~photoblog of a WNY zone 6 gardener

Friday, January 9, 2009

Winter Blues

Virginia Bluebells
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.


Brimeura amethystina
Brimeura amethystina

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
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)
Nigella(Love-in-a-Mist, annual)
Delphinium
Lithodora
Penstemon
Pulmonaria(Lungwort)
Borage(annual)
Brunnera macrophylla, species and 'Jack Frost'
Iris reticulata
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!

3 comments:

Tom said...

I'm wintersowing some blue flowers this year. Blue lobelia, blue bedder salvia, and blue queen salvia. Forget-me-nots from last year should reseed. There just aren't enough blues in the yard to chase away these cold temperatures. I'm going to have to find some of the Cambridge Blue Salvia too. That is beautiful.

cogardengram said...

Remy, I didn't seen any iris in your blues! There are lots of great blues in that group.

Also salvia Black and Blue, a dark blue annual one, Evolution and then the light blue aster October Skies, I also grow salvia Blue Bedder and Victoria, nepeta Walker's Low, and then there are lots of very true blue clematis.

Happy growing

Remy said...

Hi Cogardengram,
I do have quite a few iris, but none I have are really blue except Iris reticulata. I have planted quite a few blue in the past couple years, so hopefully I see ones that look really blue.
I forgot about my Saliva B&B! I'll add that to the list.
I love clematis too! The only really blue one I have is my own seedling, so I hesitated to put it on the list. I'll have to make a new posting showing a pic of it.

Tom,
The cold is suppose to last all week!
You should have no problem with those Forget-me-nots reseeding. Some people find them weedy for that fact, but they are so shallow rooted, they pull up from where ever you don't want them. To me they make such a pretty carpet of color.
I think I'm going to have to make a new post of blue flowers!

I wintersowed quite a few salvias last year. Some of them are the hardy perennial ones, so hopefully this season I see some beautiful blue blooms.
I'll be wintersowing more of them this year. I think I'm going to do some more tropical climate ones at the end of winter. Hopefully I'll find some more new loves like Cambridge Blue.

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Plantaholic, from annuals to perennials, from tomatoes to roses. You name it; I love it! I often get very busy with my business and life and don't post as often as I would like.