I couldn’t let May end without dedicating a post to this month’s star performers, some of which made an appearance in the mid-month review. Standing tallest are the Aquilegia vulgaris var. stellata ‘Lime Sorbet’ which I raised from seed. There are nine of these dotted around the borders, clustered with cool green flowers which open wide and fade to white petticoats.
Well, there are actually ten of these plants, but the first I bought in bloom at Malvern last spring, while my new seedlings were too young to flower, under the epithet Aquilegia x hybrida ‘Green Apples’, which turns out to be a synonym of ‘Lime Sorbet’. I liked the plant so much I bought it twice, as both plant and seed! The dangers of multiple names: I obviously was not paying enough attention…
These are joined around the garden by some self-sown pink and purple-flowered types of varying heights, some rescued from the wreckage of our building site last year, others brought over from my parents’ or MIL’s gardens.
In the narrow strip along the front drive, a self-sown candy pink aquilegia matches the emerging buds of the climbing rose, probably New Dawn, alongside it.
Back in the main borders, and slightly later to bloom was A. Red Hobbit, a shorter cultivar, with daintier flowers, dressed to the nines in red jacket and spurs.
A plant of similar stature, with spurred blooms dressed to match in blue, has also appeared in the border. This appears to be A. coerulea, which Red Hobbit does indeed derive from.
I believe that this was a small unlabelled aquilegia seedling that I picked up at some local NGS open gardens last summer with my parents, which I remember planting out late last summer as the border was created, but I seem to have made no notes as to exactly where that ended up (ahem).
In the greenhouse, I have grown seedlings of two subtly different yellow spurred varieties A. longissima and A. chrysantha, which should add a dash of lemon elegance to the garden next spring, along with the more flamboyant A. skinneri ‘Tequila Sunrise’, and I have already found many other small seedlings in the borders poised to make their own entrance too, so I suspect that in the years to come I will be judging and comparing, and swiftly removing those deemed not to measure up, to prevent the garden being awash. I can think of worse plants to be plagued with though…