As spring-flowering bulbs fade hope relies on the Aquilegias for the next big colour burst. In our garden we have many selections of self-seeded natives and several species from elsewhere. They are grown for their unusual bonnet-shaped flowers, which come in a huge range of colours and shapes but are best recognised by the spurs that fly from the back of the blooms. Some have virtually no spurs at all but others can have spurs several inches long. They are traditional cottage garden plants but in the wild grow in a range of habitats throughout the Northern Hemisphere and can be found in meadows, woodlands and higher up mountain sides.
One of their strengths is their hardiness, defying whatever the weather may throw at them but also shrugging off pests and diseases. We have never had a problem on any of our hundreds of plants, so they are excellent plants for the organic gardener.
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