Aquilegia vulgaris 'William Guiness'
granny's bonnet (syn Magpie )
- 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.
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 dRead full article