Every Blooming Thing

Courtesy photo/Cathy Wilson

Red Bluff Garden Club member Cathy Wilson loves the color blue in her gardens, such as this Ceratostigma plumbaginoides .

I truly love the color blue in my gardens. Finding true blue flowers are difficult to find. Many horticulturists consider purple as a blue. That is why many of us are confused when we read a garden label that describes the obvious purple flowers as blue.

How does one determine what constitutes a true blue? This has confused both horticulturists and growers all over the world. The Royal Horticultural Society in 1966 created a chart to match precise colors to plants. In its sixth revision it has finally become the standard reference.

I have been collecting blue flowers for years. Who doesn’t admire the dainty blue flowers of the forget-me-not family? I also have the true blue Muscari and Love-in-a Mist. Another favored perennial is Plumbago auriculata (light blue flowers almost the color of the sky.) Brunnera flowers are blue much like the forget-me-nots.

So it is possible to find this cool color. Use your own eyes to judge whether you have found the right color to please your taste palate. I found my collection through garden catalogues, local nurseries and even big box stores. Ceratostigma plumbaginoides is one of my most admired ground covers because of the intensity of the blue. The clusters of these flowers bloom late spring into late fall. In early winter the leaves turn red and purple adding even more interest. After these leaves fall, I trim them back hard to the ground. Then I await anxiously for them to re- emerge in early spring and will welcome their flowers once again.

I don’t believe any horticulturist or grower can dispute their color as “true blue”. Not one!

The Red Bluff Garden Club is a member of Cascade District, California Garden Clubs, Inc. and Pacific Region, National Garden Clubs, Inc.

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