1Get the blues properly with my favourite plants
I’ll have no truck with this Blue Monday nonsense – unless we’re looking at blue plants, that is. By the way, get the Himalayan blue poppy seeds free with my Plant World Seeds offer. Here is a selection from my garden and first up are bluebells. This clump came from my mother’s garden, where they appear to be leftovers from the woodland that once covered the land. It’s a top spring combination with Heucheras as ground cover.
2Echium pininana Blue Steeple
One of the first Echiums that flowered in my garden and a bit of a minnow at about 5ft, but the bees love it. Very easy from seed – see how to grow it here.
Cottage garden favourite and stalwart of the back border, Echinops always goes hand in hand with Eryngium in my mind – other top herbaceous perennials here.
I prefer the autumn-flowering Gentians, as they provide a welcome shot of colour at what can be a tricky time. This is Sapphire Selection, growing in a reclaimed Belfast sink. For 10% off at RHS gold-winning alpine specialist nursery Harperley Hall Farm Nurseries, click here.
It’s said that blue hostas with thick leaves and a puckered texture are more slug and snail resistant – it doesn’t seem to stop them in my infested garden. Hey-ho, if you want to give blue-leaved varieties a go, here’s a pretty exhaustive list.
7A taste of Down Under
Looking more like a snow gum than a cider gum in this picture, I love the blue-green of Eucalyptus gunnii, especially in winter, when it really stands out against the ‘everbrown’ of the beech hedge. Trim it back in late winter to encourage the bluest, round young foliage – and keep it in check.
Centaurea, or the perennial cornflower, not only has beautifully structured flowers, but leaves with a bluish blush. Unfortunately, they often succumb to powdery mildew in my dryish garden. More great herbaceous perennials here.