Aquilegia vulgaris 'William Guiness'

granny's bonnet (syn Magpie )

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The pied black and white flowers of William Guinness shimmer and any white spring flower enhances its power, or thread it up through the metallic Eleagnus ‘Quicksilver’

Val Bourne - Garden Writer

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

    Eyecatching, purple-black flowers with contrasting white centres appear in late spring and early summer above fern-like, mid-green leaves. The unusual flowers of this old-fashioned columbine look equally at home in a cottage garden setting or in a more modern scheme with ornamental grasses. Although it is short lived, given well-drained, moisture retentive soil, this plant self seeds freely.

  • Garden care: Lift and divide large clumps in early spring and apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted manure or garden compost around the plant. Divided specimens may take some time to establish since they dont like having their roots disturbed. Contact with the sap may cause skin irritation.


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Geranium sanguineum 'Album'

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Astrantia 'Hadspen Blood'

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2 Questions | 3 Answers
Displaying questions 1-2
  • Q:

    I have planted this aquilegia following one of your ready made border designs and it is so pretty but after the first year it loses the lovely pale markings and becomes entirely dark purple - still pretty but not as pretty. Why is this please?
    Asked on 6/18/2013 by kasey from brigg

    1 answer

    • Plant Doctor

      A:

      Hello there
      Aquilegias hybridise freely and these new plants may be different to the original parent plant.
      It sounds as if your original plant has died, but it produced seeds, which have taken and come up a different colour. The only way to stop this, is to dead head so it doesn't produce and spead seeds.
      Hope this helps

      Answered on 6/19/2013 by Georgina from Crocus
  • 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
Displaying questions 1-2

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Aquilegias - nectar-rich and lovely

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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