A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Plant of the Month

I love looking through catalogs but when it comes time to order, I'm internet all the way. Consequently, I'm on every garden catalog's mailing list, both snail mail and email. Today, I fell out of my chair laughing when I received email from Breck's touting William Guinness columbine as their "Plant of the Month".

I've had William Guinness columbine growing in my purple garden for years. As you can see from the picture below, it is truly a lovely columbine.

It's beautiful as a bud. It's beautiful facing downward. It's beautiful facing outward. The flower stalks are at least two feet tall with multiple blossoms on each one. There's just one teeny, tiny problem. It reseeds itself quite freely. In fact, it's a bit of a pest. Every time I want to plant something in that garden, I have to find homes for several tiny columbine plants either in my gardens or someone else's. If I allowed it, it would take over that bed completely.

Breck's admonishes their clients to buy a lot of plants so that they will have enough flowers to cut and bring inside. They are selling it as follows:

3 plants for $9.99
6 plants for $17.99
9 plants for $23.99

That much for something that's almost as much of a headache as dandelions?


At 8:06 AM, Blogger Colleen said...

I'm glad you posted this...I got that same e-mail and was tempted. It is a beautiful flower, but there are lots of beautiful flowers out there that I won't have to keep pulling up :-)


At 10:29 AM, Blogger snappy said...

Old roses im sooo tempted.I have seen those Aqualegias in the seed catalogues.The photo is beautiful.I wouldnt mind taking the excess volunteers off your hands.I have tried growing Aqualegias but no luck yet.

At 7:30 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Colleen, I definitely wouldn't recommend paying a fortune for plants that are easily and more cheaply grown from seed.

Snappy, the secret to growing aqualegia from seed is shade and shelter. I get great germination in a semi-shady spot under another larger plant. I grown them under my rosebushes and even iris (the leaves on mine flop after blooming). I've even been successful growing them in a semi-shady corner of a fence.

At 9:13 PM, Blogger Carol said...

I, too, have columbine seedlings all over the place it seems. I have to decide if I should dig them up and give them away, leave them where they are, or pull them like a weed. It depends on my mood!

That is a beautiful flower!

At 8:28 AM, Blogger Naturegirl said...

What a *~sweet pansie-like face~* I see here!! Take your extras and plant them in a field along the way..or just send one my way!

At 7:58 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Carol, this is the most aggressive columbine I've ever grown. I just started some wild ones last year. I'm wondering if they are the same or maybe even worse!

Naturegirl, if I could smuggle them over the border, I would gladly send you some. They are so beautiful.

At 3:49 AM, Anonymous Tim said...

They are great in the garden aren't they. I have them popping up all over the place. I started moving them into one particular garden bed - but have long since given up and just enjoy them where ever they are!

At 8:49 AM, Anonymous JLB said...

I've never met a columbine I didn't like... and they are rather prolific. :) Columbine give me a great reason to share the love with friends, and assist in my plants' grand scheme to take over the world! :)

At 9:47 AM, Anonymous Judith said...

William Guinness is handsome. You are tempting me to head over to Breck's to place an order! I don't mind that columbine seed themselves. Some plants can get away with that trait.

At 7:40 AM, Blogger Kerri said...

I must admit I love that William Guiness too. Such a pretty color combination! I too would be happy to take some seeds off your hands :) I have a red columbine which doesn't seem to freely seed itself (and I wouldn't mind if it did just a bit!). But the wild columbine in my garden I definitely have to treat like a weed or it would take over. I do love the flowers though. Such pretty early color in the springtime!

At 7:28 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Kerri, I will save some seed for you in the spring.

At 1:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just happened on this blog..looking for info on the columbine that sprung up in my garden and we (daughters)were trying to identify it. William Guiness..is that right. Only one bud has opened, but I love it..a little surprise. It reseeds, is prolific and I can look forward to many more as time goes on..Is that also right? Good! From NW California in the heart of the Redwoods.

At 7:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love my Aquilenas..and just recently planted seeds for the Wm. Guinness. They are growing very nicely in a container, so that I can water and move into shade when temps are too high here in California desert. I have many planted in a raised bed which gets a bit of shade in the heat of the day and they are doing really well. I won't think of them as a pest for a couple of years, I think.


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