We tend to thank the bees for all the pollination that takes place in our gardens, but of course there are thousands of insects responsible. Bees are only a small part. But nowhere is that pollination more evident than it is in my aquelegias this year.
I started out a few years ago with a bought-in plant of deepest blue. It flowered really well and I looked forward to seeing it again, seeded, the next year. Well, now about five years later, I have them all over the garden (I am a great believer in letting flowers seed - it is better than weeds seeding) and I don't think two are the same. But there is not a single blue one.
A friend, who writes a gardening column for a magazine, says that once you have aquelegia in your garden you will never be without them again. I would vouch for that. They have spread round to the back patio and also along the sides of the Lane.
As I came in a short while ago from my walk with Tess I photographed a few of them for you to see. I hope you agree that every single one of them is beautiful, blue or not. As children we called the single ones with anthers 'dancing fairies' and the smaller double ones 'grandmother's bonnets' - aren't the colloquial names a lot nicer than the Latin names?
Speaking of colloquial names, the Lane is lined with cow parsley - just at its best at the moment - a froth of white with a pleasant smell. A friend, W, reminded me that when we were children we called it 'mother die' - anyone else remember that?