The colour blue has long been associated with nobility, peace, serenity and the highest forms of spirituality. It is a universal colour of the sea, the sky and with loving care can be mixed with the greens of Earth in your garden to create very special moments.
When recalling the time honoured observation that one is “closest to God in the garden” irrespective of colour, it is understandable that a true blue garden is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful, sophisticated, and desirable expressions of garden art that can be created.
Growing a patch of blue is easy. And a blue patch make a lot more sense for most people that developing and entirely blue garden. The creation of a permanent blue garden takes a little more time, effort, and devotion as one would expect of such a worthwhile pursuit.
Blue is not a particularly common colour in nature. Yet for every climate, soil, and season there are at least a few blue flowers that will thrive and flower seasonally in the average garden with little care.
There are many hundreds of species that would work wonders in a Blue Garden. Here are some of the easiest, hardiest, and most worthwhile species and combinations to consider for your own patch of blue heaven.
Bulbs and Rhizomes: Allium species and Florist Anemone, A. coronaria, are reliable choices and great cut flowers for the spring garden. Plant the corms in loose, freely draining soil, choosing a sunny or partly shaded position. Tiny Anemone blanda, the Windflower, carpets the ground for many weeks in early spring with delicate blue daisies. They make an excellent groundcover under trees and shrubs, and look stunning mixed with other small blue flowering bulbs like Chionodoxa, Crocus, Ipheon (Spring Star), Muscari (Grape Hyacinth), and Scillas (Squills). Also try Babiana (Baboon Flower) Brodiae (Queen Fabiola), Camassia, Endymion (Bluebell), Freesia, fragrant blue Hyacinths, many Iris species, Nectaroscordum (Sicilian Honey Garlic), Tulbaghia (Society Garlic), Gladioli ‘Blue Mountain’ ‘Her Majesty’, ‘Land of Lakes’, Roscoea (Himalayan Ginger Orchid), Streptocarpus (Cape Primrose) and other less well-know species
Blue shades for Cool weather: All the minor and ‘Spring-Flowering’ bulbs like Anemone blanda and coronaria plus many woodland species, Babiana (Baboon Flower), Brodiaea (Queen Fabiola), Chionodoxa, Crocus, Endymion (Bluebells), Freesia, Hyacinth, Ipheon (Spring Star), Muscari (Grape Hyacinth), Scillas (Squills) and Cineraria, Corydalis elata ‘Craigton Blue’, Echium vulgare (Viper’s Bugloss/Blueweed), Erysimum cheiri (Bowles and species Blue Wallflowers), Nepeta (Cat Mint), or Polyanthus, Primula, Pulmonaria, Saxifraga and Violet amongst others. Mysotis, the Forget-Me-Not, is invaluable inter-planted throughout the blue garden, along borders and amongst shrubs. Vinca minor (Blue Periwinkle) also makes a lovely evergreen trailing groundcover for light shade or partial sun. Almost any combination of these bulbs, groundcovers and flowering annuals or perennials will flower for many months, often seeding and regenerating freely when they are placed in an environment to their liking.
Blue Flowers for Sunny Warmer Weather: Many of the best blue flowers are found in this group. Most prefer a sunny aspect but with increased drainage many can flower well in partial shade: Aconitum (Monkshood), Agastache (Hyssop and Anise Hyssop), Agapanthus (Lily-of-the-Nile), Amsonia illustris (Shining Blue Star, a light blue North American prairie flower), Anchusa officinalis (Alkanet, Bugloss), Aquilegia (Columbine), Aubrieta, Azalea, Caryopteris ‘Petite Baptisia australis and many species (Blue Indigo), Blue Chicory, Brunnera (Siberian Bugloss), Catananche (Cupid’s Dart), Centaurea (Bachelor Button),Ceratostigma (Leadwort or Plumbago), Cirsium (Spear Thistle), Cynoglossum (Perennial Forget-Me-Not), Delphinium, Dracocephalum (Blue Dragonhead), Echinops (Globe Thistle) Echium vulgare (Blueweed) and many species including spectacular spiking forms like E. Fastuosum (Pride of Madiera), Eryngium (Sapphire Blue Sea Holly) Eupatorium coelestinum, dubium, purpureum and species (Blue and Purple Mistflower), Gentian, Geranium (true Geranium), Horminum (Dragonmouth/Pyrenean Dead Nettle), Hosta, Iris (German Bearded, Japanese, Louisiana, Siberian and species),Jasione (Sheep’s Bit Scabious), Larkspur, Limonium (Statice), Lobelia (dwarf and spiking species), Lupin, Meconopsis (Blue, Himalayan or Welsh Poppy), Mertensia virginica and species (Virginia Bluebell), Monarda (Bergamot, Bee Balm), Myosotidium (Chatham Island Forget-Me-Not), Myosotis (Forget-Me-Not), Nepeta (Cat Mint), Omphalodes (Blue-Eyed-Mary), Origanum (Oregano, Marjoram, occasionally blue), Pansy, Papaver somniferum (Blue Opium Poppy), Penstemon, Perovskia (Blue Spire), Phlox paniculata and species, Phyteuma (Rampion), Platycodon grandiflorus (Balloon Flower) Polemonium (Jacob’s Ladder), Polyanthus, Pratia, Primula, Pulmonaria officinalis (Blue “Azurea’ Cowslip), Pulsatilla (Pasque Flower), Rhododendron, Rosmarinus (Rosemary), Salvia, Satureja (Savory), Saxifraga, Scabiosa (Pincushion Flower), Scutellaria (Skullcap), Semiaquilegia, Stachys (Lamb’s Ears), Stokesia (Stokes Aster), Symphytum (Comfrey), Teucrium (Germander), Thymus (Thyme), Verbascum (Mullein), Verbena, Veronicastrum (Culver’s Root), Vinca minor, Viola.
Drifts of blue Pansy and Viola create breathtaking backdrops to taller plants such as Echium fastuosum (Pride of Madiera), Delphinium and Larkspur, Shrubby Ageratum, Aquilegia (Granny’s Bonnets), Asters (both annual and perennial species), Campanulas, Centaurea (Bachelor Buttons) and Cineraria work well with an inter-planting of Echium vulgare (Viper’s Bugloss or Blueweed).
Lisianthus works well with Roses: ‘Blue Moon’ Rhapsody-in-Blue’ floribunda Rose ‘Pejambu’, Salvias (annual and perennial), Scabiosa (Pincushion Flower), Stokesia (Stokes Aster) Triodanis perfoliata (Venus Looking Glass) and Veronica ‘Royal Candles’. Blue Berry Bushes are an edible blue delight!
Groundcovers: Quite a number of highly attractive groundcovers feature blue flowers. Most of these prefer at least partial sunshine and most need average or somewhat enriched soil with good drainage: Ajuga (Bugle Weed), Aubrieta(Rock Cress), Cymbalaria (Ivy-Leafed Toad Flax), Convolvulus mauritanicus and species(Creeping Morning Glory), Erinus species (Alpine Balm), Glechoma (Ground Ivy),Globularia (Blue Globe Daisy) Houstonia (Bluet/Azure Bluet) Lamium (Mauve blue), Linaria, Liriope (Mondo Grass), Lithodora nitida and diffusa (Heavenly Blue), Lobelia erinus (Trailing Lobelia), Myosotis (Forget-Me-Not), Phlox subalta, Pratia, Vinca minor, Pansy and Viola, Mondo Grass, Nemophila “Baby Blue Eyes’, Nepeta (Cat Mint), Omphalodes (Blue-Eyed-Mary), Origanum (Oregano, Marjoram, occasionally blue), Phlox subalta and species, Phyteuma (Rampion) Polyanthus, Pratia, Primula, Pulsatilla (Pasque Flower), Saxifraga (Star Bush), Scabiosa (dwarf perennial Pincushion Flower), Sedum (blue foliage), Sisyrinchium (Blue-Eyed Grass), Stachys (Lamb’s Ears), Stokesia (Stokes Aster),Thymus (Thyme), Tradescantia (Day Flower, Spiderwort), Tricyrtis/Toad Lily, Verbena, Vinca minor, Viola, Violet are amongst the common and easiest to grow.
Blue Flowers in Dry Hot and Sunny Sites: Some blue flowers prefer quite dry and sunny positions. In open sunny spots in mild climates wherever Alyssum Royal Carpet, Pansy and Viola make a beautiful Winter and Spring groundcover, replace them for Summer and Autumn with Petunia or Phlox drummondi. Also grow: Buddleia (Butterfly Bush), Ceanothus (California Lilac), Convolvulus mauritanicus (Creeping Morning Glory), Dicelostemma capitatum (Blue Dick), Felicia, Hebe, Larkspur, Lavender, Limonium (Statice), Linaria, Linum (Flowering Flax), Lithodora nitidia (Heavenly Blue), Lupin, Psorothamnus arborescens (Bush Indigo), Viscaria ‘Blue Angel’, Papaver (Poppy), Prostanthera, ), Rosmarinus (Rosemary),Salvia, Satureja (Savory), Scabiosa (Pincushion Flower),Sisyrinchium (Blue-Eyed Grass), Stachys (Lamb’s Ears), Teucrium (Germander), Thymus (Thyme), Verbascum (Mullein), Vinca major all thrive in these hot, dry spots even in poorer soils.
Damp sites or wet ground: For months of beautiful colour in wet sites during warm weather Hydrangea is unrivalled. Also include exotic Iris (Japanese, Louisiana, plus some species of Blue Flag Iris will grow in water, and many species like damp ground). Gentian is excellent on banks just above the water line for Late Summer blue and Vinca minor (Blue Periwinkle) makes a charming blue groundcover beneath them for Late Winter and Spring flowers. Also grow: Mertensia (Virginia Bluebell), Molina (Purple Moor Grass), Monarda (Bergamot/Bee Balm), Myosotis (Forget-Me-Not), Nemophila (Baby Blue Eyes), Nepeta (Cat Mint), Pratia, Primula, Stachytarpheta urticifolia (Nettle-leaf Velvet Berry or Nettle Leafed Tradescantia virginiana (Day Flower or Spiderwort), Vervain, Tradescantia (Day Flower, Spiderwort), Tricyrtis (Toad Lily), Veronicastrum (Culvers Root), Vinca minor, Viola and more. Water Hyacinth.(Eichhornia crassipes) actually floats on top of the water and features exquisite blue flower scapes during the warmer months in (sub)tropical settings and can become invasive. Later Summer and Autumn flowering Michaelmas Daisy completes the blue theme.
Blue Flowers for Light Shade, Partial Shade and Shade: Very few blue flowers will bloom or grow well in deep shade but quite a few will tolerate dappled light or high, light shade. Try growing: Arizona Foldwing (Dicliptera recupenata) Azalea, Deinanthe (False Hydrangea), Mertensia (Virginia Bluebell), Hosta, Liriope (Mondo Grass) Myosotidium (Chatham Island Forget-Me-Not), Omphalodes (Blue-Eyed Mary), Polemonium (Jacob’s Ladder), Polyanthus, Primula, Rhododendron, Roscoea (Himalayan Ginger Orchid), Semiaquilegia, Tradescantia (Day Flower, Spiderwort), Tricyrtis (Toad Lily), Vinca minor, Viola among others. Make sure to provide very free draining soils in shaded land.
Blue Flowering Shrubbery and Trees: These are uncommon but remarkable when in bloom including: Azalea ‘Crater Lake’, hybrids and species), Brunfelsia (Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow), Buddleia (Butterfly Bush), Caryopteris (Blue Beard or Chinese You Shu Shrub), Ceanothus (California Lilac), Clerodendrum ugandense (Blue Butterfly Bush) where frosts are not severe. Conifers especially in colder districts often produce beautiful blue or blue/grey foliage include: Abies concolor “candicans” (Blue Fir); Cedrus atlanticus (Blue Atlas Cedar); Picea pungens (Blue Colorado Spruce) and several more. Winter cold brings out the colour in conifers creating a mystical treat when covered in snow. Other shrubs and trees include; Hebe; Hydrangea; Lavender, Lilac, Jacaranda, Petrea (Purple Wreath/Queen’s Wreath), Plumbago, Rhododendron, Solanum rantonetti (Blue Potato Bush , Tibouchina/Lasiandra and others.
Blue Vines include: Clematis, Clitoria ternatea (Blue Clitoria Vine, tropical vine), Codonopsis lanceolate (Bellflower Vine);Hardenbergia violacea (Purple Coral Pea), Ipomoea (Morning Glory ‘Heavenly Blue’ and species) Lathyrus (Sweet Peas), Passiflora (Passionflower Vine), Phaseolus (Snail Flower), Sollya (Australian Bluebell), Thunbergia grandiflora (Sky Flower), Wisteria and a few lesser know species.
Near Blue Plants: There are a lot of plants with near-blue flowers. Most of these plants have flowers which contain a blue pigment as a base tone beneath another pigment; usually red. This makes them appear carmine, cerise, magenta or scarlet in colour. Sometimes these flowers appear purple and many times lavender, lilac, mauve and many shades of pink.
Even though these flowers are not technically blue, they usually look excellent when included in a blue garden. Because of their blue pigmentation undertone, they look much bluer when placed or planted next to something else blue. Plus their complimentary colour shading enhances other blue tones.
Some of these species also come in other colours, mostly complimentary or primary shadings that also enhance a blue garden. Near blue flowers include:
Achillea (red, pink and purple shades); Alcea/Hollyhock (burgundy, pink, red/purple shades); Alstroemeria (pink, red/purple/violet, white, yellow shades);Astilbe (mauve, red, pink/purple shades);Aubrieta (mauve, pink, violet shades); Bergenia( Mauve/pink shades); Callirhoe (orchid, purple, red, violet shades); Delosperma (cerise, mauve, red/purple shades), Dianthus/Garden Pinks) (blue, burgundy, mauve, red, purple shades); Digitalis/Foxglove (mauve, orchid, pink, purple shades);Erigeron/Fleabane (blue, mauve, pink, white shades);Erinus (mauve, pink, purple shades); Erodium/Filarees/Herons’ Bill (mauve, orchid, pink, purple shades); Erysimum/Wallflowers (mauve, pink, purple shades); Eucomis/Pineapple Lily (mauve, pink, purple shades); Eupatorium/Mist Flower/Joe-Pye Weed (mauve, pink, purple shades); Euphorbia/Spurge (pink, red, purple shades); Fuchsia (blue, lavender, mauve, red, purple shades); Geum (pink, purple, scarlet shades); Hebe (blue, mauve, pink, purple, white shades); Helleborus/Winter Rose (mauve, pinkish purple, reddish blue shades plus white); Hemerocallis/ Day Lily (mauve, pink and many other colours); Hesperis (mauve pink, pinkish purple plus white);Horminum/Dragonmouth (mauve pink, purple, red/purple), Hosta (mauve and white), Houstonia/Bluet (blue, lavender, mauve, pink, purple and white),Hydrangea (blue, lavender, mauve, pink, purple, white); Iris (nearly every colour combination possible except fire engine red); Lamium (lavender, mauve, purple, yellow); Lavatera (lavender and mauve pink, purple, white); Lavender (blue, mauve, purple, white); Liatris/Gay Feather (lavender, mauve, pink to near purple and white); Lilies (mauve pink, cerise, red-purple); Limonium/Statice(blue, lavender, mauve, pink, purple, white and sunset shades); Linaria (blue and many multi-tones); Liriope/Mondo Grass (lavender, mauve, purple, white); Lobelia/spiking & trailing species(blue, cerise, lavender, mauve, pink, red, purple, white); Lunaria/Honesty/Money Plant (mauve. Pink, purple, white); Lupin (blue, lavender, mauve, pink, purple, white many multi-tones); Malva/Mallow (near cerise, lavender and mauve pink to purple, white, bicoloured forms); Molina/Purple Moor Grass (seed plums burgundy purple); Monarda/Bergamot/Bee Balm (blue, burgundy, cerise, lavender, mauve, red, purple, white); Nectaroscordum/Sicilian Honey Garlic (cream pink and red-purple and green); Nepeta (blue, lavender, mauve, pink, purple, white and multi-toned); Origanum/ Oregano/Marjoram (blue, lavender, mauve, pink, reddish purple); Paeonia/Peony (rarely bluish or lavender, bluish mauve-pink, burgundy, cerise, red, near purple, salmon, yellow, white multi-shades); Papaver/Poppy (occasionally blue, lavender, mauve, pinkish blue, purple, red-purple, burgundy, orange, red, white, sunset shades); Pennisetum/Purple Fountain Grass (red-pinkish-purplish feathery plumes); Penstemon (blue, lavender, mauve, pink purple, red-burgundy, white and multi-tones); Phlox (blue, lavender, mauve, pink, red, purple, white multi-shades); Platycodon/Balloon Flower (blue, lavender, mauve, pink, purple, white); Polemonium (blue, pinkish-mauve, purple, white); Polyanthus (blue, lavender, lilac, mauve, pink, purple, red, sunset shades, white, multi-tones); Pratia (blue, mauve, purple, white); Primula (blue, lilac, lavender, mauve, pink, purple, sunset shades, white); Pulsatilla/Pasque Flower (blue, burgundy, lavender, lilac, mauve, pink, red, purple, yellow, white); Roscoea/Himalayan Ginger Orchid (blue, burgundy, lavender, mauve, purple, red, yellow, white); Salvia (blue, burgundy, lavender, mauve, purple, red, white); Satureja/Savory (blue, lavender, lilac, mauve, orange, pink, purple, red, white); Saxifraga (blue, burgundy, lavender, mauve, pink, purple, red, orange, yellow white and multi-tones); Scabiosa/Pincushion Flower (blue, burgundy, lavender, lilac, mauve, pink, purple, red, red-black, salmon, white, multi-tones); Scutellaria/ Skullcap (blue, cerise, lavender, lilac, mauve, pink, purple, red-orange, white, yellow); Sedum (cerise, mauve, pink, red, salmon, yellow); Semiaquilegia (blue, lavender, lilac, mauve, pink, purple, red, white, yellow); Sesleria/Blue Grass (greenish blue clumping grass); Sisyrinchium/Blue-Eyed Grass(blue, mauve, pink, purple, white); Stachys/Lamb’s Ears (blue, lavender, lilac, mauve, pink, purple, white, yellow); Stokesia/Stokes Aster (blue, lavender, mauve, blue-pink, purple, white); Symphytum/Comfrey (blue, cerise, lavender, mauve, red, purple, white, yellow); Tanacetum coccinium/Painted Daisy (cerise, mauve, pink, red-purple, white, yellow); Teucrium/Germander (blue, lavender, lilac, mauve, purple, near violet, white); Thymus/Thyme( blue, lavender, lilac, mauve, orchid pink, purple, white); Tradescantia/Day Flower/Spiderwort and species (blue, lavender, lilac, mauve, pink, purple, white); Tricyrtis/Toad Lily (blue, lavender lilac, mauve, orange, pink, purple, white, yellow multi-tone or spotted); Verbascum/Mullein (blue, lavender, lilac, mauve, pink, purple, sunset shades, white, yellow); Veronicastrum/Culvers Root (blue, lavender, lilac, mauve, orchid, pink, purple, violet, white); Vinca major ( cerise, lilac, mauve, red, pink, white multi-tones); Vinca minor (blue, purple, white); Viola (blue, burgundy, cerise, lavender, lilac, mauve, red, orange, pink, plum, purple, purple-black, salmon, white, yellow many pastel and multi-tonal shadings) and many more lesser know species.
When planting a lovely patch of blue or an entirely blue garden here are a few things to remember:
Sunny and warm positions suit many blue flowers, where the sunlight enhances vigour and strengthens their vibrant blue colour. A fair number of blue-flowering species will survive in partial sunlight. But inherent with the colour blue, blue flowers often tend to shrink into the shadows unless they are lifted by another colour shade like grey, silver, white or yellow plus variegated foliage. A clump or bed of blue flowers highlighted by a bright patch of sunshine within a shady glade or woodland is often quite magical.
Potash is essential. When feeding a blue garden, especially in poorer soils, add plenty of Potassium (Potash) to deepen the blue. Wood ashes are an excellent source of natural Potash. But this must be from untreated wood as ashes from treated wood often contain chemical residuals that can prove toxic to plants. Fresh, raw wood ashes should not come in direct contact with the plant roots or any part of the growing stem, tissue or trunk otherwise alkaloid/ caustic burning may result. Wood ashes can be well-dug-in to the soil and allowed to cure for at least a week or more prior to planting. Alternatively and by far the safest method is to compost wood ashes in a separate pile and apply them once somewhat decomposed.
Other organic sources of Potash include:
Greensand, Kelp Meal, Seaweed; and compost made from Potash-rich materials like; Banana, Beans, Beet Greens, Oranges and most Citrus, Potatoes and Tomatoes. Chemical sources of Potash include: Sulphate of Potash or Potassium Sulphate, Muriate of Potash (Potassium Chloride), Orthoclase (Potassium feldspar) among others.
Avoid heavy Nitrogen feeding. Lots of Nitrogen leads to lush and often rampant growth, but sometimes at the expense of the flowers. Because Nitrogen-enriched growth is often rapid and robust this can produce bigger plants with dark green, healthy foliage. But dark green large leaves tend to overshadow and overwhelm many blue shades. And taller plants many produce not only fewer flowers, but flowers may be set farther apart on the plant, which makes them less obvious.
Less Nitrogen and more Potassium (Potash) will produce much more compact plants with flowers clustered closer together and in a deeper shade of blue that makes them shine and stand out.
Cut, pinch and prune frequently. Whenever a plant could potentially be cut back without compromising its quality or damaging its shape, this will create a bushy and compact plant with more flowers clustered closer together, which accentuates the blue shades.
Be prepared to replant! Blue flowers can sometimes be difficult to maintain. But there are always a few that will thrive in specific microclimates. Once an attractive blue flowering species finds a suitable habitat and begins to grow easily and quickly; and especially if this plant naturally reseeds freely this is one worth keeping! Often it is best to find a common flower like Myosotis, the Forget-Me-Not and build around that. If allowed to spread, something as humble as the Forget-Me-Not will create clouds of misty blue, especially during Spring and sporadically throughout the growing season. Try and find something easy and simple like Mysotis that can be planted throughout to effective unify the garden; and then make special plants that highlight with more exotic blue shades.
Separate the blue shades. When planting a blue patch or border separate the blues. Several plants of the same colour shade all grouped together make a clear, bright statement and highlight the beauty of that particular shade of blue. Pure blue shades are best planted away from blue purple to avoid muddying the colours.
Make the most of contrasting and complimentary colours. Bright and light green, grey, and silver foliage are effective for separating blue hues. Before planting it is always best to colour-test the combinations carefully. Silver and grey will lift and enhance deeper blue and purple shades but may wash out a misty blue. Deep green will brighten a soft blue and make it sparkle. Yet the same dark green foliage, especially in partial shade will smother darker blue and purple hues and make them nearly disappear.
Blue often disappears in the shade. A dark, shady background accents light and mid-blue flowers. But deep shade can overwhelm some darker blue and blue/grey colours and especially red-purple and purple colour tones making them all but disappear. Shaded areas are often best left to benches and seats, art and sculpture pathways and woodland trails or clusters of shade-tolerant species like beds of Hosta for Summer and Helleborus plus minor bulbs for the cooler and Winter months.
Lift blue shades with complimentary and contrasting colours. Mauve, pink and white flowers make beautiful, soft compliments to the blue garden. Soft blue shades look particularly delicate when viewed with a pastel mauve, pink or white background. Like Phlox subalta (Carpet Phlox) mixed with Anemone blanda, A.coronaria, Ipheon (Spring Star), Muscari (Grape Hyacinth) and/or Pasque Flower.
A large bed of lavender, lilac, mauve and pink shades becomes remarkably bluer when a bright blue flower is interspersed amongst them. For example mauve pink Candytuft inter-planted with bright blue Centaurea (Bachelor Button/Cornflower) or blue-purple Delphinium or Larkspur.
To make the Cornflower, Delphinium or Larkspur look intensely bluer use a background or under-plant with a clear yellow shade like Aurinia saxatilis (Golden Alyssum), or Achillea (Yellow Yarrow). To make the blue sparkle, try using a white background such as Tanacetum (Feverfew), Achillea (White or Calico Yarrow) and/or white Alyssum.
Yellow, orange, scarlet and all other sunset shades create interesting contrasts which can be use to highlight and accent special blue shades. Make sure the sunset shades are planted in impressive blocks or patches of colour to highlight the deeper blue tones. For example, yellow Mustard flower possibly makes a gleaming yellow background to highlight impressive spikes of blue and blue purple Delphinium and Larkspur or similarly coloured Gladioli.
Accessories, art and sculpture; benches, seats and tables; fencing and other woodwork quite attractive in almost any shade of blue, lavender, lilac, mauve or purple but often look really good in light green, grey, silver, white, or yellow.
Plan, prepare and research before attempting anything as ambitious as a true blue garden. For those with a streak of impatience, dig and lay-out the garden design first. Add generous amounts of soil additives wherever necessary and let them ‘cure’ and improve the soil prior to planting. Benches and seating, perhaps art and sculpture, fences and trellis can be set in place and/or perhaps painted. Once these structures are positioned, the garden will begin to show some character and design. By then, plants can start being put into place that matches the colour and design.
Blue borders and permanent blue beds can be started almost any time. Even an existing bed or border can be slowly transformed by adding patches of blue as they can be grown, purchased or sown. Every time an existing plant or clump finishes its season, simply remove it and fill the empty hole with the new blue species.
Remember to plant in clusters. Plant several of the same variety of flower, usually at least 3-5 of any one variety and colour to create a bold statement. While one or two of many species and varieties may work in the small courtyard or townhouse garden which is examined close-up, it takes larger splashes of blue when planted out in the open to create a strong patch of blue colour. When blue and near blue shades are randomly mixed within the larger open border, the over-all effect can sometimes appear grey and washed out, especially from a distance.
Blue gardens are a botanical treasure, seldom seen but long-remembered. Their serene and tranquil colours add a magical, peaceful and spiritual aspect to the garden that nearly defies description. Truly, a well-planned blue garden is a noble achievement that creates a special aura and spiritually uplifting mood that can border on the divine. It is for those reasons that so many Gardeners describe blue gardens as patches of ‘Blue Heaven’.