Aquilegia alpina

Alpine columbine

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  • Position: full sun or partial shade
  • Soil: fertile, moist, well-drained soil
  • Rate of growth: average
  • Flowering period: May
  • Hardiness: fully hardy

    Aquilegias are grown for their beautiful, nodding flowers, which vary in shape and size between species. The alpinas have blue flowers, sometimes with white petal tips that appear in late spring above the attractively divided, bluish-green foliage. This alpine columbine is perfect for rich soils in a sun or part shade and looks equally at home in a cottage-style scheme, among grasses, or dotted through a perennial border. It is quite short-lived, but self-seeds freely, though rarely to nuisance level.

  • Garden care: Sow seeds in containers in a cold frame in spring. Deadhead to prolong flowering. Contact with the sap may cause skin irritation.


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Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii

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Lamprocapnos spectabilis

bleeding heart (syn. Dicentra spectabilis)

Arching sprays of pink, heart-shaped flowers

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Scabiosa columbaria subsp. ochroleuca

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Delicate pale creamy-yellow pincushions

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1 Question | 2 Answers
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  • Q:

    Growing plants for a wedding

    Dear Crocus, I am a very happy customer ..... I love your site, plants and service. I learnt about you first from Arabella Lennox-Boyd. But now I am writing for some advice please. My sister is getting married in Oxfordshire on the last weekend of May. I would love to grow the flowers for the wedding. I have a big garden with empty beds and a green house at my disposal. Could you give me some advice on types of cut flowers that would be in bloom at the end of May? Some pointers as a place to start my research and buying would be fantastic. Thank you very much, Best wishes, Kate
    Asked on 1/8/2010 by Kate Olivia Higginbottom

    2 answers

    • A:

      Thank you so much Helen - amazing! I'll send you photos of the finished results. Best wishes and thanks again, Kate

      Answered on 1/8/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
    • A:

      Hello Kate, It will be a little hit and miss as a lot will depend on the weather, but the following plants should be in flower around that time. Choisya ternata
      http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/choisya-ternata-/classid.825/
      Osmanthus x burkwoodii
      http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/osmanthus-%C3%97-burkwoodii-/classid.4171/
      Syringa http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.syringa/
      Viburnum x carlcephalum
      http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/viburnum-%C3%97-carlcephalum-/classid.4460/
      Convallaria majalis
      http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.convallaria/ Iris
      http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.iris/ Paeonia
      http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.paeonia/ Euphorbia palustris
      http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/perennials/euphorbia-palustris-/classid.2794/
      Aquilegia http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.aquilegia/
      Ceanothus Skylark
      http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/ceanothus-thyrsiflorus-skylark/classid.728/
      and if we have a hot start to the summer a couple of roses or some of the earlier lavenders may have started too. I hope this gives you lots of ideas. Helen Plant Doctor

      Answered on 1/8/2010 by Kate Olivia Higginbottom
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Aquilegias - Top of the nectar table

These cottage garden essentials take their name from Aquila, Latin for eagle, because the nectar-rich spurs at the back of the flower resemble eagle's talons. Their other common name, columbine, is also related to a bird. If you turn the flowers upside d

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