~photoblog of a WNY zone 6 gardener
Friday, January 9, 2009
Virginia Blue Bells
It has been too cold, and the cold is here to stay for awhile. I'm feeling blue. Hopefully this passes soon. My husband told me I need to get planting more seeds! One of my loves is blue flowers. There aren't many true blue flowers out there. There are many violet blue flowers, and I love them too especially campanulas(bluebells,) but they don't make me sigh like true blue flowers.
Mertensia virginica(Virginia Bluebells) is a wonderful spring ephemeral that more people should grow. ( A spring ephemeral is a plant that after blooming in the spring goes dormant for the summer.) It doesn't require much of anything to do exceptionally well. Since it goes dormant during the summer, drought is not a problem. I have mine beneath a large shrub rose that itself is in a semi-shade location. It is well behaved developing in to a larger clump slowly.
Alpine Hyacinths(Brimeura amethystina) is another true blue that is often unknown to many gardeners. It is a spring flowering bulb. It blooms mid May here. It is diminutive, but at the edge of a walk like in my garden, it is quite pretty. It will reseed if conditions are right. I have more than the few I planted years ago, and I happily saw a new one blooming across the walk this spring.
One more blue to help take away the winter blues...
Salvia 'Cambridge Blue'
This is one heck of a pretty annual. It really shines August to frost like many salvias seem to do. It is drought resistant and performs well in pots. Seed saving is a bit of a pain with this plant, so it is often high priced seed in catalogs or difficult to find in trade. Since the flowers bloom in succession, not all the seed ripens at the same time. Once seed is ripe though, it falls fairly quickly from the plant. So one must check often for seed, but it is well worth the trouble to have seed to grow this plant every year.
Other true blue(or pretty darn close!) flowers I grow:
Anchusa 'Blue Angel'(annual) and 'Loddon Royalist'(perennial)
Forget-me-nots, Myosotis(perennial), and Cynoglossum amabile(annual)
Echium 'Blue Bedder'(annual), and Viper Bugloss(biennial)
Centaurea(Bachelor Buttons, annual)
Brunnera macrophylla, species and 'Jack Frost'
Allium azurea aka Allium caeruleum
Salvia 'Black and Blue', and other Salvias
Veronica 'Crater Lake Blue' and 'Royal Blue'
All this writing about blue flowers has made me feel better! I need to go plant more seeds as my husband said and I might really start to smile.
If you know of any other true blues I must grow, please let me know!
- ▼ 2009 (32)
Favorite Garden Related Sites
- THE SAMPLE SEED SHOP
- Missouri PLANT ID Site - best wild plant ID site
- THE SEED SITE - great for IDing seeds
- ROB'S PLANTS
- PAGHAT'S GARDEN
- ROBIN'S SALVIAS - great photo galleries
- TOMATOVILLE - forums for tomato lovers
- SELECTED PLANTS- Tomato site with lots of great growing info
- Betsy Knapp Hypertufa - my friend who makes planters
- MY GardenWeb Page
- Cyndi Johnson's Catalog List - extensive garden catalog listings
Favorite Garden Blogs
Garden Nurseries and Centers in the WNY Area
- Adams Nurseries, Sheridan, Tonawanda, and Rt 33, Lancaster
- Earsings, Clinton, West Seneca
- Faery's Nursery, Ridge Rd., Ransomville
- Frank's Veggie Stand and Niagara Aquarium at Miltary and Woodward, Tonawanda
- Lavocat's Nursery, Heroy Rd., Clarence Center
- Lockwood's Greenhouses, Clark St., Hamburg
- Masterson's, Olean Rd., East Aurora
- Menne Nursery, N.F. Blvd., Amherst
- Mike Weber Greenhouses, French Rd, West Seneca
- Mischler's Florist(sells garden plants,) S. Forest, Williamsville e
- Russell's Tree & Shrub Farm, Transit, East Amherst
- Smith's Greenhouse, Wrights Corners
- Stedmann's Nursery, Rt. 78, Newfane
- Treichler's, Saunder Settlement, Sanborn
- Ulbrich's, Broadway, Alden
- Urban Roots, Rhode Island, Buffalo
- Zehrs on the Lake, Rt 18, Burt, NY