Blue Flowers

Delphinium 'Summer Skies'

What is it about blue flowers that so many gardeners find irresistible?  It’s a common obsession in both neophyte gardeners and the most experienced horticulturists – David Tarrant is well-known to be fond of blue flowers, as am I.

According to colour psychology, the colour blue elicits feelings of calmness or serenity. It is often described as peaceful, tranquil, secure, and orderly.Blue can also create feelings of sadness (feeling blue?). Blue is the colour of the sky in summer or the ocean on a clear day, both of which make me feel happy in a calm, relaxed way.

I think that the reason so many gardeners love blue flowers is their scarcity.  Truly blue flowers are not so common, and being human – we love whatever is rare and unusual.

Clematis 'Rhapsody'

There are a lot of purple, lavender and mauve blossoms out there masquerading as blue and many of them can be found in my garden, even though they’re not really blue.

Blue and all the purply shades related to it, are cool colours, and can disappear in your garden if not well-placed.  A light coloured backdrop helps, as does companion plants that provide contrast.  But it’s almost impossible to make a blue flower slap you in the face like a bright yellow blossom can!

Along my back fence I have several Delphinium in various shades of blue and they are spectacular against the weathered grey of my yellow cedar fence.  They’re so big and floriferous – about as show-stopping as possible for blue blooms.

Delphinium against the back fence

Another true blue gem I grow is a perennial Corydalis elata – which I recently discovered gives off a peculiar musty scent when blooming.  Fortunately it’s not near a seating area, nor is the smell strong enough to register unless you put your head close to the flower.  I think I’ll avoid weeding around it until the flowers are done (like I need an excuse to avoid weeding) .

Corydalis elata

Some blue beauties that are just coming into flower now are my Veronica longifolia and Veronica spicata ‘Royal Candles’.  The first is in the back garden near my roses, and the second in the front garden, where it has proven very deer resistant.  I like the flower spikes on longifolia better – they are tall and graceful, but ‘Royal Candles’ is a beautiful plant, almost globular in shape, with multitudes of chubby blue spikes that last a long while.  And did I mention deer resistant?

Veronica longifolia (always make sure to pay attention to what's happening in the background when taking pictures in the garden)

Veronica spicata 'Royal Candles'

Last fall I planted some blue pansies outside the back door.  After sulking through our hard winter, they’ve been blooming their heads off ever since.  They’re just starting to get a little weedy, so I’ll cut them back hard and see if they come again – if not I’ll plant some more in September, as soon as it’s cooled off a bit (assuming it ever GETS hot!).

Blue Pansies - past their prime

These are just a few of my blue flowers – I’ll share more with you another day.  Do you love blue flowers too?  If not, what’s your favourite flower colour?

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About hortophile

I am a very opinionated, slightly obsessed gardener with decades of experience in the retail nursery industry. A lucky resident of the "Wet Coast" of British Columbia I tread a muddy path between practicality and beauty, with my veggie patch, herb garden and fruits vying for position with the beautiful trees, shrubs and flowers that I can't resist. DON'T ask me to choose between them! I believe in environmental responsibility and common sense.
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8 Responses to Blue Flowers

  1. Jodi Harding says:

    Gotta love the dog taking a crap in the background…i CAN’T STOP LAUGHING

    • hortophile says:

      And of course I only took one picture of that plant! When I saw what I’d taken a picture of I was a little mortified and thought I’d have to go out and take another picture – but then I started laughing…

  2. barb19 says:

    Glad you still decided to use the photo with the dog – it brought a smile to my face too – reality photography at it’s best!
    It was a treat taking the “blue tour” round your garden, you have some amazing flowers!
    I love to see blue flowers, probably because of their scarcity, and they bring out feelings of calmness, coolness in me too. However, I think my favourite colour of flower must be red; it really stands out against the green foliage, drawing attention to the beauty of the flower.

  3. Heheheheh, poor Lucy :)

  4. Pingback: Qualia Blossoms « Earthpages.org

  5. My favorite flower colors are pinks and purples — the darker pinks (I loved the small rose in your rose feature, and forgot to mention that when I left a comment). But it’s hard to argue with the beauty and majesty of those Delphiniums. They do look especially good against the silvery gray of the fence. I’ll have to remember that combination.

    Thanks for continuing to post pics and comments about what’s going on in your garden. I am enjoying vicarious gardening from your blog!

  6. Pingback: Meconopsis baileyi – Himalayan Blue Poppy | Hortophile – My New Garden

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