Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > September 2014 > BONNIE'S GARDEN--Singing the Blues.

BONNIE'S GARDEN--Singing the Blues.

Blue is such a great color—ever notice how it goes with almost everything?  It goes with white, yellow, red, burgundy, pink, orange.  I can’t think of one color with which it clashes.  My backyard is almost all lavenders and blues because those are my favorite colors—and in the summer, no matter how hot it is, at least it LOOKS cool.

I start in the spring with blues—I tuck blue hyacinths in with bright yellow daffodils or red or pink tulips.  I use sweet little grape hyacinths (muscari) as an under-planting for almost anything.  So here are a few of my favorite blue spring-blooming bulbs….

Hyacinthoides hispanica—These are sweet little 10 to 12 inch tall bells that loom in late April to May.  They’re sometimes called Spanish Bluebells.  Because they tolerate part-shade so nicely, they’re also sometimes called Wood Hyacinths.  They have a relative called Hyacinthoides Non-scripta or English
Bluebells that bloom a couple of weeks earlier.  I have clumps of these all over the place. Deer don’t eat them, by the way.

Blue Pearl crocus—I love all crocus, don’t get me wrong, but Blue Pearl is what is called a “Snow Crocus.”  Snow Crocus will bloom a couple of weeks earlier than regular crocus—often in early February—and by them I’m so ready for spring I could scream.  I have some Blue Pearl mixed in with Snowbunting (white), and Ruby Giant (purple) in a drift in the lawn next to the sidewalk.  By the time the grass is ready to be mowed, the foliage has already begun to die back on its own.

Muscari—I love my grape hyacinths.  These little six to seven inch tall cuties are great under-plantings for almost anything.  I’ll plant daffodils six inches deep, cover the bulbs til just the nose is covered and set the little muscari bulbs right on top.  In spring the daffodil bulbs will bloom surrounded by a carpet of blue muscari. If you want to get even fancier, I’ll plant tulips 10 to 12 inches deep (yeah, that’s deep but the squirrels and voles won’t get them if you do that), plant daffodils at the six inch depth and tuck the muscari on top.  Now that’s a real bouquet!  And deer don’t eat muscari either.

Of course, you can’t beat hyacinths for the blues—or for the fragrance.  I mix Blue Jacket (a darker blue) with Delft Blue (a lighter blue) in containers by the front door (so I smell their delicious scent whenever I pass by.)  And they’re deer/pest resistant, too.

My favorite blue of all is a lesser known bulb called Ipheion or Spring Starflower.  This little eight to ten inch tall charmer will bloom for four to six weeks in spring and naturalizes gently into pretty drifts.  It’s comes in a pretty soft lavender, as well as several shades of blue.  Another pest-resistant bulb.

And yet I don’t want to overlook little Chionodoxa (Glory-of-the-Snow) with ice-blue early spring blooms or Scilla Siberica with darker blue flowers or camassia, a wildflower bulb native to the Northwestern U.S. with spires of April blue flowers.

These bulbs are some of the reasons you’ll find me “singing the blues’ in my garden.
Posted: 9/15/2014 by Bonnie Pega | with 0 comment(s)
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