Archive for May, 2008


Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day May

Carol of May Dream’s Garden, who is responsible for this Bloomday hype, says that May is her favourite month. And who am I to dispute this: May is the month of Spring Explosion when nature seems to have laid the fulfillment of all her promises into a few weeks presenting a firework of scents and colours.

As there is so much, I could show off, starting with the last Tulips and ending with the tree paeony that has managed to hold one last spectacular flower through the late frost we had around easter, I would be able to come up with dozens of bright colourful photos, one bloom being more impressive than the other. So as not to kill you with sheer numbers, I thought it would be best to limit myself to some rather delicate plants of a less prominent nature: aquilegias. They count among my favourite flowers, first of all because of their decorative leaves. Even if they are not blooming, the leaves give the impression of round soft cushions spread out in all those corners that deliberate design hasn’t reached yet. This leads to their next asset: they self-seed so easily and thus fill dreary spots in a rather elegant way. Not minding the shade, they lighten up dark corners without pushing themselves too much into the foreground. Also, they keep well in vases making great partners for huge blooms such as roses or paeonies.

Aquilegias come in all sorts of colours, blue and pink being the most common ones. Unfortunately I’m not very good with botanical names, however, as most of my plants are bastards, there wouldn’t be any name for them anyway. These here are very close to the wild varieties growing up to a metre in height. I try not to let those self-seed too much because otherwise they would take over the garden in the end.
Lately I have bought some miniature varieties of mixed colours, some with huge, others with rather delicate blossoms. Those I let seed themselves as they like, rejoicing when the odd plant turns up between the patio stones or in other unusual places. Even though they are hybrids, their offspring tends to keep the colours and even the shape.

The most delicate variety I’ve come across is this one with its tiny blossoms that look like fancy skirts. They belong to my surprise flowers as they have grown from a seed packet with a colourful mixture of wild flowers. (I almost wouldn’t have bought the packet because it said there were aquilegia seeds in it and I expected them to be like the ones I already had.)