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.