Meet the Columbine Flower and the pollinators the Columbine attract to your garden!
Many of us gardeners are getting ready for the season of outdoor flowerbeds and vegetable beds. We are no different! The excitement of colors, smells and the visitors can get overwhelming for some of us! Specially those who are dealing with snow and cold weather.
The Columbine that we grow is the "old world", species. That is they have beautiful spikes. The new hybrids do not have these spikes. However we have noticed the hybrids do have more colors. We chose not to grow the hybrids due to Guy. Guy rejects every species of Columbine seeds we find that do not have the long "spikes". Once you get the Columbine established you really do have to keep them under control in some places.
insects. Aphids like the Columbine!! Can not express this enough! Ants of course use aphids as we use cattle. The ants you can watch them take the aphids placing the aphids where ever the ants want the aphids to feed on what ever plant. The ants care for the aphids just like people care for their milking cattle.
We overhead water the Columbine to deal with the aphids. Of course this is not a full prof plan! One drop of water can kill a aphid or any other small bug for that matter. The aphids are nasty creatures, ladybugs can and will eat a enormous amount of aphids. Being organic, we do come up with all kinds of things to battle such things as aphids ........ There are other things that attack the Columbine but aphids are our main concern.
Yellow appears to be the natural base color for us anyways? We have a lot of yellow Columbine, even if they start out another color. Yellow tends to be dominant.... to my observations. We do have wild red columbine here in Oregon that are smaller flowers, smaller plants.
Our Columbine reach are oh three feet give or take. Typically I dont even bend over to clip off the seed pods.
I went ahead and put in several shots of the life on the Columbine Flowers in this post.
Our Columbine are in several places in the garden. They do not seam to care for full sun here in the High Desert. Of course watering is a must for anything one grows here.....
The White Columbine seen above with the Hoverfly was impressive in 2014. Big blooms, long spikes. Flashy blooms.
The Honeybee's really like the Columbine!! Like I said though you got to control those seed pods!! The photograph above shows a seed pod! The seed pods dry up and SNAP!! You can hear them SNAP! The seeds fly!! Walla, another plant or two or more start growing! Like any living creature the Columbine flowers are no different - they want to take over the world!
Noticing the Columbine will also give off these very long flower stems. These flowers will produce seed pods which can fall over reaching pretty darn far for a flower. SNAP, the seeds go flying even further away from the main plant.
Along with the flashy flowers, the pollinators the Columbine flowers attract, the Columbine have great foliage. Or we think so!
The clover looking leaves stay green for a long time!! When the flowers get done just trim back the stems! Walla you have a nice bunch of clover kind of looking, green leaves!
Bumblebee's , oh my goodness do the Bumblebees like the Columbine! In the shot above you see the red Columbine, along with the Yellow and there is a seed pod in these shots.
We have many pollinators here at the house, thus we get a lot of seed pods.
The soil where these Bumblebee shots and some of the others has been fortified with cow manure we get for free at one of the many cattle places here. Not every year of course do we have to feed the soil. Every oh , two to three years we notice it needs done again. You just have to feed flowers ie plants or well you are not going to have them!
We also do something that is a HUGE no no, I do not recommend anyone to copy this and no one should do this in the part of the garden where you or your family will consume what is grown. We throw the dog poop right into the soil! We have a shredder, and that is thrown in there. We also have a mulch pile that too is thrown into the flower beds. People ask us how do you get your flowers to grow like that!! Well, we just laugh..... if folks do not stay on the walking paths, guess what they get on them haha
Of course we add other things, we have a lot of birds here that do there thing, then we buy such things as basic "top soil", and soil places sell in bulk and Guy is afraid some day of coming home from work and seeing a dump truck here unloading soil additives haha! The cattle "stuff", is not "clean". Meaning if you choose to go this route you really do not know what is going to grow!! Talking of weeds, and the bugs! Though really , we do not have to do this every year.
If you are going to add meat eating animal dung into your garden, we feel it is "dirty", to add this kind of stuff into the area where you will eat what is produced. Why it is considered a huge no no..... I could get way more into this topic but you get the idea?
In this post I wanted to show a couple pollinators. SO many more show up here on the Columbine!!
Since we do grow many of the flowers I photograph it is rather easy for me to talk about them. I also do my best in the insect photography album to say what flower which ever insect is on. I also photographs the wildflowers. At times I am invited into other peoples gardens (where of course the gardener gets photographs for allowing me in), and I do on occasion visit commercial business's. I do believe in the barter system hint hint hahahahaha
All in all our property is not huge by no mean, however with a little planning. Some work and money thrown in (how much money spent really depends on you), anyone can grow such things as the Columbine flowers!