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Cool Blue plants


Cool your garden in summer by using BLUE

If like many people you view your garden as a place of repose, then you should consider planting your garden with cool coloured plants. Examples of cool colours are blue, lilac, white and silver.


There are a number of blue flowering plants available from garden centres and nurseries these days. As well as flowers look for plant foliage that approaches blue in colour. Some hostas have a bluish foliage, the Blue Fescue has silvery blue leaves, and there are also blue-toned conifers.


A garden that follows a blue colour scheme will be a wonderfully welcome place to relax during hot summer days.

If you cannot get hold of enough blue flowers you can use other cool colours (such as lilac, green white and silver) to complement the stronger blue shades.

The choice of plant colours will also depend on your overall garden theme. For a romantic, cottage-style garden, you could try using the softer, silvery-blue or grey-blue shades; the more intense blues are suited to Mediterranean style gardens.

To complement any blue garden, white and silver foliage or flowering plants are important. These types of plants are easily obtained from nurseries as annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees.

Here is a selection of different types of blue plants for you to consider.

Blue Bulbs

Agapanthus ‘Baby Blue’ – Dwarf form of Agapanthus with umbels of sky blue flowers in late spring-early summer.

Hyacinthus – Scented blue flowers in spring

Iris (Dutch Iris) –Blue flowers with a yellow centre in late winter-early spring

Muscari (Grape Hyacinth) – Small plants with blue tubular flowers.

Scilla (Bluebell) – Variable blue flowering bulbs, best in cool climates.

Blue Annuals

Ageratum houstonianum – Blue cultivars such as ‘Blue Mink’, ‘Blue Blazer’ and ‘Blue Bouquet’ are summer flowering annuals.

Centaurea cyanus (Cornflower) – Annual flower with vivid blue flowers in late spring-early summer.

Delphinium –Stunning erect floral displays mostly in blue.

Limononium sinuatum (Statice) – Annual with clusters of everlasting-type flowers in summer.

Lobelia – Low-growing annual with dark blue or sky blue fan flowers in spring-early summer.

Myosotis sylvatica (Forget-me-not) – Annual with clusters of small blue flowers in late winter-early spring. .

Viola (Pansies) – Small annuals with highly attractive blue flowers.

Blue Perennials

Ajuga reptans (Blue Bugle Flower) – Groundcover with dark or bronzed green foliage and small blue spikes of flowers in spring.

Campanula (Bellflower) – Herbaceous perennials, blue bell-shaped flowers in spring-early summer.

Delphinium – Herbaceous perennial to 1 m or more tall, with spires of blue flowers in spring-summer.

Lavandula (Lavender) – Many varieties with upright blue flowers in summer.

Dichorisandra thyrsiflora (Blue Ginger) – Tropical plant to 1 m, producing blue flowers in apical clusters.

Meconopsis (Blue Poppy) – Herbaceous perennial with sky blue poppy flowers in late spring-early summer.

Blue Low-growing Plants

Dampiera linearis – Groundcover with blue-purple flowers in spring-summer.

Veronica prostrata – There are several blue flowering cultivars of this dwarf, mat forming plant.

Aristea – Small plant with star-like blue flowers.

Blue Climbers

Allamanda violacea – Rambling shrub/trailer with violet flowers in warmer months.

Clematis – Highly attractive climber for cool climates.

Solanum seaforthianum – Slender blue flowering climber with red berries.

Thunbergia grandiflora – Hardy vigorous climber with sky-blue flowers up to 7.5 cm across.

Wisteria – Deciduous vigorous climbers with hanging blue flowers.

Blue Shrubs

Brunfelsia pauciflora – Blue scented flowers.

Buddleia (Butterfly Bush) – Spreading arching medium shrub with blue flowers that attract butterflies.

Ceanothus ‘Pacific Blue’ – Tall shrub with dense dark green leaves and profuse blue flowers in spring.

Duranta ‘Geisha Girl’ – Stunning blue and white flowered shrub to 2 m, suitable for clipping.

Hydrangea macrophylla – Shrub with broad green leaves and large rounded flower heads in summer.

Leschenaultia biloba – Small native shrub with deep blue flowers in spring.

Plumbago – Spreading shrub with mid-green leaves and clusters of blue flowers in summer.

Syringa (Lilac) – Cool growing plants with vivid blues and lilacs.

Blue Flowering Trees

Bolusanthus (Blue Wisteria Tree) – 8 m deciduous tree with hanging blue clusters of flowers in spring.

Jacaranda mimosifolia – Large deciduous tree with mauve-blue flowers in late spring.

Tibouchina ‘Alstonville’ – 5 m tall small tree with purple-blue flowers in spring and autumn.

Paulownia – Very fast growing deciduous tree to 8m with bluish flowers in spring.

Blue Coloured Foliage

Acacia iteaphylla – Fast growing, dense shrub to 4-5 m tall, with bluish pendulous foliage

Agave attenuata ‘Nova’ – Succulent plant with grey-blue hue foliage.

Aquilegia (Granny’s Bonnets, Columbine) – Herbaceous perennial with lacy blue-green leaves. Blue and mauve flowered varieties are available

Eryngium (Sea Holly) – Herbaceous perennial with stiff grey-blue leaves and thistle-like steel-blue flowers in summer.

Hosta seiboldiana – Herbaceous perennial with large blue-green leaves.

by John Mason Dip.Hort.Sc.FIOH Principal ACS Distance Education

For more information on courses and books offered world wide through John’s school, see www.hortcourses.com , www.acsgarden.com , www.acsbookshop.com

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