Nature, for reasons best known to herself, seems to favour shades of yellow and pink. That is, I am sure there are botanists and scientists who know why this is, but I only know that it is so. Check out the wildflowers growing by the roadside or in fields – they are still looking fabulous even in late August here in the west of Ireland – and you’ll see what I mean. There are plenty of pinks, yellows and whites, but apart from the odd vetch scrambling up a blackberry bush, blues are few and far between. And even the vetches are mostly mauvey - purple.
I’m always looking for ways to include more blues in gardens, and in planting schemes, flowers and berries are the only way to do this, blue foliage not yet being A Thing. Early spring bulbs are easy, and aquilegias, irises, lupins and delphiniums will cut a blue swathe through flowerbeds and borders from early to mid-summer. As August progresses though and the golds and russets of the second half of the year become more dominant, some planning is needed to balance them with blues. Most of these will not be true blues but various shades of deep bluey – purple; but that’s okay, it’s just what you need to liven up the garden as summer gets tired. Here are my favourites:
Salvias offer spiky shapes to contrast with more rounded plants and ‘Amistad’ and ‘Caradonna’ flower well into late summer if fed and deadheaded.
Agapanthus are looking stunning all over Galway just now and are perfect in coastal gardens. I like ‘Navy Blue’, but there are many different sized cultivars so there’s a good one for every garden – plant in groups for impact.
Geranium ‘Rozanne’ – this lady makes it into a very high number of my planting schemes for clients and as I write she is clothing my own garden in a cascading cloak of violet blue. A worthy winner of the RHS Plant of the Century.
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