Where Do You Come From My Lovelies….?

lovelies.1….. because I don’t think I put you there, or can’t remember doing so…

Although I said after posting last week’s vase that some of the various aquilegias included were ‘second rate’ self-seeded examples, there were others that maybe self-seeded are by no stretch of the imagination anything other than lovely. Since then they have opened up, perked up and are even lovelier. Although the two on the top row look rather like ‘William Guinness’ and ‘Black Barlow’ I have certainly not planted either of those varieties recently in the blue & white border where these are growing. Although not quite as striking, the one on the bottom left is intriguing because of its varying shades of blue and the blush pink one has darker tips to its frilly petals and teeny tiny spurs.

The ones below have more recognisable credentials:

lovelies.2These four are all in the main herbaceous borders. Top left is close to a label stating ‘William Guinness’ so I did once plant him in this border before ‘blues’ were evicted to their own border, but this example does not look quite dark enough to fit the bill. Bottom left are ‘Green Apples’, grown successfully from seed last year – hip hip hooray! – and bottom right is the distinctive green tipped, curly spurred ‘Purple Emperor’ which has startlingly lime green leaves, very much in the style of a Turkish (or thereabouts) emperor. Top right is the survivor of a mixed bag of some modern hybrid, looking rather OTT compared to its smaller stylish cousins. Admittedly she is rather pretty when fully open, but in a Grayson Perry sort of way – and the bees won’t take to kindly to these elongated spurs!

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16 Responses to Where Do You Come From My Lovelies….?

  1. Christina says:

    Ah! Self-seeding plants. I love them (plants for free); hate them because you must wait until they flower before knowing what colour they will be. that said I wouldn’t say “no” to any of these beauties!

    • Cathy says:

      Some of these are rather taller than I would like though – and too blue for the main borders… 😉 But yes, they are mostly rather pretty, I have to admit 🙂

  2. Chloris says:

    I love all your lovely Aquilegias. Green Apples is stunning. I love self seeded ones, specially if you grow lots of different types. You never know what you’ ll get. Sometimes, like with yours, it is a nice surprise.

    • Cathy says:

      I didn’t have to wait as long for my Green Apples as you did for your tree peony though, Chloris! I do however have the potential problem of lots of named seedlings from Touchwood Aquilegias – and not a lot of space to put them in!!

  3. pbmgarden says:

    These are all beauties.

  4. Liz says:

    Hi Cathy,

    Very nice indeed! I don’t seem to get many seeding themselves?? Perhaps mine are infertile? Actually that can’t be the case, as I have sown seeds from my own and now have 3/4 plants from them. Yet there are no babies around any of the parent plants.
    After moving from our last place, where there were plenty of the lovely doubles, I was really upset that I forgot to bring some with me. Luckily I found seedlings coming up in pots I brought with me. Once they became large enough I planted them and I now have a few of the double bloomers, but not enough for my liking! Definitely need more, and I think your lovely Green Apples was well worth it. I’d also like to try some of the types with the long spurs out the back… One day.

  5. Annette says:

    I’m quite mad about them especially those without spurs. It’s quite amazing how they interbreed creating ever more delightful offspring. To think that they’re supposed to stand for fools is something I can’t understand.

    • Cathy says:

      I think it all links to the traditions of jesters and the story of Harlequin and Columbine, although perhaps it predates that. ‘Columbine’ itself is from the latin for ‘dove’, as the flowers looked like a little group of them – something I learned last year.

  6. croftgarden says:

    Promiscuous and profligate, but I do love them for their infinite varieties. I have a border full of seedlings which will be ruthlessly weeded after flowering otherwise I will end up with a garden full of blue granny’s bonnets. I must try growing some of these more refined varieties, but I’m not sure how reliable they are from seed – I suppose there is only one way to find out.

    • Cathy says:

      Promiscuous AND profligate – tut tut! There are some of mine that will come out too. I also have a lot of named aquilegia seedlings, sown in the autumn, and you are welcome to some of those once they are a little bigger as I will not have enough space for all of them 🙂 Just let me know.

  7. What a lovely and varied selection! It’s obviously pot luck what you get. I have one very similar to your “Green Apples”, but, like you, I’m not aware of planting it! I’m particularly fond of “William Guinness”- could be a good candidate for my Black Bed!

  8. Julie says:

    What a lovely selection of named and self seeded varieties Cathy. This year I have my first self seeders and I am looking forward to more as the garden matures. I think my aquilegia are taller this year than they would usually be – it must be related to the mild wet winter.

  9. Anna says:

    Oh isn’t ‘Green Apples’ most appropriately named. You must be delighted with them Cathy. In my case this year it’s more a case of ‘Where do you go to my lovely?’ with the so far no show of my favourite ‘Nora Barlow’. Still one or two attractive visitors in the arrivals department whilst others are being ruthlessly weeded out.

  10. Congrats on Green Apples, always fascinating to see the progeny of these promiscuous beauties, and I love how easy they are to grow from seed. And even as weeds, far mofde pleasant than bindweed…

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