, summed up in one rule (which of course is broken by that one rebel lily in the back of the yard).


Cheryl said...

I'm new to gardening and enjoy reading your blog. I've gained a lot of knowledge through reading gardening blogs like yours.

I'm in New England. I guess Canada is much further behind us in the growing season, as columbines have long since stopped here.

easygardener said...

The white Aquilegia is very attractive. One of the best colours I always think. I assume it is fluffy Pulsatilla in the foreground. I do like their seed heads.

Clayton said...

Does your White Columbine have a name? The ones I am growing from seed are Sunlight White and seedlings look quite consistent.
Here is a link to the web album where I have some pictures of seedling flowers.

Karen said...

Well, in the U.S. the name 'Columbine' would be a reminder of the horrific tragedy that happened there. No one would think of the flower.

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