BIG Blue Foliage

While out watering my garden the other evening, I was STRUCK by how handsome this Lawson’s blue cypress is in particular at this time of the year when paired with the summer pink blooms on my ‘Quickfire’ Hydrangeas that snuggle closely to it right at my back gate. This bold blue color has SO much personality!
Lawson's Blue CypressThat’s not to say that I haven’t written about this combo at other times of the year too, such as in fall when the hydrangea foliage has a lovely golden glow against the blue, or in spring when the hydrangea blooms are creamy white and pristine. It’s just that right now- that pink and blue combo is dee-lightfully summery and more feminine than I typically favor. If you saw the BOLD orange container combo directly in front of this scene, you would know that I’m typically not someone who does “dainty”. 🙂

This got me thinking about other blue foliage that may not necessarily always be large in stature but are sure filled with BIG personality. So off we go exploring a few…..

Honeybush, Melianthus majorHoney Bush or Melianthus major is a tropical with a ton of BIG personality all right! Whether it’s an annual or a reliable perennial where you live, brush by it and you won’t forget its Peanut Butter scent. If it reaches its full-sized potential of 6-8 ft tall and wide or even wider then it’s REALLY happy, and you will be rewarded with deep red flower spikes. The foliage looks as if someone cut it with fancy edged scissors and it looks just as beautiful when droplets of water or dew balance on the leaves like few other plants.

Blue Chalk Fingers, #SucculentsBlue Chalk Fingers or Serpents Fingers Senecio vitalis ‘Serpents‘, talk about a name for a small plant with BIG personality! If you love succulents, whether this one is an annual or a year round evergreen for you, this is one that you need to play with at some point in your gardening life. THAT blue is just so, well….BLUE!!!

Dianthus I just want you to imagine this scene above without that showy ribbon of BLUE Dianthus foliage running through the middle of this display. See? The blue makes the violet shades even MORE violet!

Hosta 'Blue Angel' Not to be outdone on any level, the sheer size and voluptuous nature of this giant hosta ‘Blue Angel’ is a sheer spectacle of blue foliage with BIG personality all right! This photo really does not do justice to show the scale and size of these giant leaves at roughly 12″ across. A heavy bloomer, hummingbird favorite and less favorable to slugs, this easy perennial pairs well with all kind of flowers and shrubs. Wink wink, nudge nudge….look for this one to appear in Gardening with Foliage First due out in 2017!

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3 thoughts on “BIG Blue Foliage

  1. mindy

    Boy, you sure know how to make a girl feel left out! For the majority? of your readers, we don’t garden on the left coast and here in z. 5 at least, your hosta (yes, of course I love blue hosta, BUT…”Been there; done that”) and dianthus are the only ones we can grow. (Being as lucky as you are, you may not know that the various fanTAStic lawson cypress are rarely found here in z.5 and north, plagued by phytophera. )How about Fothergilla Blue Shadows, slow-growing Abies concolor, slow-growing chamae. Elwoodii, the many carex and other blue grasses, viola labradorica,and blue leaf canna (at least we have alot of company in the ‘not hardy’ club for this one.) I know it’s hard to feature the poorer colder-region cousins when you can grow such a plethora of fantastic foliage in your own home, but please do remember us!
    p.s. love your books and your m.o.; you two are terrific, and I always feel better after looking at your features!

    1. personalgardencoach Post author

      Yes, admittedly, we do garden in a rather spoiled location! You raise a great point and we are normally much more sensitive to making sure we have more hardy suggestions in our posts. Actually I had pulled a whole bunch more plants/photos for this piece than I added that would have fallen into a hardier zone, but alas sometimes we’re under the gun to get posts out and hurry too much. So sorry, we’ll make sure we pay attention more next time! Thanks for sticking with us!

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