Big 3 bank holiday bloomers – Aquilegias, Forget Me Not, Perennial Wallflower

Big 3 bank holiday bloomers – Aquilegias, Forget Me Not, Perennial Wallflower

Here’s my weekly selection of what blooms to watch out for in your garden and on GardenTags:


Grannys Bonnet Columbine Nora Barlow

Grannys Bonnet Columbine Nora Barlow shared on GardenTags by @bensam59

Aquilegias are just about to come into flower. There are lots of varieties in different colours. Known as columbines or Granny’s Bonnets, growing in full sun or partial shade, the ordinary aquilegia vulgaris is a cottage garden favourite which self seeds all too enthusiastically. 

Nora Barlow is a small flowered spurless double, with variations such as Black Barlow and Blue Barlow. McKana Hybrids have huge flowers. Biedermeyer hybrids are doubles that look like crinoline petticoats. Woodside Strain have gold dappled leaves. To keep the strains pure, cut the stems off after flowering to prevent seeding, as they seldom come true from seed if you have different kinds cross-pollinating.


woodland forget me not gardentags

Woodland Forget Me Not shared on GardenTags by Richard Spicer

Forget-me-nots are in flower at the moment, enjoying similar conditions to aquilegias. The commonest is pale blue with occasional flushes of pink. However you can buy pure pink and pure white strains as seed, to sow in September. They are a biennial, and are also available as bedding plants, with special strains such as Blue Ball more intensely blue. They can be a menace, but a rather lovely one and will die off and seed in June to reappear as seedling to flower next year. Pull up the old plants and shake out the seeds wherever you want new forget-me-nots.

Perennial wallflowers

Perennial wallflowers are starting to flower now and are great value for a small garden as they flower for a long time, do not get too big, and are very easy to propagate in June from non-flowering shoots. My favourite has to be Bowles Mauve, which flowers non-stop from now until the autumn frosts.

These three plants will make a great contribution to any cottage garden. 

If you want to see more images of these plants and follow real gardeners who are growing them make sure you download the GardenTags app for free.