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Do perennial flowers change color from year to year?

By Penny Stine

I have a bunch of perennials in my gardens because I don't want to plant annual flowers every year in addition to all the veggies I plant in the garden. Last year, I let the columbines do whatever they wanted and I learn that what they want to do 

is take over the world, so this year, I pulled a lot of them out and reclaimed the space to plant potatoes, kale, Swiss chard and beets. I didn't feel bad at all, especially because my columbines were a simple, boring, monochrome yellow. 

So here is one columbine I decided to let grow. See the pretty two-tone color? I would almost swear that it wasn't this color last year... I really like the yellow and peach color, but if it self sows and spreads columbines everywhere, I will be ruthless and yank them out next spring. I like plants I can eat more than pretty flowers. 



In some places, I have flowering perennials because the area is too shady for vegetables, like here, where there's a catmint and some ever-present columbine, which is also two-toned, with yellow and red instead of the yellow and peach color. I don't remember seeing a yellow and red one last year, either. 

Does anyone know anything about columbines and their color? I know hydrangeas will change color, depending on soil conditions. Is it possible that columbines also do that? So much to know...