Beauty in Blue

This time of year there’s not a lot of color in our gardens. Not much is blooming, if anything is, and we come to rely on the conifers and other evergreens we have in our spaces to provide us with some color and interest. One of the most predominant colors I find in own garden is that of Blue. Maybe it’s a silvery blue, or a grey blue, maybe even blue green or just plain sold Blue. They all add color that we wouldn’t have without them.

I did a bit of an inventory of my plants and found that I have about 15 different blue plants of various hues. They come in all sort sorts of flavors and varieties, from several families and genera. I’ve got several different Chamaecyparis from the Cupresaceae (Cypress family), and Pines and some Spruces from the Pinaceae (Pine family), Andromeda from the Ericaceae (Heath family), Wormwood from the Asteraceae, (Sunflower family) and even Eucalyptus from the Myrtacea (Myrtle family). Quite a collection for such a small garden… They all love our peaty soil here as it’s acid and all of these folks like that to grow in.

Of course there are many other colors, in the conifers especially. I’ll do a post on other colors later on but today I want to focus on Blue. I’ve heard it said that blue is not a very common color in the garden, but that was years ago and things have changed it seems to me. I did another inventory of blue flowers I have and they came out to more than 20 of them, tho some are more lavender then true blue but that’s OK. Blue is cool and it’s so available it’s a shame not to use it.

It’s a good idea to click on the first picture and do the slide show so you can really see the blue in each of these shots. I tried to put them in a slightly organized fashion, tho not entirely, and I included all the plants I have that have blue tones to them, at least in my opinion. I even included our mascot, the Greenwood Blue Wood Duck. I mean, it was so happy in its pool of rainwater when we snapped this I just had to include it. We also have many other birds here too… 😉

Blue is Beautiful,

Steve

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21 responses to this post.

  1. Thoroughly enjoyed the slideshow this morning, Steve. 🙂 You have some really beautiful plants. Although it’s suppose to be hardy in my zone, I have tried to grow the andromeda but haven’t had much luck. Any tips? I’m envious of all the beautiful evergreens you all grow in the NW….simply stunning!

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    • I’m glad you liked the show, Annie. We’re really lucky here to be able to grow so many evergreens, especially the dwarfs. As for the Andromeda, it’s in the Heath family and loves acid soil. We live in a peat bog so it’s great for it here, but if you want to try adding some rotted sawdust to your planting mix, or even planting straight in it, you might have good luck. Peat is OK, but don’t let it dry out or the plant will die. I use a mix of sawdust and composted manure. It’s an excellent medium for things like the Andromeda… And mulch it with it well too. They like that… Hope this is useful to you. 😉
      All the best,
      Steve

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  2. Lovely collection Steve. Thank you.
    I love the name Andromeda for a plant. Once again, I learn of new plants, ( and water fowl!) that are never seen in our parts.

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    • Thank you Dan. I think Andromeda is a cool name too. I have another one also that I’ll show some other day. It’s not blue… Glad you like our native waterfowl… 😉
      Cheers!
      Steve

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  3. Thanks Steve…sounds like my soil is the culprit! The soil in the woods is on a more acidic side but in the backyard it tends to being more sweet. I’ll try a spot and amend it like you suggested. Appreciate it! Love the name for it also. Looked up who assigned the name for it and it was Linnaeus. Wonder what made him look at that plant and come up with that name? 🙂 Always thought it would be a neat job to name plants.

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    • Good luck with your changes in soil and location. I hope it works well for you. Many Ericaceous plants cover the forest floors of the northern hemisphere so I’d bet this is a woodland ground cover in boggy places. It likes wet ground too I’ve found, or at least heavily moist. I looked up some mythology and Wikipedia has a good link here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andromeda_%28mythology%29 about the Andromeda mythology and the constellations also. Linnaeus could have been thinking of any of these I’d guess. Plant names are so interesting to me. The species name “polifolia” comes from “polifolius” which means “white leaved” according to L.H. Bailey in “How Plants Get their Names”. Really an instructive book from back in 1933! I have his whole 6 volume Standard Cyclopedia of American Horticulture from 1908 in my library as well. I love to browse it and see what they grew back then. He was a premier plant person and educated many people about plants.
      Sorry for going on so much! 😉
      Steve

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  4. Nice slideshow. I love the color blue. Lot’s of nice pictures and I am so jealous because I kill every plant I’ve ever tried to grow. I was not blessed with a green thumb, however, I wish I had been. Maybe one day I can get some lessons and attempt to get into gardening. It seems it would be a very peaceful thing to do, as I do love nature.
    Peace,
    Tammy 🙂

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    • Thanks Tammy. I love the blue plants a lot too. I wish you could garden because I think it would be good for you, but I know that’s not really possible for you right now. I hope the time comes that you can. It’s been very healing for me to garden and just put my hands in the soil and regenerate. I’m a big nature lover too. Always have been…
      Thanks for visiting and I hope you’re doing OK,
      peace and love,
      Steve

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      • I really hope I can learn to garden one day, too. It’s winter time now, so I sure can’t attempt it now, but it could be a goal for spring. I’m sure I can buy a book or two and just dig in and learn as I go.
        This bronchitis is still hanging around, but I’m in a happy, positive place today. One day at a time. I live in the moment and this moment is good.
        I hope all is well with you.
        Peace and love,
        Wild Thang aka Tammy:)

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        • I’m sure you can learn to garden if you put your mind to it. You seem to be a very competent person. Gardening is just being willing to get a bit dirty now and then and keeping things watered and weeded well. Not that hard really, tho you get better in time of course. I think it’d be very healing for you to garden Tammy. It’s good to put your hands in the soil… It’s very grounding… 😉
          peace to you too, and good luck with the bronchitis!
          Steve

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          • Hi Steve. I would really love to learn to garden and I just might one of these days, but I have killed every plant I’ve ever had, even cactus’ Can’t remember to water the poor things or I water them too much. It’s not easy. I’m sure I could get a few books. I could get that book called gardening for dummy’s. I may have to give it a try this spring. I don’t have a problem getting dirty, as I do have a shower. LOL
            bronchitis still hanging on. I’ve got another month or 2 to go. It always takes me a few months to get over it. I stopped taking my Prednisone, so I don’t dare call the doctor. I can’t stand Prednisone, however, that’s what it usually takes to get rid of this crud. I just remembered that I do have a doctors appointment on Feb. 4th. Shoot. I’m gonna be busted. Have a good weekend, my friend.
            Peace,
            Wild Thang 🙂

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            • Hi Wild Thang,
              I’m sure you can learn to garden. I’d suggest you remember to mulch what you plant so it doesn’t dry out so easily and the soil says more evenly moist. It helps a lot and makes gardening easier. Give it a try. There are some great books out there for specific areas if you Google them. Sorry to hear the Prednisone messes with you so badly. I can see why you don’t want to see your doc just now, but maybe he can help you. I sure hope so…
              Hang in there dear,
              Steve

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            • Now, I am really ignorant when it comes to gardening, which you’re already well aware of. Now, when you say to mulch whatever I plant, do you mean to plant whatever it is I’m planting, cover with soil and then put mulch on top of the soil?
              I had an 8:15 a.m. appointment with my doctor this morning, which meant I had to get up at 6:45 a.m. I was told yesterday that if they were going to be closed due to the weather that they would call me. ummm hmmmm…………We’re being stomped on by this major snow storm and a lot of places are closed. I got up and got myself ready and got myself out to the doctors office and there were 2 other ladies sitting in the lobby waiting because they were not open. We all waited about 20-30 minutes and decided to leave. They finally called me at 9:45 a.m. to tell me they were closed and that they thought they were calling my doctors patients, but they were calling another doctor’s patients and that they were so sorry. Are you kidding me???????????? Sigh…… so now I won’t get to see the doctor until Thursday morning because they were afraid they might be closed, again, tomorrow. I’m really coughing a lot, having asthma attacks, trouble breathing, and it now hurts in my chest, so I pray the bronchitis hasn’t turned into pneumonia.
              It will be quite awhile before I’ll be able to do any gardening considering we now have 10″ of snow on the ground and it’s still snowing and isn’t supposed to stop until sometime tomorrow morning. It’s Snownomie 2014. Oh my, the meteorologist on tv just said to expect 4-6 more inches of snow before it’s all said and done. Mercy! That’s ok. I love snow, so bring it on. Have a nice night, Steve
              Wild Thang:)

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            • Yep you got it right. You plant in the soil and then put mulch over the top to keep the soil evenly moist and cool and keep weeds down too. It works great and makes it all easier. Most plants love a good 3″ mulching every few years. Sorry to hear about all you doctor troubles. They can be so arrogant can’t they? It’s like our time doesn’t mean much to them sometimes. But they do help us I guess so I’m grateful more than upset for the most part. I have some things that they still can’t figure out tho and that burns me. I hope you get in soon to the doc and help those lungs. I know how scary it is to have asthma and bronchitis. It’s awful. Good luck to you in healing it and it not becoming pneumonia. It’s good you like the snow. I do too but it’s hard here in Seattle cause of the hills and all. Too many people who don’t know how to drive in snow. It’s scary and I usually stay home if I can…
              Hope you’re feeling better soon dear,
              Take good care,
              Steve

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            • Hi Steve,
              Wild Thang, here. So, if I put mulch over the soil, how in the heck are my plants going to grow out over the mulch? I know, that’s a really stupid question, but I’m serious.
              The bit about the doctors, hmmmm……… help us? Not so sure about that one. I guess they can help us with the small, common everyday things, but when it comes to people like us, they don’t have a clue. Now, If they would just fess up to it, that they have no clue, then we could get on down the road to another doctor who might, possibly, have a clue, but they don’t like to admit that they don’t know something and they sure as hell don’t like it when we know more about our bodies and illnesses than they do. I’m more upset, than grateful for the most part. I have so many things wrong and so many things that need to be done. Things that still need to be diagnosed, but no one will do the proper testing to figure it out. They do their normal routine testing and if they find nothing, they are done and just look at you like you must be some kind of hypochondriac or drug seeker. That’s the sad part. There are so many more tests that can be done, but no one wants to go that extra mile.
              I have an appointment with my primary care doctor tomorrow morning. I’m lucky they were able to get me in so soon, after being closed and you know they already had a full schedule until who knows when, but when I mentioned bronchitis and having trouble breathing and my asthma flaring up, they didn’t hesitate to get me an appointment, for that I am grateful..
              Sure a good thing I like snow because we have well over a foot of snow here today, at least in my yard, anyway. I just love it. Yeah, a lot of people do not know how to drive in the snow, that is true. Have a good evening, my friend. Take care.
              Peace out,
              Wild Thang:)

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            • Sorry if it sounds too confusing. It’s actually really easy. You just plant the plant in the soil. Then you put 3-4″ of mulch around the base of the plant, keeping the mulch away from the trunk of the plant itself. The plant will grow up thru the mulch, just as it does the soil, and into the air. That’s about it… Not difficult at all… 😉
              As for the rest of your comments lately: Would you please consider taking them to my Naked Nerves blog where the focus is on health, as we’ve been discussing. I’d be glad to talk about that there, but this a Gardening Blog and those discussions don’t really fit here. I’d appreciate it if you’d post them to the other site in the future. http://nakednerves.wordpress.com/.
              Thank you dear, and best of health to you….
              Steve

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            • I’m very sorry, I wasn’t aware you had another site I started replying here because I got a message from you, from this site. Maybe I was talking to you on your other site and when I got the message from this site thought you were a different person. I am so sorry. I was wondering where all this gardening was coming from all of a sudden. I think I’ll just worry about the gardening when spring comes, and I’ll visit you on your other site, and again I am so very sorry. Have a good evening Steve and I’ll see you on Naked Nerves.

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            • No need to apologize. It’s an easy mistake to make with two sites and wordpress just shows you the primary one when you get a comment or like. I saw your comment on NN and will answer you there. No problems.. 😉
              peace,
              Steve

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            • ok, cool!:)

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  5. Nice collection; I particularly liked the Pfitzers Blue Juniper. We had one about that size for years, and it was my standard by which other junipers were judged. Unfortunately, juniperus pfitzeriana is apparently something that is no longer in favor with the nursery trade. Someday I’ll find a replacement.

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    • I’m a fan of the Pfitzer too but it’s one plant Louie and I “fight” over because he thinks it gets too big for its place. He’s right of course, but I keep trying to prune it carefully so that it’ll still fit and not block the driveway. Your comment about availability is interesting to me. I guess I can’t say I’ve seen one in a nursery in years either. Funny, eh? Good luck in getting that replacement… 😉
      Thanks for visiting,
      Steve

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