Sunday, January 12, 2014

Blue in the garden

There's a joke that I am sure you've heard: "A woman asks: What colour is this? Cobalt? Royal? Indigo? Azure?" A man answers: It's Blue."
It just goes to show that something that seems so simple, can actually be quite complex. There are infinite shades of blue and many of them have specific names.
It's also been said that it's hard to find True Blue in the garden, and by that, the person usually means in plants and flowers.
I had a look through my photos and discovered that I had quite a number of Blue-flowered plants.

Above is Iris reticulata, a gorgeous blue Spring bulb. It's very short - 4-6" but a brilliant cobalt blue. The yellow and white markings intensify the blue.

Another early Spring bulb, Muscari or grape hyacinth, is a periwinkle shade of blue. It blooms with early tulips and spreads over the years, creating lovely swatches of violet-blue.

Scilla proliferates rapidly by seed, forming a mat of sky blue in mid-Spring.

When I first planted these fragrant hyacinths years ago, they were a dark purple-blue but over the years, they come up more blue than purple.

Pale mauve-blue creeping phlox tumbles over a boulder. It is surrounded by many colours and sizes of hosta.

Centaurea montana (perennial Bachelor's Button) is a lacy spring flower that has a fuchsia centre but pale blue frothy blooms. It is also known as Blue Cornflower.

Siberian Iris are much more blue than these photos indicate. They stand out brilliantly against their own dark green foliage and are a perfect compliment to Allium moly, the little yellow flower above.

Is Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) blue or mauve or a combination of both?

Hydrangea are often white but now come in pink, green and blue!

Dainty little Love-in-the-Mist (Nigella damascena) self-seeds and pops up everywhere.

Hostas come in many shades of blue - mostly a silvery blue and have names like Blue Wedgewood and Blue Cadet.

There are many, many more blue flowers that I love but the last one I want to mention in this post is Balloon flower (Platycodon grandiflorus). It's a lovely, delicate shade of pale blue but it nevertheless brightens shady corners. It also does quite well in the sun.

Need even more blue in your garden? How about adding a swimming pool or other type of water feature?

If all else fails, paint your house blue, add blue cushions to the patio furniture or paint your Muskoka Chairs a bright blue!

Please check my food blog: the latest recipe posted is for Classic Roast Chicken.


Patty said...

Apparently I need to come back for another visit to see all these wonderful blue flowers. The iris are particularly vivid, and I am quite taken with the closed blossom of balloon flower.

Nadezda said...

I love spring blue or azure flowers too, Astrid. They are as pieces of blue sky in grass. And I'd love to add blue water swimming pool and water fall!

Jennifer said...

I do have some blues in the garden, but I could use more. I would like to add some blue-grey hosta and love the mix of different hosta in your inspiration shots.
I would say that Russian Sage is lavender blue. It is a plant I really love, but it never does well for me. On my to-do list for spring should be looking up a reference on its soil preferences. Right now my Russian Sage is in excellent soil and it is puny and small. I need to do better by it.

HELENE said...

Beautiful flowers, I can’t wait for my Iris reticulate to flower for the first time, I have Pixi and Harmony. I would love to have more blue flowers in my garden, I think it is a coincidence that I have very few but perhaps if I look closer into each of them, many of them require full sun? Not sure, but I have ended up with a garden almost without any proper blue flowers, just shades of all other colours. I suppose I could always reduce the pH in my soil to get proper blue hydrangeas but somehow I think that’s a bit like cheating so I haven’t done that yet! I think my irises are going to be the blue statements in my garden this year :-)

debsgarden said...

I love all your blue flowers! I like the phlox under the hosta. And I am all for adding some blue man-made accents! I am thinking of painting my wooden arbor a turquoise-blue, if I can get the courage!

Astrid said...

Hi Patty
The tour was in late June - the Siberian Iris would have been gone and the balloon flower was not in bloom yet. You are always welcome to come again.

Hi Nadezda
Don't you love that word "azure"? Conjures up the prettiest blue :)

Hi Jennifer
I had Perovskia die out as well. Last year I put in a dwarf version. I'll have to see if it came back after all that drought. Blue-gray hosta are gorgeous and there's so many types.

Hi Helene
You will love the reticulata! Such a deep, intense shade of blue! Some are sun flowers, others tolerate shade. Give the Blues a try! You have that area you cleared out last year.

Hi Deb
Yes - blue decorating accents work well. Go for it! Paint that arbour blue - I'd love to see it!!