Advent 2013

It’s December, and the first Sunday in Advent, which means that over the past few days our village has slowly been lit up with tree lights and sparkly garden decorations. I love the way that people here in Bavaria wait until Advent, and the more subdued white lights are far more common than models of sleighs or flashing colourful decorations.

I’ve decided to post a favourite flower for each Sunday in Advent, telling you why I like them too. Perhaps you’d like to join me? Here’s the first one:


Aquilegia vulgaris are graceful, decorative, take up little space, flower for weeks on end and don’t mind drought. They attract insects and especially bees, and sway elegantly in the early summer breeze. The paler shades are so delicate, but dark purples, blues and reds can also look rather dramatic between the late tulips and early ground cover of June. They self-seed easily, and are otherwise carefree, trouble-free and show green almost all through the winter. I have so many seedlings again this year and am looking forward to seeing what colours will prevail next spring!


Hope you have a peaceful run-up to Christmas, with time for the good things in life.



32 thoughts on “Advent 2013

  1. Ich wünsche dir einen schönen 1. Advent. That´s a nice idea to show beloved flowers the next sundays. Ich mag Akelei auch sehr gerne und wir haben sie im Garten.

  2. I was so taken with your lovely photograph of Aquilegas that I almost missed your lovely frosted rose.
    I have an Advent calendar too, slightly different but still concentrating on the natural rather than the usual glitzy Christmas themes. So I will join you in celebrating to good things in life.

    • Our frost was fabulous early last week, and the roses were still trying to bloom. I think their ambitions have now been “nipped in the bud” so-to-speak!

  3. Funnily enough I’ve had an email with details of an aquilegia seed list this afternoon Cathy 🙂 One of my favourite flowers and you have described them in a nutshell. How civilised that lights in your part of the world are not lit until Advent.

    • When we lived in town there were always a few gaudy stars and santas around, but mostly the decorations are quite tasteful near us. Mind you, I do find it fun to see some outlandish display occasionally! I got another seed catalogue a few days ago too… my wishlist is ridiculous! 😉

  4. Hi Cathy, this is lovely – especially the snow! My daughter is super excited for Christmas and this is another of your posts I am sending to her – she will really love the snow flakes. Aquilegias are one of my all time favourites, what a lovely idea too for Advent.

    • Hi Julie. You know, the snow just appeared courtesy of wordpress! I love the pale pink Aquilegias best, as it just suits their “cottage garden” image. Have a good week!

  5. Aquilegia are fabulous plants to have in the garden – and like you, I wait to see what colours will pop up each year! That’s a great photo with the bee flying in to visit the flower.

    • Hi Sarah. I’ve been enjoying going through some summery photos the last couple of days choosing some favourites – I can definitely recommend it for a grey afternoon!

  6. Happy Advent!
    This will be the first year I have aquilegia seedlings scattered through the garden and I’m looking forward to the show. They’re all the blue vulgaris type, I found them in the woods and rescued a few from the bulldozer.

  7. I love your frosty rose header, I’m so lazy, I don’t change mine, perhaps for next year I’ll try. I wish my Aquilegia self seeded but they do survive the drought and I love their delicate flowers too.

    • I’m surprised your Aquilegia don’t self seed Christina – your Californian poppies do, but they must be even more resilient! Some of my Aquilegia did get scorched in the long hot period we had this summer though.

  8. What a wonderful plant to start your advent celebration, which is a great idea by the way. I like the sound of all those stylish Christmas decorations springing up in your neighbourhood, the mad brilliant colour of the Mormon Christmas lights in Phoenix made me smile, a lot, as did the crazy colour of some of our old neighbours, but it is hard to beat subtle twinkling white for real magic at this time of year.

  9. To all the good things in life dear Cathy! I love the idea of your flower a day post. A bit like my son’s chocolate advent calendar. A little treat each day. I can’t wait. Village life in Bavaria sounds peaceful and charming. And I love your frosted covered rose header. Much love from Finland, Sharon

    • Thank you so much Sharon. 😀 Hope you won’t be disappointed though, as I’m only posting a flower for each Advent Sunday, not every single day. Maybe next year! 😉 Hope you have a lovely week Sharon. xx

  10. I prefer the Aquilegia canadensis, which has many of the same virtues but all the flowers are yellow and red. It also has great blue-green foliage that in the right spot can make a good groundcover when the flowers are gone.

  11. Aquilegias are indeed charming and I keep scattering seeds all over the place to create a wild look. Lovely xmas arrangement, Cathy, and I wish you a relaxing, joyful month too. 🙂

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