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The blues...

Today, while I'm in England, a guest post from my wife judywhite back in Pennsylvania. Thanks, judy.

Ipomoea,Heavenly Blue. Image ©GardenPhotos.com (all rights reserved)Sometimes serendipity in the garden isn’t really just coincidence. I’ve realized that our garden has become furiously dotted with blue. It was a subconscious thing, this gradual adding of plants with blue flowers and/or blue foliage. Oh, okay, some of it was serendipitous, since a few of the plants were sent to us, dare I say it, out of the blue, for trialing. Blue is supposed to be such a rare horticultural color. Hey. It’s not.

Out there today, shining even in the blue of this rainy, gloomy gray day where we’re stuck halfway between the end of summer and the beginning of fall, are four blue showstoppers. First, of course, is the great mass of annual ‘Heavenly Blue’ morning glories (above, click to enlarge), climbing the picket fence, where I constantly have to unwind the latest tendrils from the gate so that they don’t break off when the UPS guy comes. Then Caryopteris,Sunshine Blue, Image ©GardenPhotos.com (all rights reserved) there’s a big shrub of Caryopteris ‘Sunshine Blue’, much happier now that the old cherry trees are gone above it, even if the gold in the leaves isn’t as pronounced as earlier in Ceratostigma,willmottianum, Image ©GardenPhotos.com (all rights reserved)the season. In the shade is groundcover Ceratostigma plumbaginoides, a lot of bright bang for the size. And right out the front door is the 2ft/60cm tall mound of tiny blue starry asters that we’ve lost the tag of; that plan of burying all the labels conveniently at the front of the raised beds sometimes doesn’t work as well as you might think.

 Still going, if more sparsely since their early big flushes, are two low-growing spreaders, Lithodora diffusa ‘Grace Ward’ (I like its solid blue much better than the more common blue and white ‘Star’) and Campanula portenschlagiana 'Blue Waterfall', both first-timers this year. Hydrangea Endless Summer has faded to a violet blue from its former intense brightness, but the blue kale is still going strong, plus we pull off leaves and have soup anytime we want. More blue foliage is in the fabulous Hosta ‘Hadspen Blue’, utterly slug-proof and well behaved. There are hints of blue in the Japanese painted ferns and the Meserve hollies ‘Blue Girl’ and ‘Blue Boy’, and in the fading Phlox paniculata ‘David’s Lavender’, whose flowers turn more blue as they get older - makes me think aging might not be all bad after all.
Hosta,Hadspen Blue, Image ©GardenPhotos.com (all rights reserved) I think this blue streak started with the forget-me-nots that the previous owner left behind over 10 years ago; I’ve been encouraging them everywhere, and they shatter through in spring. Oh! And then there’s the icy blue of Amsonia tabernaemontana, and the darkness of that Aquilegia that started out as ‘Blue Bunting’ but seems to be something else entirely now, and the blue flowers of Ajuga reptans ‘Burgundy Glow’ against the purple and green and cream leaves, and the baby softness of Iris ‘Color Me Blue’, and the startling spikiness of Clematis ‘Blue Fountain’ and…

I want more.

And I love punctuating the blue with yellow. Hmmm, let’s see, we need more of that too…