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I have been looking at the touchwood site for aquilegias. I thought I would post some photos of mine.






The first one is  Nora Barlow. The second has black barlow at the front of border ( sorry no close up). 3 is what I call raspberry ripple. 4 is pink pom pom. Apart from the original Nora Barlow, they just appeared in the garden


How exciting !  I am nurturing 3 v small Nora Barlows at the moment (another one of my "free" magazine offers) - so now as well as the plants themselves, I can look forward to some crazy offspring.  Will plant them close to some of my existing aquiliegias so they can be nice and promiscuous


Mostly Nora Barlow seems to come true to type, but then I get these odd ones popping up. I suppose it helps that I am not very good at weeding.



They cross-pollinate like mad with the native ones and any other species in the neighbourhood although most don't turn out as pretty as those - you have some nice ones there, fidget!  Breeding them is a lot of fun (bit of a hobby of mine) but I find most seedlings are not worth keeping so I wait for the first flower and weed the duds out.

Stacey Docherty

Stunning, all mine just turn a pale pink!!!! I bought a great one from crocus earlier in the year think it was a William Guinness but it had triple flowers!will its in a pot so will see what happens next year as it was v stunted ( it was only .75p per plug!) hopefully I can have some more colourful ones in the garden!! They do spread like mad though but this also probably has something to do with my toddler pulling the flower spikes off and shaking them over the beds cause " they go chitt chitt mummy!!" 


I've germinated a large selection from Touchwood this year, might have over-done it a bit. 

A. viridiflora produces some interesting results. It's not a robust plant like the A. vulgaris but has a strong influence on crosses with that and canadensis and that other yellow/red one who's name escapes me for the moment.


Nut,did you sow in spring or autumn.? I don't know whether to sow some now for better germination


I sowed the bought seed at the beginning of january this year fb. In the cold GH. This was on the advice of Carrie Thomas at Touchwood. 

I always sow my own when it's ripe though. It germinates very quickly and the plants are big enough to go through winter without protection. Bought seed sown in autumn sometimes germinates very quickly and you're left with babies to see through the winter.

You could try some of each and do a controlled experiment

Oh good nutcutlet - I've just collected my own seeds and was wondering whether to sow now.  I've also collected some tree lupin seeds (lots in the wild here in Suffolk), so guess I'll sow those too.


Are the tree lupins the ones that grow on Southwold beach Holly?

Not far from the beach.  The ones I collect, whilst walking the dogs, are over the road from me - near some fishing lakes.


I love those, Years since I've been to Southwold though. used to take the kids and they could get lost in the lupins. 

They're lovely and smell good too.  The ones on the beach got infested with a lupin aphid and disappeared, they're sort of coming back now. 



I hope they make it back to their full glory. They were great

I experimented last year sowing in July and up to 1st August, and SOME of them (especially earlier sown ones) were big enough to flower this next year, most weren't but they are going to be HUGE plants next year! Expect about 4 weeks to germinate, only barely cover seeds with compost (they want light) but do NOT let the compost on the top dry out especially just at germination time or they will die.

I gave strong growing conditions and long season of growth by growing these July/August sown ones in my greenhouse...perhaps I should have fed them as well to encourage quick growth.  Good luck, and do let us know results if you sow now. Carrie Thomas, Touchwood.


Hi Carrie. I've got hundreds (no exaggeration) of your aquilegias waiting to be planted out in the autumn. They could have been planted out before but the ground wasn't ready and later on it can be like concrete. A hard life for a young plant.

Many thanks for seeds and advice

Here is some nursery rows in flower this year:


Another view of them. These would have been sown early the previous year.