Blue Days In The Garden

June is a month for blue flowers. High summer is a time for reds, oranges, and (especially) yellows. But the transition to summer is a quieter time, notable for blues and whites. Let’s look at some of the blue flowers currently blooming, then shift to something completely different.


Ohio Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis) has wonderful blue flowers, but you can only see them in the morning. They close shop in the afternoon. I like the contrast between the blue petals and golden anthers.


In addition to observing an extreme version of banker’s hours, this plant is kind of an awkward customer. The flowers bloom in clusters at the end of long stems, which in our garden tend to need some support to avoid flopping.


But still, it seems to be a favorite with pollinators like this Sweat Bee.


Clematis ‘Betty Corning’ is another blue flower of June. Betty has just begun to bloom, and I’m looking forward to a floriferous summer.


It would be cool to make a hat the shape and color of this flowers. I have two of these vines in the Driveway Border and one in the Sidewalk Border.


While ‘Kit Kat’ Catmint (Nepeta x faasenii) finished blooming at the beginning of June, the larger ‘Walker’s Low’ (N. racemosa) and ‘Six Hills Giant’ (N. x faasenii) are still displaying spires lined with lots of teeny light blue flowers.


Here’s a spot in the Parkway Bed containing Allium seedheads, ‘Walker’s Low’ Catmint, Salvia ‘Caradonna’, and Geranium ‘Rozanne’.


At one point I was inspired by the Lurie Garden to have my own River of Salvia. It was more of a Puddle of Salvia, which taught me about the importance of adequate space for pulling off certain effects. I ended up moving the Salvia (S. nemerosa ‘Caradonna’ and S. sylvestris ‘May Night’) around the front garden, two plants here and three plants there. They’re good plants, but much more satisfying when massed.


Initially Geranium ‘Rozanne’ did not grow well for me, but I gave it a second chance. Now I have several scattered around the beds of the Front Garden, and they are performing pretty well. You could almost call them a climbing Geranium, the way they clamber up among other plants. The one above has been given a bit of discrete support.


I like looking closely at the darker violet of the nectar guides.


Normally, the Wild Blue Indigo (Baptisia australis) blooms simultaneously with the Ohio Spiderwort and the various hardy Geraniums. This year, though, the Wild Blue Indigo was pretty much done by the middle of June.

And now for something completely different. Unless you reside on another planet, you’re aware of the Trump administration’s sickening policy of separating migrant children from their parents. The President’s new Executive Order will not put an end to the cruelty. Rallies in support of keeping migrant families together will take place around the country on June 30th.

To learn about the rally closest to you, follow this link. I hope lots of people raise their voices against this barbaric policy. But when we need to calm ourselves, we can take deep breaths and look at the blue flowers.

51 Comments on “Blue Days In The Garden

  1. I’ve already had to cut back dead salvia blooms. And the rabbits totally decimated my clematis – three of them! I see your pictures and think of all the cutting that has to start. Such is a gardener’s life.

    • Now, it’s interesting that the rabbits eat your clematis. Our garden is overflowing with rabbits but they leave the clematis alone.

  2. This has been an exceptional year for spiderworts in my garden and others in my neighborhood. And on cool days they are surprisingly lasting well into the afternoon. Are others having that experience?

  3. My Spiderworts are much shorter than in other years. Maybe they will catch up when we start, or maybe I should say if we start to have regular rains. I do like that clematis. Is it a bush variety? My clematis hasn’t done very good this summer. Ever hopeful thing will grow up as the rain is coming down. All of these blues are gorgeous. Happy Summer.

  4. Blue, blue, blue! No wonder this is one of my favorite times of year. Also, thanks for the link. I clicked on it and saw that there will be a rally in Augusta, just up the road from where I live. So easy to get discouraged, but we can’t give up. We have to make our voices be heard. And vote!

  5. Your garden sings the blues with the best of ’em! Thanks for the link.

  6. My spiderwort is in all shades of blue, purple, and even a few that are nearly white! It’s many generations old.

  7. Thank you for that link at the end – bandaid executive order aside, I’m still beyond appalled. An administration that thinks things through would not have let this happen – at ALL!!!

    That said, I love blue flowers. I had no idea Ohio had its own Tradescanthia – and a beautiful one, at that. One can only dream to have enough space to create a Salvia river, but if I ever do, Caradonna and May Night would perfect. Caradonna, and a few more, were used in a beautiful river in Eskilstuna, Sweden, which I posted a shot of here – before I even started Flutter & Hum, if you’re interested. The post is more generally about Salvia lore, though, and not so many beautiful pictures.

      • I know, right? Makes me want a river just like that in my front yard. Or even better, the neighbor across the street’s front yard, since they have more sun, and currently just a yellowing lawn – LOL!

  8. I LOVE the blue’s in my garden ! I have geranium Rosanne in my garden too, and yes, it is a bit of a climber but it does not suffocate other plants unlike some others.

  9. I love blue in the garden, but I’ve not thought of it as a June colour before. You’ve reminded me that I wanted to get a climber for beside our shed – a clematis would be just the ticket. And I think you would look great in a blue, clematis hat 🙂 As for Trumps policy – unconscionable.

  10. The blue flowers help…a little. No words for 45’s myriad problems including the latest. Sad. Back to the flowers: It took me some time to truly appreciate Spiderwort, but it’s one of my favorite late spring/early summer plants now. 🙂

    • Blue is supposed to promote calm and tranquility. That’s what they say, anyhow. My attitude towards Spiderwort goes back and forth. Now I’m leaning more towards liking it.

  11. Thank you for reminding to write to my government reps AGAIN, now about reuniting the parents and children who have been separated. It’s just heart breaking.

    • You’re in Indiana, right? At least you can vote for Joe Donnelly. I’ve read he will have a tough time getting re-elected.

  12. I also love blue flowers Jason and Tradescantia is my favorite. I noticed that it doesn’t open its flowers in cloudy days without sun.
    What about politics… I try to not touch these things. Too many negativeness.

  13. What Trump’s doing is barbaric but your garden is lovely. I like your puddle of salvia. I had that same salvia in my last garden and it’s a powerhouse. I do miss my blue flowers and will be adding several this fall.

  14. I love blue flowers but I find it difficult to talk about pretty flowers when such abominations are taking place. Well done for encouraging people to join in with the rallies. ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’. I forget who said that, maybe Burke, but very true today.

    • These are troubling times, to be sure. I think one reason I like to read history is to be reminded that we have come through dark times before.

  15. Jacaranda trees are blooming in Southern California right now. Agapanthus will be blooming soon. Blue is the most difficult color to garden with because most blues are really purplish to some extent.

    • Very hard to get a true blue. Purple, violet, lavender, etc. Sometimes I like to give flowers the benefit of the doubt and just call them blue.

  16. Blues are so calming and as you said we need to be calm but let our voices be heard. The world is becoming such a horrible place; how did that happen?

  17. Oh, spiderwort is just gorgeous as is the bastisia, a friend from Wisconsin sent me some baptisia seeds, they have grown albeit it slowly but have yet to flower. Well said re Trump’s latest debacle, that creature is a monster!xxx

  18. I love blue in the garden and grow most of the same plants. Except Catmint. My cats just decimate it. They roll in it and lay in the middle of it. So funny but so annoying! Yes, the tweeter-in-chief can’t go bye-bye fast enough for me. It’s scary how many people do support him though.

    • It’s been years since we had a cat. We’re thinking we’ll get another one or two in retirement, but we’ll try to keep them inside.

  19. I am humming the 1960s classic “Love Is Blue” by Paul Mauriat while enjoying your lovely blue flowers! 🙂 I discovered a tradescantia in the midst of a clump of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ the other day, which itself is in the midst of a large swatch of Phlox subulata. Laziness is prompting to leave everything as is, under the guise of “bloom succession”: pink, blue, red. Sounds logical to me!

  20. Hello Jason, it sounds like you’ve synchronised your garden so you have the warmer colours following the cooler ones. I certainly don’t have the level of co-ordination. The blue flowers of the spiderwort are lovely – I’m wondering if your soil is too rich so that there’s too much stem and green growth causing the plants to flop – we certainly have that problem with some of the plants in our garden.

  21. I was horrified to see an appeal for qualified translators to help reunite those children with their parents. Little kids too young to speak their name!!

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