What’s in a name?

Whatever about having a bad name day and forgetting the names of all the much-loved and nurtured flowers I rarely mix up the one flower that goes by several names and it is in its element right now!

Aquilegia Hybrid

I refer of course to that fairy-like flower the Aquilegia. This is the latin name for this most generous of self-seeders in my garden! To me the delicate trumpet shape brings to mind the best Fairy stories I heard in my childhood!


American Bluebell

Some call it The American Bluebell – but that leaves out the rainbow of colours this promiscuous plant produces! I can go for “Granny’s Bonnet” alright although not many Grannys are neat enough to wear such a tidy bonnet!

William Guinness

This one rejoices in the name “William Guinness” and was brought to me by a friend from the Chelsea Flower Show, no less! Despite its noble ancestry this one plays fast and loose with its neighbours and pops up in the most unexpected places!

Aquilegia ‘Heavenly Blue

I think this is the “Aquilegia Heavenly Blue” in my database – the label is long gone but the flowers get bigger and more beautiful every year!

Aquilegia ‘Black Barlow’

Black Barlow is very difficult to capture on camera as his flowers seem to go from not-quite-open to overblown in the space of a few minutes but here is my best effort so far! He is well named! The petals are as near to black as most flowers can get!

Aquilegia self-seeder

I was thrilled to find this almost white Aquilegia – no idea where it came from but it was a bit of a surprise to capture so much Nature on a simple flower!

What a beauty!

Petals that are almost transparent in the sunlight just adds to the magic!

But I have a story about this Latin-named beauty – Aquilegia – also called Granny’s Bonnet or American Bluebell, but most commonly known in these parts as Columbine. I grew Columbine in my first garden and when it flowered my mother-in-law exclaimed “What lovely Concubines!”

I have to say that I fondly refer to them all as Concubines these days – just to remember a lady who thought the flower was more important than the name!

Definitley looking like Fairy hats here!

So whether you call them Aquilegia or Granny’s Bonnet, Columbine or Concubine, let them bloom where they fall whenever you can and you will be rewarded with profusions of flowers and profusions of colours!

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