I planted several columbines four years ago, in yellows and purples and multi colors, but the yellows and cream colors never came back. Some light purple columbines did survive and reseed, but none of the multi colors. I also planted one 'Black Barlow' columbine that left town and disappeared after the first year. I never saw that one again.
Until this year. I have not one lone columbine, but five huge clumps of dark maroon columbines with yellow centers, and those are 'Black Barlow', returned after four years.
Who knows what crimes and misdemeanors were committed in parts unknown during the years he was gone. But here he is all over my garden, and not a single other columbine has remained. I guess they all got out of town when they heard Black Barlow was back.
Columbines do not usually come true from seed, so you get color surprises each year. But 'Black Barlow' is an exception. It does reseed itself looking exactly like the parent columbine. I just can't figure out where it was for the last four years and why so many huge clumps showed up all at once this season.
My 'Blaze' peony is reliable, though. It always appears just as advertised, richly scarlet, iridescent and impossible to capture on camera.
Two 'May Night' salvias seeded themselves right in front of this peony. I didn't plant them there, but the salvias thought the shiny red of the peonies needed to be tempered with something darker, so they planted their purple selves in a pair, side by side, guarding the peony. It works.
'Blaze' blooms only a short time, maybe a week at most, before the flowers shatter and make a violently red pool on the ground. Because I only get to see them bloom for such a brief time, I try to get good photos to extend the memory of them, but the bright color is so hard to capture.
I sent Jim out with his Nikon, and he got an early evening shot.