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Blue Morning Glory
A Bloom Color Prized for Meditation, Aesthetics
Proper use of color can influence mood and perception. Blue is considered a "cool color," meaning it tends to relax you. Thus for a meditation garden, blue flowers would be a logical choice. Of course, the draw of blue flowers goes beyond their soothing affect; many simply find them the most beautiful of blossoms. View my pictures of blue flowers to help with plant selection.
Blue morning glory picture....
An annual vine, morning glory is an old-time favorite when you need quick cover for a trellis or arbor. 'Heavenly Blue,' shown in the photo above, is the type of morning glory flower with which you are probably most familiar.Continue to 2 of 17 below.
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Blue Lupine Picture
I took this lupine picture in the U.S. state of Maine....
Perennials, lupine plants come with white, pink and, as the picture shows, purplish-blue flowers. However, do not confuse the exotic (alien) wildflower in this photo, which is known botanically as Lupinus polyphyllus, with the blue lupine that is native to the New England states (namely, Lupinus perennis). You would be hard-pressed to find the latter in Maine nowadays, but I do know of a spot where it grows in Massachusetts.Continue to 3 of 17 below.
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Gentian Sage PictureContinue to 4 of 17 below.
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Balloon Flower Picture
Balloon flower picture....
More specifically, this photo shows the balloon flower at the stage which gave these perennials their name: just before they open, the flowers remind one of little balloons. Balloon flowers are available in the colors white and pink, in addition to the purplish-blue shown in my photo.Continue to 6 of 17 below.
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Blue Poppy Picture
Picture of a blue poppy....
Meconopsis grandis is a perennial blue poppy that requires open shade.
Blue poppies are more difficult to grow than Oriental poppies. I may not have a spot on my property that sufficiently meets the "open shade" requirement for them, because I've managed to kill them every time I've planted them thus far. They also seem to prefer climates with relatively cool, moist summers and only moderately cold winters; this picture was taken in coastal Maine (U.S.), a region which has just such a climate. I live further inland in New England (U.S.), and I believe my summers simply get too hot for this plant. One of my readers, who lives in Quebec, Canada, has had success in growing blue poppies.Continue to 8 of 17 below.
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Picture of Blue Scilla Bulb Plants
Like tulips, snowdrops, crocuses, hyacinths, grape hyacinths, daffodils, etc., blue scilla plants are bulb plants. All such plants are valued for the cheer they bring in the wake of Old Man Winter's months-long reign.
Scilla bears small flowers that look rather like those on glory-of-the-snow. As with all small-flowered plants, to make an impression with them, you need to plant them in masses. A single scilla popping up here and there will fail to make much of a design statement.Continue to 9 of 17 below.
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Picture of Common Grape Hyacinth Flowers
Common grape hyacinth (Muscari botryoides) is aptly named. Its flower spike produces small, fragrant flowers packed closely together, looking a bit like a bunch of grapes (especially before the blooms open, as they are rounded at this time). Despite its name, this is a distinct spring bulb plant from common hyacinth flowers (Hyacinthus orientalis). The latter's blossoms are star-shaped when fully open, and the overall size of the plant is greater.
While the most common types of grape hyacinth bloom in blue, there are also kinds that flower in pink and white. These early-bloomers flower in April or May (depending on where you live, how warm a spring you're having, etc.). They can grow up to 10 inches tall but are more often found standing 6 inches tall. This short stature means that you must mass them together to create much of an impact. But their small size also makes them great rock garden plants for homeowners with room only for a small rock garden.
Grape hyacinths are classified as spring bulbs. Although such plants have "spring" in their name, they should actually be planted in fall. Grow them in partial to full sun, in soil that drains well, and in USDA zones 4 to 8. Deadhead them after flowering, not to promote re-blooming, as you would for many other flowers, but to channel energy into bulb development rather than into setting seed.Continue to 10 of 17 below.
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Picture of Blue Cornflower
The botanical name of blue cornflower is Centaurea cyanus. But what is the origin of the common name....?
According to Bill Casselman, "The common name recalls the fact that cornflowers grow wild in the grain fields of southern Europe." An alternate moniker in everyday lingo is "bachelor buttons."
Although it can be found wearing other hues, it is the blue cornflower that is most prized, as gardeners always seem to be on the lookout for flowers bearing this cool, relaxing color. The perennial version also comes in blue, but the 'Amethyst Dream' cultivar of perennial bachelor buttons is more of a purple color.Continue to 11 of 17 below.
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Picture of Caryopteris FlowersContinue to 12 of 17 below.
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Photo of AgeratumContinue to 13 of 17 below.
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Veronica Plant Picture
'Royal Candles' speedwell picture....
'Royal Candles' speedwell (Veronica spicata 'Royal Candles') is a veronica plant with purplish-blue flowers, as this picture shows. Veronica plants are perennials.
Looking for more information on how to use blue-colored flowers? Some people find that orange flowers and blue flowers can make for a striking color combination; if you need help with orange flower selection, browse my pictures of orange flowers. Another resource you may find useful is Color Schemes for the Yard.Continue to 14 of 17 below.
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Flowers of Virginia Bluebells Start Out Pink
So much for common names. With a name like "Virginia bluebells," you would think this plant to be a blue-flowered examplar.
The fact is, however, that the buds of Virginia bluebells are pink and initially open in a pink-lavender color. Only as they mature do you see the blue flowers that you anticipate from the common name.
The botanical name for this plant, Mertensia virginica, does a better job of preparing you for this phenomenon, assuming that you're a plant geek like me. Mertensia is part of the borage family. Plants in this family make a habit of bearing flowers that start out pink, then turn blue. For example, Italian bugloss (Anchusa azurea) exhibits the same blooming pattern. In the next slide, we will see another such example from this family.Continue to 16 of 17 below.
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Lungwort: Pink and Blue All at Once
Common lungwort goes by the Latin name of Pulmonaria officinalis. It is an herbaceous perennial that belongs to the borage family (Boraginaceae), like Virginia bluebells (prior slide) and Italian bugloss. Also like those plants, it does not seem to be able to make up its mind as to whether it is a pink-flowered plant or a blue-flowered plant. Instead, the same plant will bear blossoms in both colors at the same time.
This perennial can be grown in USDA plant hardiness zones 3-8. It reaches a height of, at most, 1 foot, with a slightly greater spread. Common lungwort is an early bloomer, blooming in April or May, depending on the region in which you garden. It is valued as much for its attractive, spotted leaves as it is for its flowers. Also of value to gardeners is that this is one plant that you can use without worry in dry shade -- a growing condition to which many plants are not well suited.Continue to 17 of 17 below.
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Dalmatian bellflower (Campanula portenschlagiana) is so called because it is native to a region of southeastern Europe (Croatia) that used to be called "Dalmatia." You may recognize that name from the breed of dog with same moniker, as featured in the children's movie 101 Dalmatians. If you enjoy connections to childhood, then there may also be a place in your heart for the Campanula genus: Campanula rapunculus plays a role in the fairy tale of Rapunzel.