This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Aquilegia in Action

Columbine / Aquilegia are probably in their prime at the minute. It's a shame they only flower for a short period, generally May-June. I'm trying to prolong the flowering by deadheading.

VarietyAquilegia Long Spurred Hybrid (Perennial), Suttons 'Cottage Garden' Seed Collection. All the Columbine were sown Summer of 2010 and this is their 2nd year in flower. (I had to go and look this up as two years ago can seem just like last year!)
Even green fly can be a thing of beauty?
Well, I'm not too keen to see greenfly on my plants. I generally have greenfly on roses but this year they have taken a liking to the Aquilegia as well. They multiply fast too!

The bright pink Columbine is one of the most striking. Pictured with Poached Egg Plant /Limnanthes Douglasii in the background.
The lupin and columbine I didn't separate before planting into the ground. I'll have to do this in the Autumn.

The seed pack where it all started, and my review on the varieties:
Aquilegia - easy to grow, a range of size and colour within the mix (some more favoured than others).
Aster 'Aster Ostrich Plume Mix' - they were big and bold. See my attempt at growing these here.
Cornflower - I wasn't impressed as they were insignificant and short lived.
Hollyhock - I manged to grow one plant last year but I was proud of it!
Lupin - the prize definitely goes to Lupin for impact and easy to grow (just watch out for slugs)!
Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.


  1. I should have thought to dead head my aquilegias as in the front garden they are past their best. They do seem to be prone to aphid attack

  2. Lovely garden Kelli! I just bought my first columbine plants this year. They're lovely. I love the contrast with the lupines! Striking!!

  3. Those columbine are so beautiful!I don't know which color is the prettiest! It seems like you have planted them where their surroundings and background really showcase them well!

  4. Looks like the lupin and the columbine came out great! Happy gardening!! Do you by any chance have more shots of the bright pink columbine?

    -Oscar Valencia
    Tree Service Queens

  5. Were all those different Aquilegias from one seed packet?? Having recently ssen Aquilegias en masse in my MIL's garden I'm undergoing a craze for them. I agree though that a longer flowering period would be welcome.

  6. Hi Kelli, what a wonderful collection of columbine! Wow, and all of that started with 1 seed packet. Very impressive!! I love all of the different color combinations. Cheers, Jenni

  7. The pale lemon and lilac aquilegia is lovely, so pretty. That's a great collection of seeds to start off a cottage garden display.

  8. Your columbine blooms are breath-taking! Beautiful collection.

  9. I love Columbines. Never thought about dead-heading them. Might give that a try.

  10. I like this garden. It's very beautiful. I just my blog visit

  11. Aren't they lovely? Columbines are long past here. But they do love to spread themselves around the garden! The feathery Arkansas Bluestar you noticed will be even more beautiful in the fall, when the foliage turns bright gold!