Friday, 15 July 2011

Feeling blue?

There is something about the colour blue in gardens that some people get hooked on, that is to say to have a plant with flowers of the purest blue.
What is the purest colour blue? Well, on that, I remember meeting a gentleman that was trying to source a particular alpine Gentian; and according to him, all other blues paled. At the time, I thought, hmmm ... he's a bit mad; I still do. My reason for saying this is because if you end up trying to source 'the one true blue' flower, you'll miss a load of other really interesting plants with flowers on the blue scale.
In my little patch, I currently have blue flowering clematis, viola, hosta's, buddleia and agapanthus. The latter is a plant called Agapanthus umbellatus 'Peter Pan' and it has lovely (you guessed it!) umbels of blue flowers rising above its strap-like green foliage (the name agapanthus comes from Greek and means 'flower of love'). This particular plant I acquired on the half price bed in Gardenworks a few years back. I left it in its pot until I could decide where to put it. There the plant remained until the following Spring. At this point I still hadn't decided where to plant it, so I simply potted it on into a slightly bigger size pot, just to stop it from dying or getting too cramped. To my delight, in late June the plant produced a swathe of flower stems which then became a sea of blue; and so a new technique had been born to me:
  • let my agapanthus become a little pot-bound and they will flower beautifully
This has served me well for the past five years or so, with me potting them on or splitting them only when they get a little cramped, and lots of blue flowers are the reward.
Other blue flowering plants include my herbaceous geraniums and campanula, which flowered in May/ June. Over the years I've also had many other blue flowering plants such as Felicia amelloides, Salvia patens and Solanum rantonnetii, none of which are winter hardy. I did save the seed of the Salvia for growing again this year, but alas, the seed were discarded during a winter clean out (not by me I might add - but that's another story).

For this evening, I think it is enough to say, when your choosing colour for the garden, be sure to include at least a few plants that have flowers in the blue range.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone