Favorite May plant: columbine

The delicate woodland columbines (aquilegia) are a graceful late spring favorite in the garden, both for their fanciful single and bi-colored pastel flowers, as well as their ability to attract the season’s first hummingbirds to the garden. Their nectar-laden blooms are keeping both the ruby throated birds and a bevy of hard-working bees busy this week in my garden.

 

Best in partial sun or dapple shade, they enjoy moist, rich soil that drains well. A biennial, don’t count on flowers if you plant the seeds this year. Once it’s established, the vigorous plant will need dividing every three or four years for better blooms. Some varieties re-seed, casting plenty of volunteers to share with friends and neighbors. With plenty in the garden, feel free to cut some blooms to enjoy indoors for delicate spring bouquets.

 

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