Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Returning Columbine

For many years I tried to get columbine to return after winters in my Laguna garden, but it never did and I always had to replant it every year. I remember reading about how some gardeners even consider it a problem because it reseeded so readily. Those were problems I wanted! Here in my SJC garden I have finally accomplished my goal and this is the fourth year it has returned in abundance. What is the difference? It may be the type of columbine I planted. This one is a simple, more native type that I found at a small nursery while the other ones I used were the fancy hybrids that are two toned (although I do have some of those that return every year here too). But most likely it is a subtle change in climate. Being on a north facing hillside, the Laguna garden stays pretty shady and cool until summer. Although only a few miles away, there is definitely more spring warmth and sunshine in SJC's gardens. It may simply be a matter of finding the exact spot preferred by this dainty flower.

1 comment:

Kaveh Maguire said...

My father's ex-wife used to collect the seed heads in a shoe box and then go around in the fall shaking them around the garden like they were magic wands. We always had tons of columbines in spring.

I'm sure some of them are still there though maybe not quite as abundant as when she was around.