Pink and Blue Flowers for Late Spring


Tulipa 'Foxtrot' with Muscari behind
Tulipa ‘Foxtrot’ with Muscari behind

There are a number of pink and blue flower combinations in my garden now in late spring. The Foxtrot tulips and Muscari ‘Blue Spike’ are a fabulous combination of pink and blue.  I have a large section of these in one garden bed seen above, and another new section across the yard. In the new bed, the taller tulips make an arc behind the Actaea (bugbane), while the shorter Muscari bulbs are planted in pockets between the Heuchera (coral bells),  Tiarella (foamflower) and Heucherella (foamy bells). While Muscari can tolerate some shade, the tulips like it sunnier, so I’m not sure how well they’ll return in the new section. Although my previously planted foxtrot tulips have dwindled a bit, as tulips sometimes do, they still made a decent display, despite being in part shade.

I started this article last year, and just noticed that I never posted it to the website. Since it shows the plants that are in bloom right now, I thought I’d publish it with a few updates. With our cooler spring start, the bloom times are a couple of weeks delayed  this year.

Muscari armeniacum 'Blue Spike' flower closeup
Muscari armeniacum ‘Blue Spike’ flower closeup

Muscari armeniacum ‘Blue Spike’ are the showiest of the grape hyacinths, with the double petals making larger flower spikes. They come closer to looking like their hyacinth namesakes than any other Muscari. A large group of them makes a noticeable patch of blue. They are my favourite of all Muscari, since those large flowers can show off other blooms around them, like the tulips, and not get lost in the garden.

Muscari armeniacum 'Blue Spike' flower between Convallaria
Muscari armeniacum ‘Blue Spike’ flower between Convallaria

The picture above shows the true blue colour of ‘Blue Spike’. there are some Convallaria majalis (lily of the valley) next to the planting, which are now adding some white flowers to the mix.

Tulipa 'Foxtrot' with Heuchera 'Raspberry Ice' behind
Tulipa ‘Foxtrot’ with Heuchera ‘Raspberry Ice’ behind

Tulipa ‘Foxtrot’, a double early tulip, is a good match for the Muscari, flowering with pretty pink petals at the same time as the blue Muscari open. These tulips open up white, and then gradually the pink darkens to a deep pink by the end of their bloom time. Behind these ‘Foxtrot’ tulips are some darker Heuchera ‘Raspberry Ice’ with purple foliage. They don’t flower this early, but their colourful leaves make a great backdrop to the tulips.

Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost' and Tulipa 'Foxtrot'
Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ and Tulipa ‘Foxtrot’

Here’s a pretty combination of Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ with Tulipa ‘Foxtrot’. I planted these tulips behind the already established Brunnera two falls ago, and am pleased that the two flowers match so well.

blue Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost' and pink Tulipa 'Foxtrot'
blue Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ and pink Tulipa ‘Foxtrot’

The pink ‘Foxtrot ‘ tulips get darker and darker the longer they flower, but they coordinate well with the blue  ‘Jack Frost’ flowers in all of their colour range, from lightest white to darkest pink. Something has been enjoying the tulip leaves in this section, or perhaps they got damaged by falling tree debris.

Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost' in flower
Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ in flower

Here is a larger group of ‘Jack Frost’ made up of 4 plants that form a group about 1 m (3 ft) by 1.3 m  (4 ft). they produce massive amounts of blooms despite being located at the edge of a willow tree canopy. This shot shows how attractive the silver leaves are, as well as the clouds of light blue flowers.

Tiarella 'Spring Symphony' and Muscari armeniacum 'Blue Spike' flowers
Tiarella ‘Spring Symphony’ and Muscari armeniacum ‘Blue Spike’ flowers

Here is ‘Blue Spike’ with the pretty pink flowers of Tiarella ‘Spring Symphony’. This pair started flowering at the end of May, and lasted until the third week of June. I planted both the perennial Tiarella and the bulbs together last fall, repeating a combination I have in another garden bed.

Tiarella 'Spring Symphony' and Muscari armeniacum 'Blue Spike' pink and blue flowers
Tiarella ‘Spring Symphony’ and Muscari armeniacum ‘Blue Spike’ pink and blue flowers

Here’s a closeup of the ‘Blue Spike’ and ‘Spring Symphony’ flowers. ‘Spring Symphony’ flowers start as  very pink tight buds, and then look lighter as the florets open from the bottom to form the pale stars.

pink Tiarella 'Spring Symphony' and Muscari armeniacum 'Blue Spike' flowers
pink Tiarella ‘Spring Symphony’ and Muscari armeniacum ‘Blue Spike’ flowers

I would repeat this combination of Blue Spike and Spring Symphony again, since they both look great together, and both will bloom in the shade.

Pulmonaria 'Samourai' pink and blue flowers
Pulmonaria ‘Samourai’ pink and blue flowers

Pulmonaria ‘Samourai’ (lungwort) manages to combine the pink and white on one plant. Those pink buds are even more beautiful when they open to blue. I especially like the all-over silver foliage of Samourai. The basal leaves which are visible for much of the season are a solid silvery gray, but the smaller leaves on the flowering stalks, which can be seen in the photo above, are speckled.

Pulmonaria 'Samourai' flowers with Asarum europaeum leaves
Pulmonaria ‘Samourai’ flowers with Asarum europaeum leaves

Here, the Pulmonaria flowers are blooming with the Asarum europaeum (wild ginger) leaves next to them. You can see all of the pink Pulmonaria buds, and then the fully opened blue flowers. This is a great plant for the shade, since the silver leaves brighten the darker areas of the shade garden. The shiny leaves of the Asarum are doing their best , too.

Those are most of my pinks and blues for late spring. Do you have any favourite combinations for late spring?





17 thoughts on “Pink and Blue Flowers for Late Spring”

  1. Tulpia ‘Foxtrot’ and Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ was a lovely combination! Their light blue flowers are so beautiful together with many other flowers too. I have them together with pink rhododendron.

  2. Thanks for your pinks and blues – such a sweet combo. I’ve never seen Jack Frost form a mat like that – even if there are four of them. Going right outside and showing mine how they’re supposed to look!

  3. I am wondering where you get your plants from. I am in Peace River and our green house doesn’t bring in any of that other than daylilies

    1. Sheila, I’m in Edmonton, where we have quite a few nurseries. I know it’s more difficult if you don’t have local sources. One mail order source that I’ve been pleased with is Fraser’s Thimble Farms from BC. They also have stock for much warmer zones, so you have to be careful of what you are ordering.

  4. I am wondering why you haven’t posted this year. I hope that everything is alright. I so enjoy looking at your blog and seeing what plants will work in my garden.

  5. I look forward to it. We will be moving from Nova Scotia to Ontario in a year or so, and I look forward to the gardening. Our new property, .49 of an acre!, gets exposure on all four sides, and the soil is better than here. But I will be looking for deer-resistant flowers, as I woke up to see three deer on the lawn this fall.

  6. Hello. I just came across your site as I was searching for information on transplanting astilbe. You have a really wonderful. I hope you are continuing to garden and will post again soon.

    I live in northern Minnesota, about 100 miles south of the Canadian border. Our winters are similar to yours, so I will find your posting very helpful.

    All the best to you.

  7. Hello, Northern Shade. I see that you have not published for some time. Perhaps you have retired your site or moved on to other things? I hope, if you can, you will return to writing posts because your site is good and includes some valuable information for cold-climate shade gardening. I would like to include your site on me resources page. Please send me an update on your presence online. Visit my site – also for northern gardeners in Canada – at

    1. Holly R, hello fellow northern gardener. I still respond on the site, but I have been slacking on writing new articles lately. I will have to take some photos and write some more on some of the perennials I have been trying.

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