Blue and Lavender Blooms

Phlox divaricata \'Clouds of Perfume\' (woodland phlox)Blue colours bring a little echo of the sky down to the garden. The perennials Linum perenne ‘Blue Sapphire’ (flax) and Phlox divaricata ‘Clouds of Perfume’ (woodland phlox) are adding more cool toned blue and lavender colours to the garden now. Their blooms join the other blue and purple flowers, Muscari armeniacum ‘Blue spike’ (grape hyacinths) which is just about done, Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ (Siberian bugloss), and annual Lobelia.

Phlox divaricata \'Clouds of Perfume\' (woodland phlox)The Phlox divaricata ‘Clouds of Perfume’ (woodland phlox) are a gorgeous bluish lavender colour. Their variety name is more of a metaphor than an accurate description, since they don’t have a strong scent. However they do have wonderful clouds of blooms that are visible for a distance. Each bloom is like a child’s drawing of a flower. The plant is covered in them, even in medium shade, but they won’t bloom in deep shade competing with a willow. I used to have this perennial for 4 or 5 years underneath a willow on the north side of a fence, in a corner, where it just sat, neither blooming nor spreading. Then I moved it to a new location, still on the north side of a fence, where it gets only a couple of hours of direct light. It was so relieved, that it started blooming profusely and gently spreading out. Sometimes it takes a bit of experimenting to find the happy spot. You can read more about Phlox divaricata here.

Linum perenne \'Blue Sapphire\' (flax)My Linum perenne ‘Blue Sapphire’ (flax) gets one of the coveted sunnier spots in the garden. With flax, the more sun the more blooms. They don’t really open their flowers much on a cloudy day or in the evening. This is a delicate looking plant that is actually quite hardy and easy care. The foliage is an attractive, slightly bluish green. This perennial has very narrow grass-like leaves. The stems are long and supple, swaying with the breeze. However the pretty sky blue flowers are the real treat. Each flower doesn’t last long, but is quickly followed by many more. Flax blooms for a couple of months. The flowers used to self seed at my old house, but the seedlings were easy to pull out or move. Flax is not annoying since it doesn’t bother its neighbours or compete in the lawn like some seeders. I have these surrounded by cocoa shell mulch in this garden, so I hardly have any seedlings now.

Brunnera macrophylla \'Jack Frost\' (Siberian Bugloss)The Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ (Siberian bugloss) is still flowering, but with fewer blooms. I’ve written about Brunnera, and detailed its great traits in this article. This is a clump of 3 plants in this photo. Their leaves are developing the heart shape and extensive silver frosting now. These Brunnera are very happy under the shade of the maple tree. They are thick enough to suppress most of the maple keys, unlike some plants in the garden.

Lobelia \'Riviera Sky Blue\' Lobelia, it’s not just for spilling out of containers. Lobelia is one of my favourite annuals to mix with perennials in the shade. I especially love the sky blue varieties. I used to get ‘Cambridge Blue’, but I can never find it anymore, so I now plant ‘Riviera Sky Blue’. They do well in part shade, but they do like regular moisture. I think lobelia has a shorter life in places with hotter summers. As good little annuals, they flower from May, right through until after the first frosts in my zone 3 garden. They look like a river of blue winding through the mixed beds. I also use them as a temporary fill in around young perennials until they grow in later years to fill their spaces. Sometimes a splash of blue looks better than a sea of mulch. You can see some at the back of the flax picture too.

I love the colour blue in the garden. It’s calm, soothing and easy on the eye. Both lavender and blue coordinate so well with green foliage, and they make for a serene garden. You can see pictures and read more about blue and lavender flowers in late fall here.

22 thoughts on “Blue and Lavender Blooms”

  1. Curmudgeon, the colour of the sky and sea is definitely a winner.

    Chey, I find blue in the garden very tranquil.

    Nancy, the blue variations make the simple blooms so appealing.

    Jane Marie, some varieties are more trailing, but others like this one work really well on the ground. They spread very quickly to completely cover the area, so I don’t get many weeds between them.

  2. Oh, I love these blue flowers too. Unfortunately now they aren’t able to life in our garden. But I can rember the blue phlox was wonderful in this time of the year. Linum we tried again last year, but our garden has to much shade. And the brunnera stays suddenly only in our grassland. There are so many beautiful variations of blue, but most of them the snakes love too…
    Hope you have more luck!

  3. Linda, blue flowers seem, deservedly, to have a lot of fans.

    SchneiderHein, Linum gets one of the few sunnier spots in my garden. It’s too bad the woodland phlox won’t survive for you; it’s such a pretty bloom. The Brunnera is, so far, very shade tolerant in my garden.

  4. You are in blue heaven. The fern and phlox…a perfect duo, like Astaire and Rogers! Jack Frost…must go on the list….does he need special treatment, like moisture! He might not like it here at Clay and Limestone, but I could accommodate a good looking guy like him!


  5. Gail, I do give the Jack Frost Brunnera some supplemental water; we have a somewhat dry climate. I’m not sure of how little water it needs to flourish. I suspect that it can do okay with a moderate amount of moisture. In a hotter climate I would make sure to give it shade and a little extra water.

  6. Loving The Blues

    What a serene and apt description of “river of blue winding through the mixed beds”. Inspiring images both the photographs and the metaphors

  7. This year I wasn’t lucky with my linum though planted in a sunny place. But the slugs were too quick! Normally linum only grows a few years and then it dissapears again. I love this delicate blue plant. Jack Frost is indeed a very good plant. I only would prefer it to bloom a little longer. But it is perfect for a shadow corner.

  8. Barbara, It’s a good thing Linum creates new seedlings to replace the old plants. It’s too bad the seedlings can’t keep up with your slugs’ destructive pace though.

    1. Hi jawahar, are you looking for information about this type of lobelia? It is a short annual that is grown mostly for the many small blue or white flowers.There are some trailing types that many gardeners use in containers. Annual Lobelia doesn’t do as well in hot weather.

    1. Elaine, I’m glad the information was useful for you. I like looking at photos of perennials in different gardens too. It’s fun to see how other gardeners are combining their plants, and read about how they have performed.

  9. Jamieforsythe, the Phlox divaricata (woodland phlox), Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ (Siberian bugloss), and Lobelia all grow well in the shade.

    The Linum perenne (flax) needs a sunny spot to do its best, but it will grow in a part sun location.

  10. I have a plant that looks similar to this that blooms in spring with my azaleas and bleeding heart. I still haven’t discovered what it could be, but it readily spreads and acts as a nice ground-cover in that particular bed. I’d love to send you a picture and see if you may be able to identify it. If you are able to see my e-mail, please don’t hesitate to contact me so that I can forward the photo onto you. If you’re not familiar with it, it may be a plant to consider if you have a preference for light blue flowers. :) It does extremely well at the north side of my house in shade.

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