Blending Blue Plant Flowers

Flowers come in a range of wonderful blues, lending their names to shades used for paints, fabrics and other household and fashion items— Hyacinth, Violet, Delphinium, Lavender, Forget-Me-Not. Use these flowering plants to highlight a colour in the curtains, pick up the tones in a picture, blend with some favourite china or add cool, relaxing colour to a roomful of contrasting tones.

Using shades

Add blue to white for a fresh and spacious room scheme. Whatever the chosen shade, or if shades of blue are mixed, the result will still be light and airy. Flowering plants in tones very different to those used in the scheme will simply highlight the décor. Palest blue Italian Bellflower could be used to show up a dark blue and white fabric, or a deep blue Gloxinia to set off a pale blue wall.

Where bold effects are needed, a blue and white china bowl filled with plants could be the answer. Plants with flowers of an identical shade can be used, or tones can be mixed in the display.

Blending Blue Plant FlowersBlending with pink

Blue and pink are harmonious colours. Placed together they complement each other and the pink adds warmth to blue’s cooler tones. They look specially effective when mixed in the same plant, as with Sweet Peas. Use the same shades for a basket of pink and blue Cinerarias or Cape Primroses.

In the same way blue and green can be very effective used together, so long as the green shades are blue- rather than yellow-related. For instance, the blue-green leaves of a False Aralia or Mistletoe Fig would be effective in a blue room, whereas the yellower tones of Croton or Bird Catcher Tree would be more, harmonious amongst shades of yellow.

Yellow and orange lie at the opposite end of the colour spectrum from blue, creating a strong contrast to this cool and relaxing colour. Colours too close in tone can often appear bland. In most patterned fabrics you will notice that a small amount of a contrasting colour is used to add life and interest to the scheme. A single flowering plant can be used very effectively to add this contrast to a muted room scheme in the same way. Think of a cool blue bathroom with a brilliant yellow Chrysanthemum added for a bold, sunny splash.

Shades of the same depth placed together — royal blue and scarlet, or rich mauve and burnt orange — provide a wonderful vivid background as seen in some of the beautiful Liberty and Collier Campbell prints. Get the same effect by placing a bright red Poinsettia in a royal blue container and fill with Chrysanthemums in wonderful rusty tones. If you don’t have suitable containers, paint up some sturdy pots in bright colours, to complement mauve or blue flowers.

For an alternative to subtle colour blending, try adding one plant in a ‘shock’ colour—this could be white, a brilliant pink, red or bright yellow, depending on the surroundings.

Blue boundaries

Outdoors use blue flowering plants as a promise of summer skies, whatever the weather. There are endless combinations to try, but here are some colourful tips.

  • Mix violet and magenta Petunias in a pot on the patio and surround with Lobelia in the same shades.
  • Grow Sweet Peas, Morning Glory or a Lazasturn Clematis up the wall and around a blue front door.
  • Create a pond in a tub by the path to reflect summer skies, and add deepest mauve and bright yellow water iris.
  • For a romantic country cottage appeal, use Love-in-the-Mist with its soft blue flowers and feathery foliage to line a row of steps.

Flowers in shades of blue

Pale blues

  • Leadwort (Plumbago) is a climbing plant with pale blue flowers in spring and summer. Pink and white varieties are also available.
  • Cape Primrose (Streptocarpus) has a variety in palest lavender blue as well as the more widely known, deep blue flowers.
  • Italian Bellflower (Campanula isophylla) produces a mass of star-shaped blue flowers.
  • Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophila menziesii) has saucer-shaped flowers in bright, pastel blue with white centres.

Mid-blues

  • Hydrangeas come in a wonderful lavender blue or a soft light blue, but require an acid potting mixture.
  • Hyacinth (Hyacinthus) and Grape Hyacinth (Muscari) are both well known for their scented flowers in spring. Hyacinth ‘Delft Blue’, Grape Hyacinth M. ‘Heavenly Blue’ and M. armeniacum ‘Cantab’ are all mid-blue.
  • Borage, (Borago officinalis) has blue flowers that turn to pink. Use them to decorate salads and drinks.
  • A richly decorated interior can be matched with clear blue Hyacinth blooms.
  • Lavender (Layandula) has scented blue, pink-flushed flower spikes.

Mauve and violet

  • Gloxinia has a variety with white throats and mauve outer petals to the flowers, which can appear from April through summer.
  • Persian Violet (Exacum affine) has pink-purple flowers with bright yellow stamens.
  • Prairie Gentian (Eustoma grandiflorum) has rich, deep purple flowers.

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