Get the cool, beautiful blues

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BLUE flowers give the feeling of coolness, especially on hot, summer days. Blue is one of nature’s most beautiful colours. Blue flowers blend with almost any other colour in the garden.

Pale blues to rich blues match perfectly all the pastel colours, white, pink, violet, mauve and purple.

Exotic plants with these colours also blend beautifully with our Aussie plants. For example, rosemary planted in conjunction with Prostanthera ovalifolia, or native mint bush illustrated here.

The range of blue amongst perennial plants is endless, with the long-flowering Campanula “Telham Beauty” shown here as an example.

AS tulips and daffodils fade at Floriade, their place is taken with the bulbs of blue and white Dutch iris. At the same time, tall, bearded iris, which have rhizomes, are starting to bloom, perhaps popping up amongst Triteleia or “Star of Bethlehem”, with its mass of pale-blue flowers. Originating in Spain and Portugal, bearded iris are really tough and will survive any drought. Maybe we should refer to the pale-blue Triteleia flowers as “Cambridge Blue” as opposed to the deep-blue ground cover Parahebe “Oxford Blue”. Another great ground cover with blue flowers is the hardy Mediterranean Convolvulus mauritanicus “Moroccan Beauty”, also perfect for spilling over low walls.

IN the past I have had several clients specify only blue and white flowers in their garden. How totally boring, one might say? And yet, it can be amazingly beautiful.

Naturally, when I say blue and white, these colours are offset with all the garden’s shades of green.

At Sissinghurst Castle in England, one of the most famous gardens in the world, visited by hundreds of thousands of people annually, most visitors want to see the White Garden with its feature of white roses mixed with a succession of other white flowers throughout the spring and summer into the autumn. One could equally have a blue garden and, certainly, this could include a continuous range of blue flowers for all seasons.

I RECENTLY suggested growing thornless climbing roses through deciduous trees. Equally, one could grow clematis through shrubs and trees in the garden. They are both evergreen and deciduous clematis to suit every season of the year. In our garden, I am training Clematis “Romantika” with its rich-blue flowers through the maple Acer “Bloodgood”. This maple has purple leaves from spring to autumn and the blue of the clematis against the purple provides the “wow” factor.

If blue and white only is not your scene, then blue will blend with every other colour. For instance, combinations of blue and yellow can look stunning.

CONGRATULATIONS to Don and Lisa Franklin on recently acquiring The Garden, often referred to as the Parkwood Garden Centre, in Belconnen.

Don and Lisa are well-known in the local nursery industry. I visited there last week and was taken not only by the range of plants, but the neatness of the centre. If you have not visited this nursery in recent times, I encourage you to do so.

Sunny garden reminders

  • If you have not already planted summer and autumn flowering bulbs do so now.

  • It is still not too late to core and/or dethatch lawns. Need a name? Try Paul Howard on 6231 2920.

  • Google “blue flowers” and be amazed at the varieties available

  • Plant clematis roots in the shade with the stems and flowers in the sun. Place an old tile over the roots to keep them moist and cool.

  • Plant yellow and orange flowers of calendulas round the veggie bed to discourage insect pests. These colours combine well with blue flowers.

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Cedric Bryant
Trained horticulturist and garden designer with over 30 years experience in the industry.

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