Granny’s Bonnet and Hybrid Swarms

Years and years ago, a brilliant gardener called David Bromley gave us some seed of amysterious Aquilegia (ok.  granny’s bonnet) without spurs to the tepals and rather flattened flowers.  Planted in the garden we had then, it crossed with some straighforward blue, and somebody named the strain produced thereby as ‘Belhaven Blue’.  Naturally, when we moved garden, we brought some with us. We also had a fascinating double blue and white one called ‘Adelaide Addison’, and some other kind gardener gave us an almost black one – sinister but lovely.

As we don’t dead-head (never any time), we now have what botanists call a ‘hybrid swarm’ where all sorts of characteristics appear in all sorts of combination, but at least amongst aquilegia, with some of the unaltered originals still around, presumably from ‘selfed’ seed.  Here are some originals and variants;

a violet blue clematis flowered one very similar
to the one called after our old garden

a fancy pink, and just out of shot some pure white spurred ones. lol

About david stuart

garden writer and journalist, and occasionally a designer, with a garden in the Scottish borders, and his pal's gardens in Edinburgh, London, and Lincolnshire. They keep both of us very, very busy. Books I've written listed on my website, and dozens of articles and garden and plant pictures. Currently working on several new projects. One of these was to return to painting - see the blog - and which is proving exciting! or, more fun, have a look at
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One Response to Granny’s Bonnet and Hybrid Swarms

  1. My favourite species, i.e. Aquilegia (as my dad called them Granny’s Bonnets), or Columbine as named in North America. My reason for my love of Aquilegia, they are so delicate, almost like fine china, and so many colours, mixed or doubles. Perhaps you would visit my facebook albums, “Flowers”, to see some of many pictures taken in Cambridge Ontario. To my dismay I lost or deleted many.

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