As we head into a new decade, the Pantone Color Institute has selected Classic Blue as the color of the year. This blue is reminiscent of the sky at dusk. I was very excited about this choice as blue is my favorite color. While this yearly color selection is used in many industries such as printing, graphic design, and fashion design, I think incorporating these color selections in my garden each year helps get my creative juices flowing.
Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute described Classic Blue as “a reassuring blue, full of calm and confidence. It builds connection”. This sounds just like what a garden should convey. I have also heard this blue brings a sense of peace and tranquility to the human spirit, offering refuge. Classic Blue can also be regal and reserved and at the same time edgy when mixed with other plants and flowers.
If you want to incorporate blue into your garden or containers, here are some flowers to consider:
The name Anemone comes from the Greek and means “windflower”. Anemones are perennials and come in bright vivid colors and blooms in spring, summer and fall. The flower is a beautiful cup-shaped bloom on top of long, wiry stems. These flowers are one of the first plants to bloom in the spring. The flowers are easy to grow and low-maintenance. They look great in containers too. This flower is believed to bring luck and protect against evil and other harmful forces.
Bachelor Buttons are an annual flower found in many perennial wildflower seed mixes as they are prolific bloomers and self-seed easily. They are best grown from seed as they do not transplant well and come in shades of blue, white and pink. They are a good flower for cutting and dried arrangements. They prefer well-drained soil in full sun and the taller varieties do require staking to prevent them from being blown over or beaten down by spring and summer storms. Deadheading will encourage them to continuously flower from early summer into the fall. They are rarely bothered by insects or diseases and are drought-tolerant as well.
Hydrangeas when in bloom can be absolutely breathtaking. Many blue hydrangea blooms come in vivid and striking colors, while some are in subtle shades like powder blue or sky blue. The shades of blue will vary according to the alkalinity of the soil. The pretty clusters of hydrangea flowers vary from mophead to lacecap types and typically bloom from summer to fall. Depending on the variety of hydrangea they will differ in size, flower shape, color and bloom time.
The blue flower of Borage makes a beautiful addition to any garden. Borage is a medicinal herb and the flowers and leaves are edible. It is also known as starflower, bee bush, bee bread, and bugloss. As some of the other names indicate the plant is great at attracting bees. In the past, beekeepers would grow this plant to boost honey production. The taste of Borage is similar to cucumbers and has many culinary uses. Some of the ways you can use it are in soup and salad as well as lemonade. Try freezing it in ice cube trays to add a pop to a drink. In the garden, Borage repels pests like hornworms and is a great companion plant to tomatoes, strawberries, and squash. In many areas, the plant will flower from mid-spring to early fall.
Campanula is an underutilized perennial that is also known as Bellflower. As the name suggests its flowers resemble the shape of a bell and come in shades of purple, blue and white. Some varieties grow only 8 inches high while others can be nearly 4 feet tall. In warmer garden zones they may not last as long as other perennials and may disappear after a few years. Diseases and pests are generally not a problem with slugs being the main adversary to deal with.
Chionodoxa is a star-shaped flower with blue petals and a white center. The plant is known as the “Glory Of The Snow”. The flower blooms in early spring. Chionodoxa is compact and winter-hardy plants. These hardy and low-maintenance bulbs are excellent for naturalizing. They look great planted underneath trees or shrubs or even in a lawn where they will multiply easily and spread. The star-like flowers can be sky blue, lavender, pink or white. They can also be planted in containers or flower beds or as a border. These flowers are deer resistant and grow 6 – 8 inches tall.
Columbine is a unique looking flower with delicate petals and colored sepals which give an appearance of a bunch of birds. The name comes from the Latin word ‘aquila’ and stands for ‘dove’. Columbine flowers are available in many colors including blue. The plant foliage is dark and bluish green. They are easy to grow perennials. They seed themselves in the garden, saving you time each year.
Delphiniums are known for their tall beautiful blue flowers. The name comes from the Greek word “delphis” which means dolphin. This references the flower bud shape, which supposedly resembles a dolphin. The plant is also called Larkspur. The flowers are one of the truest shades of blue. If you are looking to add a vertical element to your garden, try this flower. There are over 300 species of this plant and they can be annuals, biennials, or perennials. The plant requires maintenance as you will have to stake the plant, prune and deadhead it and also look out for diseases. They prefer moist, cool summers and do not fare well in hot, dry weather.
Gentian is a North American native and has true blue colored flowers with smooth green lance-shaped foliage which is very attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. The plant starts blooming in the mid-summer and will continue through the fall. In its native environment, this wildflower performs best in moist woodland areas near ponds and streams.
he flowers on a Morning Glory are saucer-shaped. This annual plant is typically found in a cottage garden. When planted in the garden you will have a steady display of flowers from summer into fall. This flower is aptly named morning glory like the flower blooms during the day and dies by evening. The majority of Morning Glory plants are vines with rich green leaves and look great growing on trellises, fences, and arbors.
If you have any favorite blue flowers that we should add to our list, let us know!