Sunday, May 7, 2017

This Month's Color in the Garden: Color Your Garden Blue-Blue Blooms for Your Landscape!

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. 
Color Your Garden Blue!

Blue blooms in the landscape have relayed a sense of calmness and serenity throughout the centuries and will continue to add delight to any garden. I hope you enjoyed This Month's Color in the Garden and please do share your thoughts about the color blue!
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 Combinationsis 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!

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18 comments:

  1. The blue flowers in the garden reflect the blue sky, symbol of warmth, quietness, happiness. I'd want to have a blue hydrangea, Lee, 'Nikko Blue' as you say it is hardy in USDA zones 5-9, so in my zone 5a too. I had white Platycodon grandiflorus but it was frozen some years ago. Maybe I try with a blue one.
    Happy May 8, Victory Day!

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    1. Hi Nadezda. I would recommend perhaps the Endless Summer Hydrangea for your region since they bloom on new wood and are hardy in zones 4-9. The Nikko Blue blooms on old wood, meaning if you have a severe winter the buds can freeze. The Platycodon is hardy to zone 3, so it should survive your winters. Have a great week!

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  2. I find blue one of the more problematic colors to add to the garden palette, but you've got some wonderful examples here. I need to research which ones could withstand our heat and humidity, but maybe there are some possibilities here.

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    1. Thank you for visiting Dorothy. The Rozanne Geranium loves full sun and heat so it may be suitable for your region and the Blue Mist Shrub is drought tolerant once established.

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  3. I have blue forget-me-nots blooming right now. They are lovely. Thanks for sharing your pictures.

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed the photos Denise. I'll have to add Forget Me Knots to the list!

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  4. True blue is difficult to find in a garden, but treasured when it is!

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    1. It is Robin and there are very few true blues. Many of the selections are a blend of purple and blue, except for a hand full. The Nikko Blue Hydrangea is one of my favorites for true blue color in the garden.

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed the post Endah. It's not easy finding blue blooms!

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  6. Perfect color and gorgeous flowers! Thanks for sharing this at the Dishing It & Digging It Link party. Hope you had fun.

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    1. Thank you for hosting! I enjoyed going through many of the posts.

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  7. I have some blue scabiosa in my garden. It's not fancy, but it's easy to care for and is perennial. I'm not sure hydrangeas will grow here.

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    1. Blue Scabiosa is a good addition to to list! Hydrangea need a cooling off period during the winter. It depends on which part of California you are in. They generally do well in zones 5-9, so you may be able to grow them.

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  8. True blue is such a hard color to find in the garden. Thanks for a great list - through the seasons. Wonderful.

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    1. I couldn't agree more. The colors tend to be more on the purple side with only a few "true" blues. Blue is a rare color in the plant world and horticulturists are always trying to come up with new varieties.

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  9. Hi Lee, blue is one of my favorite garden colors. My garden includes several that you listed, including several hydrangeas hat have blue blooms in my acidic soil. This year I also planted a gorgeous blue tourenia, an annual that does very well in my shady woodland. I wish it were perennial!

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    1. I agree. An acidic soil is required to get some of the hydrangea to maintain blue blooms and there are a handful or natural blue blooms, such as on Nikko Blue. Blue Tourenia is a nice annual. Maybe someday it will be hybridized!

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Thank you for visiting. I love reading your comments and knowing you have been here, and will try to reciprocate on your blog. If you have any questions I will try my very best to answer them. As always...HAPPY GARDENING!

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