How very beautiful are old-fashioned aquilegias, or colombines. They are also known as granny’s bonnets. Bees love them.
Here is an interesting piece on the plant’s name, published in 1927;
A new explanation of the derivation of the word “aquilegia” has been advanced by Rev. G.H. Engleheart, in the Gardener’ Chronicle. The Latin word “aquila.” an eagle, has been generally recognized as the origin of the word, but the latter part is unaccounted for, and there is no instance in Latin of its occurance as a termination. It is certain that “legia” is the second root compound of the word, which is derived from “aquelego” and means “water gatherer”. To anyone who has noticed the way shining globules will collect on the smooth surfaces of the columbine leaves, this explanation will appeal instantly.
And yes, as the article says…. they do hold droplets of moisture in a magical way;
In the morning mist;
I love the fact that they are tall growers, suitable for my rustic jugs;
I only grow the most common old aquilegias, but there are some amazing varieties available, including doubles;
The flowers self seed in my Blue Mountains garden, and pop up everywhere in early spring. They are always plenty of seeds to share with friends, both human and bird!
Faint in the fluttering fall of a flute divine,
Softly the cellos sing; ‘Columbine. Columbine’
By Hugh M’Crae
By the way, remember Columbine caramels? The colours are appropriate.