Aquilegias are fantastically hard-working plants, and perfect for the garage garden. They’re hardy perennials, they’re vigorous self-seeders, they’ll grow just about anywhere and they come in a whole sweestshop range of colours (although purple is the most common for wild ones). We’ve got dark red, pale yellow, pale pink, and purple. Plant a few one year, they’ll come back the next and you’ll have a whole flowerbed full of their children. They can be a bit too successful, but you can always thin them out and give them away!
A few of the plants in the garden were seedlings from special varieties I bought for my own garden: Ruby Port and Yellow Queen. (Warning: spending time on the spectacular crocus website can seriously damage your bank balance.) Others turned up by themselves.
The Ruby Port shows its glorious deep colour best in sunshine.
The name Aquilegia comes from the Latin for eagle (aquila) because the flowers are supposed to look like eagle claws. You can see this with the trailing curved spikes on the Yellow Queen. This one glows in the garden on grey days.
Their common name name is Granny’s Bonnet, which makes a lot more sense when you look at the wild purple ones.
They have fountains of pretty foliage too. Their leaves are very recognisable, handy for when you want to harvest some seedlings for replanting!
If you’ve got a dark or difficulr corner of the garden, why not try a few? Pop past the garage garden to catch them in their fully glory in the next couple of weeks.