The Garden Guide

Book: Colour schemes for the flower garden
Chapter: Chapter 12 Gardens of special colouring

Blue garden flowers

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Now, after the grey plants, the Gold garden looks extremely bright and sunny. A few minutes suffice to fill the eye with the yellow influence, and then we pass to the Blue garden, where there is another delightful shock of eye-pleasure. The brilliancy and purity of colour are almost incredible. Surely no blue flowers were ever so blue before! That is the impression received. For one thing, all the blue flowers used, with the exception of Eryngium and Clematis davidiana{Clematis heracleifolia var davidiana}, are quite pure blues; these two are grey-blues. There are no purple-blues, such as the bluest of the Campanulas and the perennial Lupines; they would not be admissible. With the blues are a few white and palest yellow flowers; the foam-white Clematis recta, a delightful foil to Delphinium belladonna {Delphinium formosum} {Delphinium formosum}; white perennial Lupine with an almond-like softness of white; Spiroea Aruncus {Aruncus Sylvestris}, another foam-coloured flower. Then milk-white Tree Lupine, in its carefully decreed place near the bluish foliage of Rue and Yucca. Then there is the tender citron of Lupine Somerset and the full canary of the tall yellow Snapdragon, the diffused pale yellow of the soft plumy Thalictrum and the strong canary of Lilium szovitzianum, with white Everlasting Pea and white Hollyhock at the back. White-striped Maize grows up to cover the space left empty by the Delphiniums when their bloom is over, and pots of Plumbago capense are dropped in to fill empty spaces. One group of this is trained over the bluish-leaved Clematis recta, which goes out of flower with the third week of July. Yuccas, both of the large and small kinds, are also used in the Blue garden, and white Lilies, candidum and longiflorum. There is foliage both of glaucous and of bright green colour, besides an occasional patch of the silvery Eryngium giganteum. At the front edge are the two best Funkias, F. grandiflora, with leaves of bright yellow-green, and F. Sieboldi, whose leaves are glaucous. The variegated Coltsfoot is a valuable edge-plant where the yellowish white of its bold parti-colouring is in place, and I find good use for the variegated form of the handsome Grass Glyceria or Poa aquatica {Glyceria maxima}. Though this is a plant whose proper place is in wet ground, it will accommodate itself to the flower border, but it is well to keep it on the side away from the sun. It harmonises well in colour with the Coltsfoot; as a garden plant it is of the same class as the old Ribbon Grass {Phalaris arundinacea picta}, but is very much better. It is a good plan to replant it late in spring in order to give it a check; if this is not done it has a rather worn-out appearance before the end of the summer; but if it is replanted or divided late in April it stands well throughout the season. The great white-striped Japanese grass, Eulalia japonica striata (E U on the plan), is planted behind the Delphiniums at the angles, and groups well with the Maize just in front. From the Blue garden, passing eastward, we come to the Green garden. Shrubs of bright and deep green colouring and polished leaf-surface predominate. Here are green Aucubas and Skimmias, with Ruscus racemosus, the beautiful Alexandrian or Victory Laurel {Danae racemosa}, and more polished foliage of Acanthus, Funkia, Asarum. Lilium candidum and longiflorum, and Iris foetidissima, Then feathery masses of paler green, Male Fern and Lady Fern and Myrrhis odorata, the handsome fernlike Sweet Cicely {Myrrhis odorata} of old English gardens. In the angles are again Eulalias, but these are the variety zebrina with the leaves barred across with yellow.