|Blue Blooms for Your Garden|
Welcome to This Month's Color in the Garden! The use of the color blue in the landscape symbolizes optimism and stability and often relays a feeling of calm. According to the language of flowers, "The pale blue hues of a hydrangea or the deep blues of an iris can calm worries and preoccupation." The blue hue of flowers represent peace, openness, and serenity, and are believed to be an antidote for anxiousness. There are few species that naturally occur as true blue in the garden. For the month of May I am going to focus on some of the varieties of blue blooming plants that you can add to your outdoor space.
|Blue Grape Hyacinth (Muscari)|
The first is Muscari, also known as Grape Hyacinth. Hardy in USDA zones 2-5, Grape Hyacinth creates a carpet of blue grape-like blooms which are gorgeous when bulbs are planted in clumps. These bulbs are available in a variety of colors, but blue seems to be the all-time favorite! Muscari is a breathtaking site when planted in mass in a woodland or naturalized setting and is a welcoming sign of spring. Plant in full sun to partial shade for best results.
|Siberian Iris (Iris siberica)|
Siberian Iris is a herbaceous perennial hardy in USDA zones 3-8 that offers purplish-blue blooms in mid-spring. Siberian Iris grows to a height and width of 3 feet and prefers full sun to partial shade. This perennial spreads by rhizomes and is excellent in mass plantings for that naturalized look.
|Perennial Geranium Rozanne Cranesbill|
Cranesbill, or perennial geranium is hardy in USDA zones 4-10, and forms large cup shaped bright blue-violet flowers that appear from summer into fall on a 15-24 inch high by 20-28 inch wide plant. Perennial Geranium thrives in full sun and makes a great addition to borders, rock gardens and containers. In the right conditions it will form a beautiful carpet of blue!
|Platycodon grandiflorus' komachi' Balloon Flower|
Platycodon, also known as Balloon Flower is hardy in USDA zones 3-8 and displays large puffy buds resembling tiny inflated balloons. As the bud matures the bud grows and appears as if it going to burst. On most varieties, the buds reveal gorgeous star shaped flowers once opened, but on 'Komachi' the buds remain closed as balloons, making an interesting conversation piece in the garden. Platycodon blooms from early to late summer on a 8-10 inch tall by 10-23 inch wide plant. Grow in full sun to partial shade.
|Sisyrinchium Lucerne (Blue Eyed Grass)|
Bright blue, star-shaped flowers with gold centers rise above iris-like foliage on this native north American plant, which is an excellent food source for pollinators. Sisyrinchium is hardy in USDA zones 4-10, grows to a height and width of 8-10 inches and prefers full sun. This plant is excellent for naturalized settings, rock gardens and native plantings.
|Nikko Blue Hydrangea|
When thinking of the true blue hydrangea, I always refer back to the old fashioned mophead Hydrangea, 'Nikko Blue'. 'Nikko Blue' is hardy in USDA zones 5-9 and is one of the most reliable blue Hydrangeas, staying blue in a wider range of soils. Flowers start cream in color with blue margins than turn a solid blue as the plant matures. In acidic soil, 'Nikko Blue' has deep blue flowers which appear in early to late summer. 'Nikko Blue' reaches a height and width of 4-6 feet and blooms on old wood.
|Blue Lacecap Hydrangea|
Blue Cassel Hydrangea is hardy in USDA zones 5-9 and features bold blue lacecap flowers from early summer into late fall on a four foot tall by wide plant. This hydrangea prefers to be grown in full sun to partial shade and is a repeat bloomer that blooms on old and new wood. The flowers are excellent for cutting and the broad green foliage is attractive throughout the season. Blue color is dependent on acidic soil.
|Caryopteris x clandonensis 'Inoveris Bluebeard' (Blue Mist Shrub)|
Caryopteris, also known as Blue Mist Shrub is a 2-3 foot high deciduous shrub with a mounding, rounded habit that becomes covered with many small gray-green toothed leaves with a minty scent if crushed. Clusters of sweetly scented violet-blue flowers appear late summer into fall. Blooms are an attraction to butterflies and hummingbirds and the shrub makes a wonderful addition to perennial beds, walkways and entryways. Caryopteris is hardy in USDA zones 5-9 and requires full sun.
Are you an experienced gardener or just wanting to learn? If so, be sure to check out my two published books on Amazon. My first book, A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, is loaded with ideas for different types of gardens and what plants to buy, along with gardening tips and advice on how to maintain your garden once implemented. The second book, Landscape Design Combinations, is geared towards the hands on "DIY" gardener who is looking for a little guidance, along with a dash of inspiration! This latest publication builds on the first and is full of successful landscape designs that can be used as is or as a guide. The book also teaches design principles using evergreens, flowering trees, shrubs and perennials. To preview each book, simply click on the links below!
Landscape Design Combinations
As Always...Happy Gardening!
As Always...Happy Gardening!