A shop in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia painted a warm shade of blue
and yes, it was in the middle of nowhere.
You may not favor blue, but is there anyone out there who actually dislikes the color blue? If anything, I think most gardeners wish there were more blue flower options.
This is a good time of year to be talking about the color blue, because in my spring garden, blue makes its strongest statement.
Without further delay, here are some of great blues, both in my garden, and elsewhere as noted.
Robin's eggs in a nest
Lungwort, Pulmonaria is amongst the first blue flowers to bloom in my garden. After the flowers are finished, the plant has great spotted leaves.
Speedwell, Veronica filformis is an excellent ground cover that doesn't mind the part shade of my back garden. The plant has a tight, low mass of bright green leaves and blue flowers in May and June.
Bugleweed, Ajuga 'Burgundy Glow' at Lost Horizons Nursery, Acton Ontario
A close-up of the flower: Bugleweed, Ajuga 'Burgundy Glow'. There are lots of varieties of bugleweed (Chocolate Chip is a favourite). The plant can get a bit invasive, so choose its location carefully (preferably a spot where it can only go so far).
Another ground cover that I noticed recently at Humber Nursery is Veronica whitleyi. It has grey green foliage and baby-blue flowers in May and June.
A close-up of one of my bearded irises.
If you want more blue in your garden, definitely consider irises!
A favorite bearded iris that straddles the dividing line between blue and purple.
I now have a few varieties of Siberian Iris. The variety shown above was here on the property when we moved in. I find the flowers a bit small to be honest. I actually prefer some of the newer varieties that I have recently added.
This is 'Maynight' Sage. It likes sun, blooms June to August, and tolerates dry soil. I actually prefer Meadow Sage Salvia Nemerosa 'Caradonna', because it has purplish stems and a deeper, more purple flower. (Unfortunately, I didn't have a picture of this second variety.) I find if you deadhead this plant, you will get a second show of flowers.
Fireworks onion, 'Allium pulchellum' at the Lucy Maud Montgomery Garden, Norval, Ontario
Before we go to much further into the summer season, lets pause to consider some blue-colored annuals.
'Heavenly blue' Morning glory. I find that you need to have just the right spot for morning glories. They like morning sun only. They wilt and look very pathetic, if they are left to cook in the afternoon sun.
Though common, I think Salvia, 'Victoria Blue' (Salvia farinacea) deserves a quick mention
in this blue post. Massed, it made a nice, late-season statement in this public park in Brampton, ON.
'Summer Skies' a pretty blue variety of 'Pacific Giant' delphinium.
Russian Sage, Perovskia, 'P. Atriplicifoia' is a plant that I have been struggling with. It likes a hot, dry, sunny spot- which I don't have, and hates good garden soil and lots of water--which I do have. Unless you provide it with good drainage, it will disappear over winter. I am not willing to give up just yet, because the plant is a beauty in the mid-summer garden. Larger varieties are huge at 24-36" tall, but there is also a more compact variety as well. This is the Garnet Garden in Oakville, Ontario. They have a spectacular view of the lake.
Sea Holly, Eryngium like lots of sun and light, sandy loam. They tolerate drought and hate to be moved (case in point- I lost mine and now have to shop for a new plant). The one pictured here is from the Garnet garden in Oakville, Ontario.
Globe Thistle is a bee magnet. They grow about 2-5 feet in height and have grey-green, spiny-edged leaves. Mine puts up with half shade, but would much prefer full sun. Another good feature of this plant is that they are drought resistant.
A blue Rose of Sharon in the late summer. Private garden, Georgetown, Ontario.
I couldn't leave out Asters.
I apologize- I am not sure of the name of this shrub--I believe it is called Caryopteris of Bluebeard or Blue Spirea. Here in Ontario it is only winter hardy with lots of protection. I only have managed to keep them for a few years and then they perish in a harsh winter. They are pretty little shrubs though and bring blue into the garden late in the summer. This one was shot at Edwards Garden in Toronto.
Here it is in a flower border at Edwards Gardens, Toronto.
Juniper berries carry the color blue into the winter season.
I think many gardeners wish there were more types of blue flowers. Nurseries sometimes answer this demand by dying white flowers blue. Here is a blue poinsettia, by way of example. What do you think? Is this poinsettia carrying our love of the color blue a bit too far?
Here's hoping for a few days of warm spring weather, so we can all get out there and garden. Have a wonderful weekend!