It’s Columbine time.

The wild columbines in my garden are in their full glory.

I collected a few handfuls of seeds from plants in the forest on the ridge between my village and the border with Switzerland, some years ago. I chose a variety of colours, but they are all on the wild pallet of purple and pink.

Over the years they have self seeded in the shady parts of the garden and the variety of colours is amazing. Every year I try and photograph them and am always dissatisfied with the result. The flowers are down ward pointing and it seems impossible to capture their beauty and delicacy.

Some of the flowers have double and triple whorls of petals and I think their variation would have inspired Gregor Mendel to unlock the secrets of genetic variation in his famous monastic garden.

All types of bees visit the flowers . Here is a fat carpenter bee looking for nectar.

The bumble bees bite into the spurs of the flowers to reach the nectar faster and the next bees use the easy access too. You can see the bite holes in this picture.

The name columbine come from the Latin for dove and the shy down turned flower is supposed to look like a ring of doves’ heads.

Like all of the most beautiful things in life, they are transient. The warm weather will see them pollinated quickly and soon the patio will be painted with the bright confetti of their multicoloured, fallen petals.

11 thoughts on “It’s Columbine time.

  1. peterspetra says:

    They are called “Akelei” in German. Hildegard von Bingen mentioned them as a medical plants. I had them in my garden in the mountains. Thanks for your photos, I do not understand, why you are not pleased with them; I liked them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. catterel says:

    In a neglected garden run wild not far from here, the Aquilegia/Akelei/Columbines are running wild, every shade from near-white to deepest purple. I also tried to take photos but the flowers are so very shy … yours are much better than mine.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lovelyandgrateful says:

    I love aquilegia but never had any luck growing them, but I wonder if that’s because I’ve always planted them in full sun and perhaps they’d prefer shade? I might try that, thanks for the tip. Yours are beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

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