Blue-ming Marvellous

Plants with blue flowers aren’t that common a sight, and it’s always a delight to discover a new variety that fits this bill. I’ve always liked the colour blue, partly because it doesn’t come up too often in nature. Apart from the sky and large bodies of water, its pool of representatives is pretty limited: some over-the-top plumage here, a venomous octopus there. 

For that reason, I was excited to find a shelf of blue parrot tulips at the nursery over the weekend. They’re dormant bulbs, so I can’t say for certain that the flowers are a true blue – in all likelihood, they’re more of a dark mauve shade. If that’s the case, I admit I’ll be a tad disappointed, because in my view mauve does not qualify as blue (too much red in the mix). Still, it said blue on the label, so I’m willing to take the gamble. 

As if that wasn’t enough, I also scored a new grape hyacinth cultivar for my collection. I’ve already got a baby blue one; the flowers are almost white but they do have the palest blue shading. I’ve also got one that has a stronger blue colour, although it’s just a touch on the mauve side. This one, I’m told, is a ‘true’ blue tone. As with the tulips, I’ll believe it when I see it, but I’m hopeful. 

As for what’s already in the garden, the creeping bluebells have been flowering beautifully this season. The agapanthus are out in force all over town. Arguably, they’re more on the lavender side, but they’re a reliable bet for a shade that I like to call ‘blue enough’. I can’t say I’ve had much luck with the dwarf delphiniums I put in last year; maybe I should have gone for a sunnier spot. The blue hydrangeas, as usual, seem to be taking out the prize for bluest of the blue.