Aquilegias, ‘keen to promiscuously
interbreed, and generous with their offspring’ said
the holder of the National Plant Collection for Swansea in
the UK. One might assume from Aquilegia vulgaris hybrids and
cultivars from such a comment that the aquilegia is everyone’s
worst nightmare as a weed in the garden, but I don’t
think so. They are versatile, offering a wide range of colours,
plant heights and variety in flower form. They are virtually
pest-free, and will grow in a wide range of soil types. They
are generally grown from seed and self-sown seedlings are
easily culled if unwanted. ‘William Guinness’
(syn. ‘Magpie’) pictured below is a stunning plant
with pleated double flowers in purple and white.
‘William Guinness’ (syn.
Favourites: It is hard
to choose, but some of my best-loved aquilegias are ‘William
Guinness’ (syn. Magpie), a large cheeky red and yellow
spurred garden hybrid in my mother’s garden and a recent
introduction, ‘Roman Bronze’ which has golden
leaves and deep purple flowers. I chose these three from a
myriad of other beautiful forms, and the door is open for
you to explore the wide range of seeds available.