Posts tagged #Blue blooms

Showy Spheres

Globe thistle's bristling balls of purple-blue are all show - only prickly in appearance but not to touch. The showy spheres bloom mid-summer into fall, then grey into winter interest. The wealth of pointed green leaves give rise to upright stalky stems, for back of border height.  These cool blooms are a favourite complement to hotter summer and fall blooming companions.  An easy, drought tolerant perennial!   

Technical stuff – Globe thistle/Echinops, hardy perennial to zone 3, height of 2' - 4' and spread of 1' - 2', full sun, blooms mid-summer into fall, drought tolerant, does come in a white blooming version too.

Posted on January 31, 2016 and filed under Perennials.

Exotic...Or Not

I have often had visitors comment – you have such exotic blooms!  But I really only grow easy plants – morning glories are a perfect example of exotic blooms for little work.  Both these beauties are blooming now.  And this is definitely one of the easiest ways to get pure blue in the garden!  Read more about morning glories by clicking here and clicking here.

Posted on September 10, 2015 and filed under Annuals, Vines.

Sea Of Blue

Every year renews my love for hardy geraniums!  This cultivar, ‘Rozanne’, is a true performer with profuse perky blooms from late spring to late fall.  The happy blossoms are exquisite stand alone, or en masse create a sparkling sea of blue.  The finely cut foliage in mottled bright greens is also a treat!  Read more about hardy geraniums by clicking here or here.   

Posted on September 1, 2015 and filed under Fave perennial, Perennials, Staple perennial.

A Little More Blue

A bit more blue sparkle thanks to hardy geranium and blue flax!

Posted on June 12, 2015 and filed under Perennials, Inspiration.

Blue Sparkle

Blue comes in many forms in the garden, adding calm, cool elegance wherever it blooms.  Wee clusters of grape hyacinth have inverted blue bells, with just a touch of lacy white edging.  Watery blue iris makes you pause and appreciate.  Forget-me-nots and bugloss (Brunnera) add their sprinkling of blue sparkle.  And bugleweed (Ajuga) serves up mini spires of frothy, fluffy blue over its green-bronze carpet. 

Posted on June 10, 2015 and filed under Inspiration.

Pincushion Flower

Thinking ahead to summer and blooms to come!  This sweet little perennial is an easy addition to the garden mix with the reward of long blooming, enchanting blossoms.  Scabiosa gets the common name of pincushion flower as the blooms resemble small pincushions.  You can choose from mauve, blue, pink or white.  The pom-pom rosettes dance on single stems with an ethereal, airy feel.  The buds are like a beaded broach.  The foliage grows in clumps of narrow mid-green leaves, and this smaller perennial has more impact when a few plants are grouped together.

Technical stuff – Pincushion flower/Scabiosa, hardy perennial to zone 4, height and spread of 12”-24”, prefers full sun and good drainage, blooms summer into fall.

Posted on April 24, 2015 and filed under Perennials.

Singing The Blues

These blue beauties inspire societies, designers and parties, and they enthrall and exasperate gardeners.  Delphinium, commonly called larkspur, are possibly the most famous, the royal standard, in the English cottage garden.  Their extravagant and elegant blue spires rise from a mound of soft green.  The ruffled layers of blue petals entrance like Cinderella’s skirts, as if mini sheaths of the bluest sky have dropped to the earth.  However these blue jewels come at a cost - delphiniums are particular with a long list of demands:  they like full sun but not our hot, humid summers, they prefer what I consider elusive ‘moist, well drained’ soil, they are big feeders, and their tall hollow stems need wind protection and/or staking.  I plant delphiniums like an annual, since they tend to be short lived anyway, then dose them with regular watering and twice a season applications of composted manure.  Delphiniums are an indulgence in a large, low maintenance garden like mine, but I am unable to resist the call of the blue!      

Technical stuff – Larkspur/Delphinium, hardy perennial to zone 3, height  of about 36” with variance in height depending on species, dwarf varieties available, spread of 12”-36”, full sun, blooms in early summer, comes in blue, purple, pink, or white, but blue is the cat’s meow!    

Posted on April 14, 2015 and filed under Fave perennial, Perennials.

Vivid Violet

If you appreciate vivid violet colour, colour, colour, then you will want blue false indigo (Baptisia australis) in your garden.  Simple, sweet pea-like blooms stack into spikes of blue-purple.  The soft, lush leaves grow in triples (trifoliate), creating an all season bushy backdrop, also with a tint of blue.  This member of the pea family likes full sun with soil on the sandy side, and is drought tolerant once established.  The flowers dry to brown-black seed pods that make a creative addition to dried arrangements, or second as noise maker rattles!  This taller perennial is at home towards the back of the bed, and makes a striking colour combo with scarlet oriental poppies (you can see bits of this colour combo by clicking here).         

Technical stuff – Blue false indigo/Baptisia australis, hardy perennial to zone 3, height and spread of about 3’, prefers full sun and well-drained soil, blooms May into June.  

Posted on April 8, 2015 and filed under Perennials.

Dainty Faces

Veronica is such a great name for a flower!   Known commonly as creeping speedwell, this Veronica repens is the ground cover version of veronica.  It grows to form a lively green carpet that sparkles with a smattering of blue-purple flowers late spring into summer.  Veronica also comes in white or pink bloomers, but I adore the purple.   I use it in the garden as an edging, a filler, a cover for bulbs – it makes a delicious combo with the silver gray of lamb’s ears, or mixes well with assorted ground sedums in a rock garden.   When the blooms first open, they are often a captivating deep sky blue, and as their dainty faces soak up the sun, they fade to purple then lilac.

Technical stuff – Creeping speedwell/Veronica repens, hardy perennial to zone 3, height of 4-6” and spread of up to 18”, prefers full sun but tolerates part sun too, blooms late spring to summer.

Posted on February 20, 2015 and filed under Perennials, Groundcover.

Easy Blue

I do have a penchant for blue flowers, and for easy care perennials.  If I re-named this perennial, I would call it ‘Easy Blue’.  Although Centaurea montana already has many common names: mountain bluet, perennial blue cornflower or perennial bachelor’s buttons.  This was one of the first perennials I grew, and had several because I had purchased under a couple of those common names not realizing it was the same plant!  The blue sparkle flowers are the best feature, exploding like fireworks from pineapple, egg-shaped buds.  The somewhat sprawling grey-green foliage is a gentle, bushy backdrop.  They can aggressively self-seed so it’s worth putting attention to deadheading (or not, if you want more!).  The first rush of flowers comes late spring – once the leaves start to brown off you can cut back to new growth for a second round of bloom later in the summer.     

Technical stuff – Perennial bachelor’s buttons/Centaurea montana, hardy perennial to zone 4, height and spread of about 24”, prefers full sun and poor to average soil, will bloom in part sun but can get leggy, drought resistant, there are several Centaurea species including the annual Centaurea cyanus. 

Posted on January 19, 2015 and filed under Perennials.

Great Blue

Like many gardeners, I have a fondness for blue flowers.  ‘Great blue’ perennial lobelia not only gives me a taste of sky blue, but also does so late in the season when other blues have faded.  The charming and exquisite flowers cluster at the top of a sturdy stem; their tubular form splays open to offer abundant nectar to appreciative hummingbirds and butterflies.  This woodland native is the blue version of cardinal flower, preferring a moist, sunny location, but mine do fine in part sun and ‘regular’ soil.  They do self-seed gently, though I’ve heard can be more aggressive in ideal moist conditions.  And, multi-purposed as many perennials are, their seed heads provide winter snacks for the birds.  

Technical stuff – Great blue perennial lobelia/siphilitica, hardy to zone 4, prefers full sun but mine does fine in part sun, likes moist rich soil, height 24”-36” and spread of about 18”, blooming late summer into fall.

 

Posted on November 20, 2014 and filed under Perennials.

Fetching In Blue

Darling blue flowers twinkling atop their slender stems of fine foliage – that is blue flax. This sun loving, drought tolerant perennial offers one of the most fetching blues for the garden.  The sun alights on their clear blue blooms and makes the yellow polka dot centers glow.  The upright clumps of swaying slight stems add airy, wispy form.  Blue flax appears sweet and fragile, but try picking a stem and you will be acquainted with the tough fibers that are inherent to the flax family of plants (from which linen is made).  Blue flax comes and goes from the nurseries so can be hard to find some years, though it is also fairly easy to grow from seed.  It is not happy in little overwatered nursery pots, often looking scrappy, but once in a well-drained, sunny site, it will thrive.  Blue flax is a short lived perennial, quite capable of self-seeding, allowing its playful blue to shine on!

Technical stuff – Blue flax/linum perenne, hardy perennial to Zone 5, height and spread of 12” – 18”+, full sun, needs good drainage, drought hardy, flowers late spring into summer, self-seeds but not considered invasive, white blooming ‘alba’ and dwarf varieties available.

Posted on November 8, 2014 and filed under Perennials.

Cloud Of Blue

What is that ethereal cloud of blue that you see in some gardens at this time of year? Good chance it is russian sage.  This alluring perennial has sturdy white stems with grey-green felted foliage that erupts into sprays of blue-mauve.  The clusters of bloom create a billowy blue haze that sways with the breeze, making a peaceful background for other hot blooms.  Each wee fuzzy blossom contributes to the graceful effect.  The detailed leaves are fragrant, a refreshing minty-sage.  When it is time to arrange winter bouquets, these stems will have dried to silvery grey making bright and fragrant accents.

Technical stuff – Russian sage/perovskia, hardy perennial to Zone 5 (or Zone 4 depending on site), height and spread of 36”-48”, wants full sun and well-drained soil, blooms August into September.

 

Posted on September 17, 2014 and filed under Perennials.

Bubble Buds

Carefree, air born, festive, colourful – balloons are an icon of happiness and childhood and parties.  So the balloon flower perennial is certainly part of my garden!  Each year I am again fascinated by the bubble buds that so resemble mini balloons.  And those air puff buds burst into simple, five pointed, cup blooms, with purple, blue, pink and white options.  The foliage is fairly non-descript, blending in to the perennial garden until the balloons start bobbing in the breeze and popping into playful bloom.  

Technical stuff – balloon flower/platycodon, hardy perennial, height of about 30”, spread about 12” (dwarf versions are also available), will self-seed but not aggressively so, sun or part sun, blooms mid-summer to early fall - they are late to sprout in the spring, so just give them time.

Posted on July 23, 2014 and filed under Perennials.

Bugleweed

I always keep my eye out for colourful shade bloomers, and bugleweed is well up to this definition! If you have a part shade, dampish spot that needs ground cover, with the delightful bonus of blue spring flowers, bugleweed is a wonderful option. Amongst the cultivars, glossy creeping foliage can range from purple-black, to deep green or burgundy, with pink, bronze or ruby highlights. My favourite varieties are ‘burgundy glow’, ‘giant’, ‘multicolour’ and the variegated ‘vanilla chip’. All varieties have little spires of blue-purple blooms in spring. Bugleweed will prosper in most conditions with good drainage. This perennial is actually a native European weed, and thus is can be an aggressive spreader, especially in its preferred moist soil, part shade conditions. However, I have spots of clay in my garden, and bugleweed can all but disappear over a season in this unfavoured soil. It serves well as an edge in a shade garden, or a patch of easy-care colour in a part shade rock garden.

Technical stuff – Bugleweed/ajuga, hardy perennial to zones 3, height of 4"-6”, spread of 18”+, full sun to shade preferring part shade, likes moist soil and good drainage (can be aggressive in happy conditions), blooms in spring.

Posted on February 21, 2014 and filed under Groundcover, Perennials.