Columbines and Spring

Columbine flower is an example of spring beauty in its delicate flower detail. Yet the hardy columbine genus Aquila is Latin for “eagle” and was so named for the spurs behind the petals that may bear a resemblance to eagle’s claws.

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Seventy species of columbine give lots of choices for color and form. Columbine blooms in mid-spring and nesting hummingbirds look for its nectar. It’s an easy-to-grow perennial of this region that self-seeds. In partial shade setting here, it requires only light watering in summer. The herbaceous plant can be cut back in fall. As with some other plants that have had historical medicinal uses, the columbine plant is not among the favorite snacks for deer or rabbits.

As a cut flower, it’s easy to appreciate the columbine’s intricate shape up close. Spring can be a busy time for setting out transplants and planting seeds. A moment to admire one of the flowers of spring is its reward.

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Spring rains soften the soil for weeding, a task seldom completed. After the close work of weeding a perennial bed on hands and knees, I looked up to the view of this naturalized meadow of Dames Rockets, sown and tended by nature. Spring is wonderful.

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