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True Blues by Kenton Neuhouser


Two outstanding plants are in flower now with a bright blue blossom. I know many gardeners are skeptical when they hear the word "blue" used in the garden center. Blue is an extremely uncommon color in nature, but very sought after – possible due in part to the cool relaxing feeling the color creates. Many flowers described as blue turn out to be much closer to a purple shade (some Delphinium and Iris varieties aside). Customers are also sometimes disappointed with foliage plants like some Hosta varieties described as "blue" looking more like a grayish-green at best. Some mail-order catalogues even "colorize" the pictures to make blues even more tempting. In my opinion, the two following plants have the truest clear blue flowers:

LEADWORT (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides) is a stunning perennial with loads of small brilliant blue flowers from August thru frost! The foliage is also outstanding in the fall, turning bright red/maroon. It only grows 6-10" tall and spreads to 12" in sun or part-shade. Use Leadwort as an accent to your perennial garden, in mass as a ground cover, or for edging a bed.

BLUE MIST SPIREA (Caryopteris) is not a Spirea at all, but is a dynamic small shrub growing only 2' in sun or part-shade. The fragrant, feathery blue blossoms contrast beautifully with the silvery foliage and attract both butterflies and Hummingbirds! They look their best if trimmed half way back each fall or spring.

The Waynedale News Staff
Author: The Waynedale News Staff
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