Summertime Blues

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Blue is beloved in the garden here.
Above: The shed is looking good with its turquoise trim after being repainted last year, with the cobalt blue bottle tree attached at the corner.

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We have written about the color blue several times, including some of the earliest posts. Whilst browsing through the photo files in December of 2007, looking for inspiration it was noticed how many of the images contained the blue hue in one way or another. That was a eureka moment, and three posts were written about Blue in the Garden. Those posts can be seen by clicking here, here and here. The third post has a surprise ending! (These and all of the early Faire Garden posts that were published on the Blogger platform before I moved to WordPress and changed the name to Fairegarden have smaller photos, but they can be enlarged to full size with a click on the image. Also, the WordPress sidebar does not appear on those posts.)
Above: Image from May, 2013, Love in a mist, Nigella damascena is the purest blue, backed by the silvery blue of Festuca glauca.

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In 2011 we wrote about early spring blues in the garden, seen here.
Above: In the space known as the Shed Bed, blue Eryngium ssp., a mix of volunteers from several purchases over time, blends with Stipa (Nasella) tenuissima.

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In 2010 we wrote about the fall blues in the garden here.
Above: Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’ in the Gravel Garden.

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We wrote lightheartedly about being blue in a snowy winter here.
Above: Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Dooley’.

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We even wrote about the pair of blue chairs that often crop up in long shots of the garden here.
Above: Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Nikko Blue’ fading faire.

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This is the first time we have used the topic of blue in the summer garden.
Above: Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Lady in Red’.

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It seems there is a fixation with blue around here.
Above: A blue Veronica ssp. volunteer that popped up in a bed where the compost bin had been emptied. There were many fun surprises that arose from that gardeners gold.

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Sapphire is soothing to the eye and feeds the soul.
Above: Phlox paniculata ‘Blue Paradise’ in early morning.

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Azure allows the senses to be cooled even as temperatures soar. Temperatures are not soaring so far this year, 2013, but artistic license is being applied.
Above: Pulling back, the same phlox as above in situ in the Yellow/White Garden at midday. The colors become more purple in the higher wattages of light and temperature.

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Blue Campanula persicifolia, Astible chinensis ‘Purpurkerse’ (Purple Candles), and daylily Hemerocallis ‘Royal Butterfly’.

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Verbena hastata

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Years of seed collecting and sowing around and about this bed in front of the long stretch of Pyracantha has finally paid dividends. There will be a sea of spiky spheres soon on the Echinops bannaticus ‘Blue Glow’. If you squint just so, you can see the blue haze forming on some of the buds. The acorn shaped birdhouse, a gift from my sister in law Lynn several years ago was life’s starting point for several hatchings of house wrens. It too, wears a turqoise glaze.

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Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Star’ is our favorite evergreen shrub. It is used widely in front, side and back gardens. These were planted on the day we closed on the purchase of this house back in 1996. No pruning has been done or is required. Japanese painted fern that was planted in the bed above the blue stars has sprung up amongst their stems and has been spread all over. It now volunteers in every nook and rocky place, sun or shade.

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Glazed pots winter over well in our up and down wet winter climate. Most of them are blue.

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Even the critters here can be seen sporting blue pantaloons.


I haven’t embedded a video on the blog in a while, sorry music fans! Here is the original by Eddie Cockran.

Summertime Blues is a song co-written and recorded by American rockabilly artist Eddie Cochran. It was written in the late 1950s by Cochran and his manager Jerry Capehart. Originally a single B-side, it was released in August 1958 and peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 on September 29, 1958 and number 18 on the UK Singles Chart. It has been covered by many artists, including being a number-one hit for country music artist Alan Jackson, and scoring notable hits in versions by The Who and Blue Cheer.


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14 Responses to Summertime Blues

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Summertime blues are a lot of fun. Blue in the garden is electrifying.

    Hi Lisa, thanks. Blue, the new black! HA

  2. Georgiafromgeorgia says:

    You do blue so well, Frances. Your yucca trio in blue pots inspired me to try that combination as a single pot and plant. It looks lovely in my little patch. I hope you agree that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. Keep the inspiration coming.

    Thanks, Georgia, for those kind words. Hooray for your yucca in the pot! The whole point of this blog is to inspire others that Yes They Can!

  3. Blue is my favorite color and I don’t have enough of it in my garden. I do love your color combinations which really show off the blue. I love all the blue artistic touches throughout your garden!

    Hi Karin, thanks for stopping by and being so sweet. Blue goes with everything and I need more of it, too!

  4. gail says:

    Wowzer…such beautious blues! Like Karin/Southern Meadows…I need more blues! Yellows, golds and purple seem to be the dominant color here. I especially like Verbena hastata. Haven’t seen it yet, it seems to be hiding amidst the greenery in my garden. Btw, I love Summertime Blues by most artists. xoxogail

    Hi Gail, thanks. We need more blue here, too. Glad you liked the musical bit, it has me humming today! HA

  5. Amy says:

    Beautiful! I am new to gardening and also live in Tennessee (Middle) and I am wondering if you could tell me how much space you leave between plants. I have done a lot of planting thus far and mine looks too sparse and nothing like the filled in overlapping naturalism you have established.

    Hi Amy, thanks for visiting. I have given some thought to your spacing question and the answer that best seems to fit is: closer than you think for perennials, twice as far apart, or more for trees and shrubs. The more full your garden is, the less open ground, the fewer weeds will pop up. Use annuals and grasses to fill in until the other stuff grows larger. It grows faster than you think, especially in your area. Good luck!

  6. I know it’s cliché and overused but, OMG!!! These pictures are amazing. I love blue too and like Karin posted earlier. I don’t have enough of it in the garden. Thank you for the inspiration and your craft.

    Thanks so much Empirical Herbalist for those kind words. I need more blue, too.

  7. spurge says:

    I also love blue flowers, you have so many choices. Absolutely love the red coleus (?) plants in the blue pots – stunning!

    Hi Spurge, thanks. Yes, that is red coleus, cultivar name of Henna. I love it and should have put it in all those pots. Next time…

  8. I also love blue in the garden – in every season. In summer I get my blues from various salvias, agastache foeniculum, veronicastrum, Ohio spiderwort, clematis, Scabiosa, and morning glories. And always looking for more. I’d like to try that Verbena hastata.

    Hi Jason, thanks for stopping by. We have spiderwort, too much of it! But the blue is gorgeous. Our morning glories are late this year with all this rain but we will have blues among the many other colors that volunteer on the brush pile. The Verbena is now showy, but is sweet.

  9. Sandy & Richard says:

    We are surrounded by a heavy coating of frost this morning, the sun is shining so it is all a glitter.
    Your blue garden is truely beautiful, you are a gardener of great skill, I do so enjoy the added pieces, your sculptural blue bottle tree, and twirly blue glass flowers….magnificent. As for young Eddie Cochron, you have made my husbands day, it is his favourite song, he was 15 at the time it came out, I can here him singing it now in the next room, I expect I be getting excerpts of it all day. A thank you from Richard.

    Oh Sandy, your comment made my day, thank you. Eddie produced a good rocking song, great for dancing! Your garden sounds lovely with the frosting, hard to even imagine for us in high summer’s vibrant blooming.

  10. Lola says:

    Love blue in the garden. Summertime Blues, oh the memories it produces.

    Hi Lola, thanks. Fun song, isn’t it?

  11. Rose says:

    Blue is my favorite color, and I’m always looking for that elusive true-blue/not purple shade in the garden–you have some fantastic examples, Frances! I’m embarrassed to say that I misplaced the blue nigella seeds you gave me last May; seeing yours in bloom makes me think it’s time to clean out the garden shelves and dig deeper until I find them. Love, love your blue hydrangeas–alas, mine always turn pink in our alkaline soil. And the red coleus in the blue pots really is a wow!

    I didn’t recognize the name Eddie Cochran, but as soon as I played the video, I remembered the song from long ago. These old videos are fun–amazing how these singers and bands could entertain without fireworks in the background and troops of dancers:)

    Hi Rose, Thanks for stopping by. If you don’t find the nigella seeds, let me know and I will take care of it! The coleus is wonderful, I should have put that in all of those pots along the wall. Might still do it. I did not remember Eddie either, but the song was in there swirling around. I enjoy those old video on youtube.

  12. Alberto says:

    Even the blue dragonfly! 🙂 I love blue in the garden too, I also have a big blue pot with a light green hosta which I adore, but not a many blue flowers as you, I am a bit envious…

    Hi Alberto, thanks for sharing. It sounds like you need to shop for some more blue flowers, but your container with the hosta sounds wonderful!

  13. commonweeder says:

    Blue has to be one of the most appealing colors. How lucky the sky is blue. The blues in your garden are amazing, as is the way they are photographed. At this season I only have Connecticut Yankee delphinium and soon, aconite. Summer blues are not always easy to come by, but you have certainly reminded us that they are not impossible to find.

    Oh Pat, Delphinium blue is the most wonderful of blues! We cannot grow those here, too hot, but sometimes larkspur will germinate, a cousin to the delphs. I have never tried Aconite, must remedy that.

  14. Aerie-el says:

    The pictures in this post (and in the links) are a great “cure for the summertime blues”! Bleutiful!

    Thanks so much Aerie-el. It was fun to put this together and I am on the lookout for more blues to add to the garden!

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