From the Colorado Shakespeare Gardens
Thursday, April 6, 2017
The Columbine – in her true blue presentation she is Colorado’s state flower, designated as such in April of 1899. She is high born, gracefully cascading down the slopes of the Mighty Rocky Mountains in a radiant stream of sunlit elegance. This little lady stands in tribute to endurance and charm. Grown in some of the coolest regions of our mountain range, she can tolerate a late freeze or snow. If you plant a bed with different shades of Columbine they will cross pollinate, and the next season you will discover that they appear varied in subtle and lovely ways.
Native to the rocky earth of Colorado’s High Country they aren’t particular about soil. Amending soil every season with organic compost helps to defend them against the one thing they won’t experience in the Rocky Mountain spring – heat. It is advisable to water this little wildflower with the same frequency as any perennial. Since Columbine’s roots are neither invasive nor destructively tuberous it can be grown near other plants and will not disturb their food and water supply.
It is generally believed that the Columbine is a spring bloomer – sun to partial shade – this information is found on seed packets and with containers of starter plants. These instructions generally refer to life in the wild as opposed to home gardens. Columbines can live in morning to early afternoon sun, and with proper deadheading, watering and feed they bloom well into mid-summer.