Roses may be red and violets blue, but that’s not the only thing that’s flowering in the garden. In fact November and December is awash with blue flowers. From the sky down to the jacaranda treetops, there are plenty of shrubs, ground covers, annuals and perennials to choose from, and with good reason. Blue and mauve are great colours to put into the garden. They help you feel cool, mimicking water, and add a calming effect to the garden. They also partner well with yellows, pinks and white, look fabulous with silver foliage, and positively zing pared with orange, for the brave among you.
With such stunning weather, it’s a great time to get outside into the garden.
Jacaranda Right up and down the eastern coast of Australia, in temperate zones jacarandas are in full bloom right now. This deciduous tree, native to South America, has indigo flowers on bare branches that hold while the ferny foliage comes out to give your garden dappled shade. The leaves change to golden yellow in autumn before dropping just before winter. Jacarandas grow to about 8m and have an open, spreading crown. The look wonderful when planted near Illawarra flame trees, which have bright red flowers at the same time.
Bougainvillea are available in many colours, but the soft mauve cultivar ‘Lilac Falls’ and the bright purple, B. spectablisand both particularly wonderful for covering a hot, rendered wall or growing in pots by the pool. They are tough, cope with drought once established and flower for many months.
Lavender looks great from spring through summer and smells fantastic too. Again, grow it in tubs, or plant a low hedge and try drying your linen on it in summer to infuse it with delightful essential oil that not only smells great but also helps keep insects away.
Agapanthus are easy-going, drought and heat-hardy summer flowers. They’re an excellent choice for landscaping around the pool or to edge a driveway or fence line. The commonly grown blue or white flowering agapanthus form clumps up to a metre across and plants in flower can be a metre or more tall. For smaller areas, and for pots, there are dwarf and miniature agapanthus varieties. There are also variegated leaf types, deep purple almost black varieties and a number of sterile forms to choose from if you’re near the bush and want to avoid them seeding. Otherwise, remove the spent flowers to avoid ‘jumping the fence’ into the bush.
Hydrangeas are the ultimate flowering plant for a shady garden, but they will also grow in sunnier spots so long as they’re kept well-watered. Their giant flowers look great for many months, and of course, in Sydney and other areas with acidic soils, they are always wonderful shades of blue and purple – ever so cooling.
There are many other gorgeous plants to choose from too. Ask our staff about Chinese plumbago, lobelia, plumbago, blue butterfly bush, blue salvias, blue veronicas, convolvulus and even the illusive blue rose.
By: Meredith Kirton