Monday, 26 November 2007

The Blues

At this time of year with the colour fast disappearing from our gardens I thought I would celebrate my favourite colour in the garden, after green, which is blue. There are many shades of blue flowers but as many have a hint of violet in them true blues are actually harder to find. However this is not going to be a botanical lesson. I am just going to share the blues I have had in my Scottish garden at a time when the plant catalogues are arriving on our doorsteps!


Only one remaining blue Borage flower, shown top left, could be spotted in my garden today but they have given a long show of flowers this year. The beautifully regal flowers of the Meconopsis, second set of photos, back in May and June will always be one of my favourites of the garden. My two large vibrant blue ceramic pots always remind me of these very special flowers. I also have a green-blue ceramic ball too which adds a softer splash of colour amidst ferns and grasses.

The paler blues of the Allium, Brunnera and Ceanothus complete the set of photos above. The allium was from a mixed set of bulbs and only one appeared! It was a nice surprise. Brunnera Jack Frost is new to me and had a few stems of forget-me-not type flowers which were very pretty indeed. The larger shrub Ceanothus is no longer with us - it never really properly blossomed and I was a bit disappointed with it. There are other varieties but I never replaced it.


Pebbles and slate are other ways of bringing grey-blue into the garden which you can see in the first trio of photos above. I have had these pebbles for many years now and they add a great splash of colour through the winter months. They also look great with rain on them too! A good feature when you live in Scotland perhaps. I have them in trickling rivers around plants and across the gravel in my front garden.

Foliage is another way of introducing green-blues and grey-blues into the garden with Euphorbia, Festuca grass, Hebe and Dianthus all fitting this category. The Euphorbia is great all year through and also attracts insects for the Blue Tits to feed their young chicks.

Bulbs are also another good way of adding blue to the garden and top of that list for both scent and vibrancy for me has to be the Hyacinth shown in the larger photo of the last set above. Bluebells are another and last Friday I picked up some in a garden centre at half price. Naturally, as you do, I bought two packs! I also bought plastic baskets to plant them in and I intend to plant them in front of my largest blue ceramic pot and amongst a low growing Euyonomus. I will try to make this planting look natural and I am really looking forward to seeing how this will look in the spring. Again this is another plant that will attract insects and I intend to look up my gardening books for a few more. Finally, the ground covering Ajuga also has refreshing blue flowers emerging from it as you can see in the last photo of the set above.

If I had one plant I would recommend as a true blue flower it without doubt would be from the gentian family. They have a wide range of blues flowering in the Spring and in September. Gentiana sino-ornata was the very first gentian I ever grew and my first ever true blue flower in my garden. I think it perhaps is time to reintroduce it. Yes, next year I think I'll add more blue into my garden. Just another thought - I wonder if it is too late to plant delft blue Hyacinths?

All photos above were taken in my garden.

9 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a lovely set of pictures. It makes me want to get out and find some blue flowers to plant in the garden. I found some pretty blue annuals this year, Evolvulus 'Blue Daze' and some Cape primroses, that I hadn't had before. They bloomed all summer for me so I will get them again next year if they are available. I have the Brunnera 'Ghost', I agree that it is just beautiful and here it blooms early and stays until it gets hot.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

PS. Here you cold still be planting the hyacinths. If your ground isn't frozen you could probably go ahead and plant them.

shirl said...

Hi there, Lisa :-)

Thank-you. That's exactly what I hoped! I wanted to spread some 'blue' around the world :-D

Yes, I didn't include annuals as I grow very few but I'm sure there a number of blues in that plant group - lobelia for example.

Our ground isn't frozen at the moment so if I managed to find some hyacinths I could give it a try. I would also try baskets with them too (sinking into the ground) as in the past I have lost them after a year. The baskets will protect them against any small animal eating them and more importantly me disturbing their planting depth with my hand fork!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I love the blue flowers. For some reason I seem to be drawn to pinks and purples, but the blue is striking, especially when they are shown together. Eye candy for sure.

Barbara said...

Next time when we are in Scotland I'll certainly try to get the blue Meconopsis (it is absolutely wonderful)...and we'll come by car (collecting pebbles ;-) !!. I also love blue flowers/plants. Jack Frost is growing very well in my garden, as well as other brunneras, ceanothus. lavender, delphinium, ajuga and, and, and.... I think a blue post would be a nice subject! I love your presentation of the pictures (collage).
Our soil is frozen too, at the moment, and my new bulbs are waiting to be placed (some of them are frozen too, as I forgot to take them inside ;-( !!
Have a good time!

saskpics said...

Wow! You really got the colors in your photos to pop! great job

shirl said...

Hi again, Robin & Barbara and Hello saskpics :-)

Robin – I cannot see past the vibrant blues! I do love purples too and I am strangely feeling the vibe of strong oranges too now, oh and maybe deep plum reds! I think my tastes are changing – we all go through that from time to time don’t we? Blue will always be in my top three though:-D

Barbara – From what I have seen of your garden I think the meconopsis would be quite at home! Surprise, surprise yet again we like the same plants :-D Yes, the delphinium I don’t grow that one but always admire it at shows. It would need to go in my front garden (for the sun) and wouldn’t suit the softer colours there. I would love to see a blue post from your garden – let me know if you do one and I will link to it :-D Our soil isn’t frozen at the moment – how cold is it with you in Switzerland? We will get it cold soon but these last few years it has been February when it’s been coldest and then windy in March. Oh, poor bulbs – hopefully they will be okay :-D Enjoy your week :-D

Saskpics – Thank-you! I was pleased with the colours – they were as true as I could get :-D

Nan Ondra said...

Absolutely stunning, Shirl! I love the way you grouped the photos into different themes, too. Thanks so much for sharing them!

shirl said...

Hi again, Nan :-)

I’m glad you like them – I loved doing that post and I am at present working on a white one. However, I’m sure I read on a comment to Jodi that you liked the meconopsis. If so I have some more photos :-D