The colour blue represents qualities such as truth and purity. In contemporary times blue is also associated with serenity and harmony.
Blue is a constant in the landscape from the sky or from water in the pool or the ocean. Blue flowers herald summer and follow on from the heady yellows and oranges of all the spring flowers. Adding blue flowers to the garden calm the mind and bring that sense of serenity to the garden and home.
Sea Lavender Statice
Waterwise hardy and tough is just part of what makes the Blue Statice which is known as Sea Lavender popular. Flowering right through the year in a sunny spot the arching sprays of blue flowers also attract pollinators to the garden. Grow this perennial in a sunny spot where the soil drains well as they don’t like a clay wet soil. As a cut flower the sprays last for ages in the vase and can even be dried to be used as a decor fill on table decorations.
Convolvulus is the most rewarding trailing perennial groundcover, growing to only 20 cm in height. Truly spectacular as it come into flower. Have a look in our garden here at Eckards if you don’t believe us. It cascades over the wall in our perennial section and looks quite simply ... WOW! Use them to spill over the edge of a hanging basket or patio containers. As a ground cover they easily make a carpet of lush foliage to cover the soil and flower more in the full hot sun tan in half-day sun.
Throughout the summer Mystic Spires Salvia produces long stalks of dark blue flowers. Refresh tired plants in midsummer by cutting them back by half. This Salvia makes an excellent bedding or container plant that also attracts butterflies.
Grow in full sun and well-drained soil, it water wise and tough reaching a height of around 40cm.
When it comes to attracting butterflies to the garden nothing beats Plumbago. Indigenous to the Cape where they grow in the mountains, Plumbago will flower almost all summer. Perfect for topiary, Plumbago can be clipped quite short to make a compact hedge or left to ramble flowering on the tips with the newest growth. Whenever a Plumbago looks tired and dusty just cut it back and you will soon be rewarded with a fresh flush of bright green and flowers.
Flowering best in sun and well suited to a part of the garden that does not get to much water such as the sidewalk, Plumbago will even grow in a large container.
It’s no secret that we think Agapanthus should be declared a national treasure. These #WaterWise indigenous gems grow in full sun to light shade. There are many new varieties available in so many shades of blue to purple it will be hard to choose your favourite. Feed them with an 8:1:5 fertiliser to stimulate flowering and to keep them lush. Agapanthus flower all summer and the rest of the year add a lush foliage to the garden with their shiny strappy leaves.
Endless Summer Hydrangeas
Most Hydrangeas flower from late October to Christmas which is where they get the Afrikaans name Krismis Rose from. New on the market are the repeat flowering variety Endless Summer which will come back into flower after the old flowers have been removed and be in flower right through to the end of summer. Endless Summer is also a hybrid that will stay true to colour and is available in blue, white and pink.
Hydrangeas are for the shade but do grow best with a dappled or light shade, even morning sun till 11am. If they are in too much shade they are susceptible to disease and in too much sun they will crisp up and lose their leaves.
The Sandpaper vine or Petrea as we most commonly know it grows as a climber and can be clipped to shape to be a large ball shrub to small tree like background shrub. The leaves are glossy and rough which is where it gets its sandpaper name from. Flowering through late summer it is quite unrivaled in the landscape. Plant one up against a wall for support or up a tall trellis. They do best in a mostly sun spot and are not fussy on soil and are waterwise and tough.