Thursday, April 30, 2015

Never Felt More Like Singing the Blues

Annual:  Bachelor Button

Most people don’t think of blue as an adaptable color in the garden.  I do! 

Blue can be a neutral because it goes with all other colors – yes ALL!  It can be the blank canvas of your garden’s picture.

Think big picture:  Blue skies are a major portion of a garden.  The blue of water also blends perfectly.

Art enthusiasts know how the primary colors all look good together.  Plus, shades of primary colors can look good together.  Add a little white to true blue and we have soft blue.  Add a little black to make navy blue. 

Perennial "Forget-Me-Not"
Mix red and blue and there’s purple; add white to purple and we make lavender.   Yellow and blue make green.   Green and blue can make turquoise.  It’s depends on the amount of each you use in the mix as to the shade or depth of color.  Shades of colors determine if a color cools or heats up the picture. 

Some traditionalist won’t go outside the traditional color wheel rules while other free spirits mix with abandon and love the look.  Try mixing blue annuals first which allows experimentation without a big permanent investment.
Ornamental Perennial grass
 "Festuca Elijah Blue" 
Blues all look good together by mixing shades and other colors.  It’s all in the theme you want to paint in your garden.

Perennial Globe Thistle
If you LOVE, love, and love hot bright colors, light blue and lavender will provide a soft halo for the bright colors to shine.  Orange looks stunning with a pale blue shaded background.  Red, white and blue will look fresh and patriotic.  One of my current favorites is royal blue with chartreuse.   

Turquoise is often used for beach and nautical themes. The darker teal is the fashion industry’s number one color for 2015.  Adding clear bright blue or dark navy can let the turquoise stand out while adding depth.  Or, just a little turquoise can make a small pop in a sea of blue and green.

Every local nursery has an abundance of blue plants.  A few blue plants easily found (although the list would be huge if I included all.):

Blue Spruce
Trees and bushes:  Blue spruce trees become large and can anchor a blue theme in an otherwise green garden. Blue fruit from a blueberry bush is a seasonal blue accent.

Blue perennials:  There are no true blue daylilies.   Some hostas have blue-green leaves.  Globe Thistle has blue flowers and leaves.  Leadwort has blue flowers.  Several salvias and sages are blue.  Forget-Me-Nots, varieties of ornamental grasses, vinca, Monkshood, Corydalis, blue bellflower, succulents and many more.  Easily found are blue roses.     

Bearded Iris "Full Tide"
Bulbs and rhizomes: Virginia bluebells and many varieties of blue iris.  Selections of blue spring flowering bulbs such as Hyacinths and scilla.   

Blue annuals:  Morning glories, violas and pansies are notables.  The complete list of blue flowered annuals is extensive to list.

Blue glazed pot right after potting
Blue may be brought into the garden with pots, birdbaths, fabric, gazing globes and anything paintable. 

 If you’re afraid of blue in your gardens, try a little bit at first.  Blue can calm or excite and expand your summer days.  The only “blues” nature is singing is a happy song.

And for decorative art or crazy garden lady, here's a few blue things from my back yard.

Blue wine bottle flower

Some pottery patterned blue

Clear blue gazing balls and
some others from thrift stores.

Even in the winter, this blue wine
bottle tree adds zing.


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