The many benefits of keeping a dash of blue in your garden
Home & Garden

The many benefits of keeping a dash of blue in your garden

IT is no secret that the colour blue has been a great favourite of mine for many years.

Blue, in my book, represents the colour of full-blown summer when the Mediterranean comes to this evergreen country.

It dominates sky and sea and is considered by many to be beneficial to the mind and body.

It slows human metabolism, produces a calming effect, and it allows us to see and appreciate our climate’s clemency.

Imagine you are sitting in the garden on a glorious mid-summer day, not too hot mind you, one with bees on the prowl and the time no one’s but your own.

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You are in your very own heaven.

Your eyes scan the scene, swathes of elegant geometry in colours as various as you could imagine, arranged with an artist’s precision. Your vision I bet, will always rest on blue.

Even now in September there is still a lot of blue around. It started to creep in way back in early February with a trickle of anemone blanda, then by way of scilla and muscari to crocus and pulmonaria.

By the middle of May a flood of knee-deep forget-me-nots mixed through with tall, bearded iris, strutted their stuff, whilst looking down their noses at the shy, blue Omphalodes and stubble leafed Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’. Summer brought yet more blue with Ceanothus, Agapanthus, then Hydrangea and elegant ‘English’ Iris.

Even as I write it continues with, the wonderful Ceratostigma Willmottianum (featured here in recent times) is delivering a salvo of cobalt-blue flowers so vivid that they show up in the dusk almost as well as white.

But the blue which triumphs over all - can you guess- is the Convolvulus which rambles and invades every Continental garden from Versailles to the coast at Monaco.

This is a quiet plant that draws everyone’s attention, eliciting sighs of pleasure from all who see it. Convolvulus sabatius (sometimes sold as C. mauritanicus) captivates without recourse to blatant colour or massive size.

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It is the blue of that sunny day, of a tropical sea brushed in like Quest TV painter Bob Ross. Small, neat, and unassuming, the plant trails down about 18” from pot, basket or window box.

Margery Fish, the doyenne of cottage gardeners greatly admired and used extensively this evergreen, trailing perennial with its one inch, soft, greyish-green foliage and funnel-shaped sky-blue flowers.

Its beauty, and the fact that it blooms from June to November makes it a candidate for gardens seeking autumn colour of a delicate hue. I rate it highly having enjoyed its quality features for the past ten years and urge it upon all those who use pots for displaying their horticultural skills.

Make no mistake about it, this is truly a horticultural gem worth sourcing for next year.

Propagation is easy.

Simply remove softwood cuttings in late spring or use green-wood cuttings in summer. For the lazy gardener, divide the plant in spring and repeat yearly.

Try to site it in as sunny a spot as possible.

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