After getting so many comments this weekend at the indoor market about the beautiful columbine bloom, I decided I better write a little something about them.  I have two varieties available this season and they are shown below.

Columbine-Cropped

‘Crimson Star’ Aquilegia

Purple-Columbine-Cropped

‘Swan Violet & White’ Aquilegia

Columbines are not without their problems, but few gardeners would let those stop them from including a few in their garden.  The unique flower shape and color combination gets comments from even the amateur gardener.

For best luck with columbines, plan on replacing them every few years as they are not long-lived.  Don’t be afraid to cut the entire plant down if the foliage starts to look bad. This will also help stop the spread of the seeds, which don’t always germinate true to type.  Remember to plant other things that will fill in the gaps when the columbines are done.  They compliment Siberian Iris, perennial Geranium, and False Indigo (Baptisia), so plant them with these for a great show! Columbines grow best in full sun, but in soil with adequate moisture. They are a must if you are planting a cottage or old fashioned garden and will help attract lots of insects and hummingbirds.