Plant happiness: Bring on the blues

Blue plant for a container planting

Chinese Dunce Cap Orostachys: Blue plants can come in surprising shapes and sizes. Photo courtesy of Proven Winners.

Who’d transform a huge garden by planting all kinds of annuals and perennials to match a wedding’s colour theme? That’s exactly what Trish Symons did. At the Peterborough Garden Show last weekend, she explained how her daughter’s blue-themed wedding inspired her garden makeover. Me? In the same circumstance, I’d probably buy paint and super-saturate the outside of the house in blue, instead. Like at the mesmerizing Jardin Majorelle in Morocco. Hey, if it was good enough for Yves Saint Laurent…

But her entertaining slideshow on “Gardening the blues” showed just how powerful blue plants in the garden can be and I was reminded of how many varieties exist. As she listed off what had to be 30 different plants, from Aliums to Veronica, I started to think about bringing some more blues to my garden, too.

Here’s a very short list of some of my favourite blue plants for the garden or a container planting. Prepare to reevaluate  your plant shopping list:

  • Puschkinia scilloides – These tiny white flowers, striped in true blue, reliably pop up in my garden every spring. Bonus: squirrels hate them.
  • Forget-me-nots – Yes, I know. They can spread all over the yard. I don’t care. I love their sunny blueness.
  • Black Coral Elephant Ear (Colocasia) – For an exotic-looking container arrangement on the patio, this plant’s large black leaves with blue veins are stunning.
  • Blue Mouse Ears hosta – This mini hosta (it only grows to about 20 cm in height) is adorable.
  • Blue-toned ornamental grasses such as Elijah Blue
  • Blue spruces – If a big tree isn’t on your wish list, you can still get that lovely silvery blue colour all year with a creeping variety.

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