Looking to add some blues to my gardens. What's your favorites?
Also looking for blue clematis suggestions.
I have a couple of H.F. Young clematis. The blooms are enormous. Available locally at big box nurseries.
My blue baptisia bloomed after a patient waiting period of 3 seasons...it's pealike flowers were charming. Baptisia's little round bluish-green leaves are pretty in themselves.
claire in sanford
You would think that blue is my favorite the way I cultivate flowers of that color - but it aint. It just works so well with all the other plant colors and there are so many shades of blue to work with (many plants listed as blue are really pinky/purple though).
The standard springtime rich blue of Delphiniums and Larkspur as well as Anemone coronaria and blanda and the little iris' and star flowers (Ipheion) are all in my garden. I like the blues in some of the salvias - specially Black & Blue. And I grow the Clerodendron ugandense which has pale baby blue butterfly shaped flowers. In the fall in addition to all the salvias I have Otocampus caerulea (I'm guessing on the spelling for all these scientific names folks, bare with me) or Brazilian Blue Snapdragon (not a snap, doesn't even look like a snap!).
Last June I went to Alaska and while most tourists go there to look at glazciers and mountain peaks I went to see the Himalayan Blue Poppies which were in peak bloom. I saw them in private yards; at the Alaska Botanic Garden; and at the "Blue Poppy Farm" a buisness devoted to growing them. Imagine 5 foot tall poppies with day glow blue and blueish purple flowers almost 6 inches across!!!! I was in blue flower heaven.
Oh, and green is my favorite color - tho I don't much care for green flowers.
I like the clematis Betty Corning. I haven't grown it but I've seen it at the Raulston Arboretum; granted it didn't look all that vigorous but did the flowers ever smell good -- they're dainty little nodding blue bells.
HF Young is a great type II bluish colored clematis that I get to bloom quite profusely at least twice in the season. Its colors can change with light exposure and time of the season it blooms.
Another great lighter colored blue clematis is Blue Light. Again, it blooms heavily in the spring and then again in the fall if cut back after the first bloom flush is completed. It will rebloom sporadically even if it isn't cut back.
Konigskind is another bluish to purpley colored clematis whose blooms are affected by light exposure and how long the blooms have been out.
The standard macropetala also has blue colored blooms.
I also recommend false blue indigo or baptisia. Each year my clump gets bigger and bigger. It self seeds quite easily also. Another annual reseeder is the blue version of Nigella as well as larkspur and the common bachelor buttons.
I knew some would come to me as soon as I hit submit so here are a few more good blue clematis with links to COTW for the pictures.
Prince Charles (actually looks pinkish blue in the photos)
Perle d'Azur (again note the pink hints in the photos)
Blekitny Aniol for a silvery blue colored flower with pink undertones.
The possibilities as far as clematis are concerned are limitless depending on the shade of blue you are wanting. Good luck deciding on one or two!
Funny, my HF Youngs are so much bluer (not purply at all) than those pix. Maybe it's b/c they are not in full sun.
Claire, the color of clematis tepals can be affected by many things including sun exposure, geographic location the plant is grown in, age of the flowers, soil conditions, age of the plants, and last but not least, any distortion caused by the photographic process. If you scan the web for pictures of any specific clematis, you will be amazed by the difference in colors you will see for one clematis. The same is also true if you compare colors on websites selling clematis or in reference books on them.
HF Young is often described as being Wedgewood blue which you can easily see it is not if you actually compare the flowers to a piece of Wedgewood. One of the clematis books I have show this exact demonstration of the color comparison and the colors are nothing alike.
My favorite blues are no-name irises from a dear friend that are fragrant, and our native Blue-eyed Grass. I also love the first sedum in my collection called "Blue Spruce" which gets bluer than gray in the winter when everything else is just dull. For the summer I enjoy the clear hue of "Heavenly Blue" Morning Glory - perhaps I'll sow it with my white "Arctic Queen" Clematis this year - hmmm, now I'm the one dreaming of sugarplums!
my favorite blue clematis has to be prince charles
I got "him" last April and he took off with blooms! This is the first shot of Prince Charles when it was just starting to put out blooms. For some reason I can't find the other pictures of it, but It completely covered my little tomato cage with blooms last year.
Do you have much shade? How about some blue hostas? Some that have nice blue color are:
Lakeside Blue Jeans
I like the blue flowers of nepeta. Also phlox divaricata for the spring. Blue star for groundcover. Myosotis for groundcover too.
One of my favorite blue perennials is Veronica 'Georgia Blue'. If it doesn't necessarily have to be a perennial, another great blue is the annual Evolvulus. Both plants are a great electric blue.
I planted myosotis (forget-me-nots) from seed a few years ago in my part-shade cottage garden. Now they are invasively charming...everywhere, in walkways, huddled around statues...the daintiest,heavenly blue, and a few are pink as well. But, like granite has said, when a plant is easy to pull, who cares if there are too many.
I love the dainty and delicate Lobelia Crystal Palace with its deep blue flowers and leaves that turn bronze. It is not just a flower for growing in baskets. It is a gorgeous ground cover beneath roses and along garden paths.
I like to have a lot of blues in my gardens. It is one of the favorite colors of bees and helps calm them too. I wear blue or white when working with bees.
I adore the deep blue-violet Larkspurs, blue Cornflowers, all shades of blue irises, ditto morning glories.
Blue Stiff Asters, and Chinese forget-me-nots, too.
The blue Solanium bush with its deep blue-violet flowers with a tiny deep yellow center. It's a member of the nightshade family.
Catmint (nepeta) has a soft, blue color.
I found a climbing Blue Boneset (Climbing Hempweed)in a swamp in Houston that has really pretty fuzzy periwinkle-blue flowers in June thru October.
Quaker Ladies (Houstonia caerulea) in a woodland garden are a must. They have delicate five-petaled flowers of pale blue with a tiny dot of a yellow center. Blooms Apr-June. Likes moist woodlands. They are wildflowers native in all states east of the Mississippi river. Its stiff stems and leaves that grow out from the stem joints remind me a lot of Sweet Woodruff.
In spring and again in the autumn I love the little spikes of the blue Grape Hyacinth (Muscari). They smell so grapey and sweet and have such a pretty color. They are lovely with yellow jonquils and colorful tulips.
Scottish Blue Bells when grown in masses are really pretty naturalized beneath white-barked birch trees.
I like all Blue Salvias. The Black and Blue Salvia is just unreal it has such a deep blue.
I have a wild Blue Sage (Native here in Okie) in my wildflower garden (which is now overgrown with Devil Grass - ugh!).
I like the soft blue of the flowers of the Russian Sage.
Periwinkles are pretty - stars of blue with a yellow eye that wink out at you from their shadey beds.
I like Fanny's Aster! It is bluer then in the picture.
Alot of my blues have already been listed - larkspur, negillia, batchlors button, black and blue salvia, clematis and of course iris. A couple not mentioned are blue bog sage - just the purest sky blue in late summer right up to a hard freeze, plumbago, rosemary which is blooming now and I have just the prettiest blue viola that actually has about 4 different shades of blue flowers on the plant.
i 2nd lynn's mention of the bog sage. what a BLUE it is!
it only recently stopped blooming, and the foliage is still green and perky. terrific plant!
I have to agree with Sweetannie on the Black and Blue salvia. It's incredible! Is it just me or does Fanny's aster sound kind of funny?:-)
I first saw "Fanny's Aster" at the Daniel Stowe botanical garden (their first garden). It was hard to find several years back but is now more popular and has made a wonderful clump.
Yes, valimora...it's the same sort of thing as the restaurant, Jack Astor's and a little bit like the name of that place in sanford, BB. A Bart Simpson sort of thing.
My very favorite blue right now is black and blue salvia. It is a true hummingbird magnet.
Right, moonsheller, I always say, why erect those plastic, metal and glass contraptions, when you can give the hummers the real thing! B & B salvia has the LONGEST season of any perennial I know of. And how about that not-blue salvia "Hot Lips;" a couple of us have noted that it is still leafy green.
Pulmonaria 'Blue Ensign' is a striking blue very early in the season. I love the blue of Plumbago but it is not cold hardy here. -Ais.
i lust after blues. they literally make me drool. some of my faves have already been covered- nigella, bog sage, columbines, amsonias, pulmonarias, black & blue sage for starters. one noone's mentioned is litodora. bought & killed a couple a few yrs ago. think it was the wet summer, but dunno. i'm willing to try at least 1x more for that gorgeous gentian blue & neat foliage. i love my little water forget me nots for their delicate happy blue faces. bluets, hepaticas and true blue anemones are to die for. and how about hydrangeas or rozanne geranium? ooh- another couple that have striking blue flowers are tweedia, aka oxypetalum(an asclepias family member) who's a wild turquoise, and there's a tiny blue sweet pea- sativus cearelea, if i recall right. it bloomed a lot longer than the reg fragrant annual sw peas, and is true blue. has anyone in the area had luck with cerinth major here? i've been lusting after those, but can't seem to keep them going long enough to bloom. another couple i've had & liked in the past are didiscus- like pale blue small queen anne's lace, and phacelia, which sort of swirl upwards. echinops & sea holly are two more. i had a stunner of a tropical water lily one yr that was luscious. gosh i guess i could go on & on.
tammy always overwhelms me with her plant repertoire (and generous spirit)!
I'm reminded now of annual lobelia, what a rich, deep blue that is, but finicky, I find! I plant a lot of it here and there in containers each year, trying to find just the right amount of part-sun. There's nothing like it with pale pink geraniums.
Ack, sorry I haven't made it back here, but I've been following the emails and trying to look up all the suggestions. I'll be back, asap!
Tammy, I don't know litodora - is it the same as lithodora? Did you start from seed or plants? Just as I struggle in shivering from winter-sowing and planting bulbs, you have to make me want MORE plants? Some of my newly planted bulbs are two different blue anemones. Also my first year with hepaticas - any advice? Of course my new neighbors have to move in and come over when I'm planting bulbs and covered in red mud - she's gorgeous and he plays for the Raiders - guess I'll have to upgrade my gardening garb when in the front yard now - or my kids and husband will be further mortified....
Tammy, I had great success wintersowing the cerinthe major. Along with borage they were one of my earliest successes. They were pooped out by the time summer came around but I noticed they had reseeded themselves though none of the seedlings had time to bloom. I will be curious to see if I will have any more sprout up this spring. Adele
I thought of another blue flowering plant that I have always liked. It is so often overlooked these days. It is the pretty blue flowers of Ageratum. I love its fuzzy blue flowers. Makes a really nice border plant. It is pretty in window boxes and grown in pots. - Annie
Funny coincidence, BnearE, met my new neighbors for the first time last week with muddy hands and dogprints on my pants. She is the gorgeous, sweet blond, but HE is the former LSU agronomy professor, now head honcho of turf at the ultimate of Pinehurst golf communities. Both NC State grads... think I'll keep them!
Uh oh, Claire, I'd be more intimidated by an agronomy professor seeing my front yard than a football player seeing me muddy!
yeah, brenda- i'm purposely making everyone want more plants. the nurseries pay me on the sly! don't i wish! lol!! i did mean lithodora. i didn't catch the dropped letter. i bought plants- first time from bb, second from lowe's. 2 lasted for the better part of a yr, the other crapped out pretty quick.
never seen it offered as seed.
hepaticas are pretty easy. i mail ordered one from pinetree, which has done real well in the woodland, and then when i got involved in the plant saves, the one place we went had a bunch of hepaticas growing on a earthen cliff, about 15' tall. anyhow, those seem to have done well transplanted into the woodland you saw, and the spares i kept in flats for the backyard project did well, too. i didn't take special care of any of them. they seem to like moisture- i was at another swapper's house, and he had them native, all down towards his creek. the places they grew in PA were always fairly moist as well- not soggy, but moist. you know- the same habitat as trilliums, bloodroot & such.
pup, i love the lobelia, too, and like you, find it's a bit finicky. it likes my back deck and i can tuck a few in along towards the wooded area to the right of the house as you face it. it takes so long to start from seed and i've started so late the past few yrs that i haven't had it. perhaps this yr.
adele, i will try the ws thing with the cerinthe. can't recall if i have any seed left. that makes sense- it doesn't seem to like the heat at all. wonder if any of your cerinthe seedlings will overwinter, down low. thanks for the tip. this will be my first big foray into ws in containers. i did a couple flats last yr and was impressed, so i'll go whole hog this yr.
your neighbors stories are funny. our neighbors just moved, and i'm anxious to see who'll buy their place. it's a tiny little thing so i doubt it'll be any professors- thank heavens! :) it has an old greenhouse in the back yard & i'm jealous. i just hope we get nice neighbors. the ones who left were sweet. now if only we could get the psycho nut next door to leave, we'll be doing great!! about anyone would be better than him. of course, he already did the damage by clearcutting the backyard ad leaving 1/2 of it in a pile to rot. i've just learned to not look over there to prevent high blood pressure. later- tammy
I guess you guys missed my post on Jan. 2nd.
It was the first thing I listed of my favorite blues.
"I love the dainty and delicate Lobelia Crystal Palace with its deep blue flowers and leaves that turn bronze. It is not just a flower for growing in baskets. It is a gorgeous ground cover beneath roses and along garden paths." -Annie
Lobelia is beautiful, but hates the humid heat of summer here. One of those things you have to plant early and appreciate it for the time that you have it. It was easy to grow in PA but pansies grew out in the full sun all summer up there too!
All the Clematis pictures posted are exquisite!
I bought 2 at Lowe's: Jackamani and Nellie Mosier to grow on the two trelisses I have of New Dawn roses. Thought they would look great together. Neither one turned out to be what the package says. The one supposed to be Nellie Mosier looks like Niobe. The one supposed to be Jackamani...well, I'm not sure!
I sure like all the blue Clematis! More colors of blue available than I knew existed. Would be smashing grown with the pale pinks of New Dawn, now wouldn't it?
Thanks for sharing the photos and blue flower lists everyone.
Hey, nckvilledudes, what is the blue & white bell-like macropetala (like a faeire's hat) that you posted? Is it also a Clematis? That is just LOVELY!
but in PA they don't have pansies growing fall, winter & spring. i'll take carolina seasons anyday(why i moved to begin with!) you just have to adjust your thinking about when things like to grow sometimes. i love the fact we have 4 growing seasons here. tammy
Wow! Love the HF Young and the Juuli and the macropetala and the Prince Charles! Cherry, that last one looks kind of silvery blue, very pretty!
Kville, I always love your clematis pics. You should post more of them!
Angie, Not into a lot of hosta's, but the blues are nice. That might work in the fern bed I'm planning. Right now I'm still looking for Pandora's Box, The mini variegated hosta to mix in with some hardy cyclamen.
Nance, I have the blue eyed grass and it's a charmer! I think my sis would love the Heavenly Blue' morning glory. I'll have to find her some. She's growing a mix of morning glories, if I can get up there and get the bed ready!
TJ, my son dreams of making a trip to Alaska to go hiking, but would probably trip all over the flowers and never notice. Hmmm.... He might notice them long enough to take a few pics for me. He did go to some gardens in SC and thought of me when he took pics. I'll convert him yet! You and some others have sold me on the Black and Blue Salvia, gotta try that. Is the Otocampus caerulea a reseeding annual here, or do you bring it in. I love the blue.
Alicia, from what I've seen most of the clematis are not fragrant, but if 'Betty Corning' is. That's a definite plus!
So much to look at, thanks everyone for the outstanding suggestions. I'll BBL and go through some more.
Annie, I can't tell you for sure what the specific cultivar of macropetala clematis the one is that I posted. It was purchased at Lowes and labeled as an alpina 'Constance' which is a hot pink color--definitely not what I got. Considering it was purchased at Lowes, it may very well be the species macropetala and not one of the hybrids. The pictures of it on COTW often show a lot of the blue clematis as having more pink than blue in them. I am not sure if it is just the lighting or if in England the weather and soil conditions change the perceived color.
Rootdigger, if you want to see more pictures of my clematis, you should check out my Photobucket account linked below. I must admit I didn't take very many pictures this past season but have quite a few on there from 2004.
Also, I can attest to the fact that Betty Corning is fragrant. Picked blooms this spring and brought them into the house and you could definitely smell the fragrance once you entered the room they were in. A plant outside can also perfume your garden once it gets large enough to support many flowers. Also, the fragrance tends to be more pronounced when the air is still and heavy. Mine hasn't gotten to that stage yet but I am awaiting the day.
Here is a link that might be useful: Miguel's Photobucket account
Rootdigger I have Pandora's box but still a baby. If she comes back like a gangbuster next year I will save you an eye for the spring swap, but we will have to see. Your idea of mixing her in with hardy cyclamen sounds just lovely. (On second thought, I may have to keep her all to myself. Though I suppose I owe you an eye for the idea) I got mine from "the Hosta Farm" near Pittsboro. Duck threw that one in for my son at the last minute, and I didn't realize until later what a nice "prize" he had given us. -Ais.
Anyone mentioned Amsonia yet? I'm not that big a fan of the flowers on hubrectii, I think it's much more valuable as a foliage plant, but I have an amsonia growing on my property that has beautiful blue-green foliage in the spring and lovely blue flowers. Looks great with white baptisia and eastern columbine. It's probably taberneamontana. It grows well in wet places with only a half a day of sun.
One year I saw a beautiful true blue soapwort in one of the fields near the creek -- one of the closed gentians.
A couple of weeds have nice blue flowers -- bluets and chickory.
Yup, a couple of us mentioned amsonia. But, who cares? It's a great plant. I forgot chicory- and i grow it just because i love those blue sunshines, even though it flops like the devil in my garden. Another wildflower with blues is dayflower- commenilina(sp?). Have never understood why noone did some work to make it a bit showier- it's a true, true cobalt blue. I had some variegated ones this yr. Mountain bluet(centauria montana) is yet another plant that's gorgeous, but i've never gotten it to flourish for long in my garden. I don't think it likes the heat & humidity. Too bad. tammy
Your photos of home, yard and kitty's are wonderful. Beautiful gardens. Glad you shared those with us.
Carla's question about clematis reminded me of this thread so I had to go hunting for it. NCkvilledude is the 'go to guy' for clematis questions.
Plus this is such an awesome thread on blue flowers!!
Butterfly pea (Clitoria terneata) is an annual vine with lovely true blue flowers.
Ellen's True Blue butterfly bush- as the name says it is true blue and the flower clusters are very large and prolific. Also very blue and easy to grow- Camassia Quamash and Mystic Spires Blue salvia and Eye of the Tiger Dutch Iris.
i don't think i mentioned this before but scilla peruviana is absolutely to die for. really, knock em dead gorgeous. couple more i though of are 'georgia blue' veronica, iris reticula, muscari, chiondoxia, scilla, anemone coronaria and the forget me nots. i think if i had to pick one favorite cut flower it would be the blue and magenta anemone coronarias. gosh, i love those!
I love my amsonia. Got it from a swap a few years ago and it's big enough now to really shine!