Last year, while perusing the walls of seed packets at the garden centre, one packet caught my eye.
Reading the front of the packet it said to sow February to June, flowers May to July. Perfect, I thought, for some early colour and pretty little flowers.
Only when I got home and went to sow the seeds did I realise that they are a hardy perennial which flowers the year after sowing!
For novices reading this, a perennial is a plant which continues to grow for at least 3 years. It took me a while to learn that.
So although I had bought seeds for a plant that would not flower for at least 15 months, I would at least get a few years of benefit.
I planted the seeds on 20 April 2011, potted them on in June, kept them in a cold frame over the summer and planted them in the ground in their flowering position in September.
Finally, after just over a year of waiting, the first flowers have come out.
They are absolutely stunning. Smaller than I thought they would be and, in the ground, they look a bit spindly until they fill out, but a welcome addition of colour around the base of the apple and pear tree where I planted them.
I am so pleased with them I have bought some more acquilegia seeds called lime sorbet and, provided they germinate and grow successfully, I will plant them in between the petticoat pinks.
Once they have died back I also plan to plant the remaining tulip bulbs (the ones that did not get eaten by the pheasant!) in among them.