I Want Some Truly Blue Hardy Geraniums (and blue-flowered plant suggestions)

Discussion in 'Other Plants' started by Nikolaos, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. Nikolaos

    Nikolaos Gardener

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    Hi All,

    I know that there are a lot of violet/lavender/purple and bluish hardy geraniums, but I'm after some "proper blue" ones. My back garden already has far too much violet/purple and pink and not enough blue to "cool things down". I have 'Johnson's Blue' and adore it (and so do the bees, apparently!) but I'm thinking more like the blue of Love-in-a-mist, perhaps that could be described as "cornflower blue"? I'd also like some suggestions when it comes to perennial 'true-blue' flowered plants that are low-maintenance and do well in alkaline heavy clay soil (I live very close to the lowest part of my village so it can get rather boggy at times). Hardy geranium colours can be so misleading in terms of photos so I'd like advice from those who have seen them IRL.

    Thanks,

    Nick
     
  2. Verdun

    Verdun Passionate gardener

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    Nikalaos I went through the hardy geranium craze myself once :)

    I like Orion, a nice blue.
    Check out Black Beauty.....lovely dark blue flowers atop almost black foliage. Makes a neat mound. Unusual beauty.

    I grow lots of blue flowers here....Linum perenne (blue flax, lovely blue flowers) , caryopteris, ceanothus, ceratostigma, agastaches, salvias, geraniums, Felicias, blue lupins, delphiniums,baptisias, violas, lavenders, nepetas, pulmonarias, hibiscus, blue scabious, verbena Rigida, Veronicas, lithodoras, aubretias, brunneras, agapanthus, penstemon Eileen Grenfell, clematis, aster frikartii monch, iris, oh, I could go on but you get the drift!!

    However, most of those enjoy my light, free draining warm soil. Consider Liriope....evergreen, easy and blue autumn flowers. Corydallis flexuosa....this is a superb ground cover smothered with blue flowers from very early spring to early summer. Lovely under narcissus or almost anything.

    Aster Frikartii monch will tolerate heavy soil as long as it does not sit in wet soil over winter. A delightful long flowering plant worthy of some effort such as adding grit to the planting hole and maybe planting slightly proud of the ground.
    Brunnera Hadspen Cream is a delight....forget me not blue flowers in spring and evergreen or semi evergreen foliage. It should cope with your clay.
    Some of the gentians will tolerate heavy soil....do your research here to find out which varieties. Pulmonarias like Blue Ensign too if you add something to help the drainage.
    One or two salvias...Uliginosa esp ....loves heavy damp soil. Blue flowers with white tips on tall long flowering plants.

    However, look at salvia patens if you really like true blues....you must add plenty of grit and, advisably on your soil, dig up every autumn and treat like dahlias. 3 types I really like are guaranjuato (taller, bigger plant), Cambridge (wonderful true sky blue flowers) and Oxford (same as Cambridge but with dark blue flowers). Treat like dahlias and overwinter frost free.
     
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    • redstar

      redstar Total Gardener

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      wish I could send you a bunch of mine. they are armor hardy. even in the winter with the snow on top, the green of the leaves are still there.
       
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      • Nikolaos

        Nikolaos Gardener

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        Wow @Verdun, thanks so much for your detailed reply! I think it's going to take me days to properly research all those blue-flowered plants! (and I'm going to love every blooming minute of it, if you'll forgive the floral pun).

        I'm familiar with 'Orion' but don't know if it's yet another one that's a bit on the violet side for what I'm after. But gosh, that 'Black Beauty' is a stunner and I'm definitely having it, can't remember coming across that one before! I may well end up with quite a large collection of G. pratense cultivars. :) I already have 'Mrs Kendall Clark' and definitely want the species and the delightful 'Splish Splash'.

        Geranium ‘Splish Splash’

        I'd like a collection of British natives and "honorary natives", as Trevor Bath charmingly terms them - he means early introduced species. There's something nice about having the same plants in my garden that my English ancestors probably had in theirs.

        Thanks again for all your help on the forum my friend, much appreciated.

        Nick
         
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        • Nikolaos

          Nikolaos Gardener

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          That's so sweet of you @redstar, I remember you sharing that video of your lovely Geranium macrorrhizum in your garden with me a few days ago. I actually plan to get one of those at some point! I have underplanted two of my shrubs with ones that are basically miniature versions of them. They are a hybrid of yours and Geranium dalmaticum...

          Geranium x cantabrigiense 'Karmina'

          Geranium x 'Biokovo' - The Beth Chatto Gardens

          The white is particularly lovely and has soft pink veining.

          Yes, they are seriously tough little plants! :)

          Nick
           
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          • Nikolaos

            Nikolaos Gardener

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            @Verdun "I went through the hardy geranium craze myself once."

            Ha, craze is an understatement with me, I think I need professional psychological help at this stage!
             
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            • Verdun

              Verdun Passionate gardener

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              Check out Elke Nikalaos :)
              Delightfully different and long flowering too.
              I like Ann Folkhard too....magenta flowers and leaves with a golden cast to them.
              I also like Coombland White.
              For shade Phaem Margaret Wilson is nice too :)
               
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              • Nikolaos

                Nikolaos Gardener

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                Thanks @Verdun. Funny you should mention 'Elke', recently planted and growing next to my back garden gate... :smile: It is indeed delightfully different!

                DSCN0595.JPGDSCN0600.JPG

                I also love the sanguineum species and sanguineum var. striatum, next on my list. 'Ann Folkard' is also on my list, absolutely beautiful! I love 'Margaret Wilson' but it's too close to 'Lily Lovell' which I already have, I think. Having a small garden, I have to choose carefully and there are many I like which I must exclude. :o(

                I would like this phaeum next tho, very imaginatively named! :lunapic 130165696578242 5:

                Geranium phaeum 'Garage Door' • The Hardy Geranium Nursery

                'Samobor' is another fantastic phaeum worth mentioning but too close to the species I think, which I already have.

                Nick
                 
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                • BellaBlue

                  BellaBlue Gardener

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                  • Nikolaos

                    Nikolaos Gardener

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                    Thanks @BellaBlue! Well, I think the 'Brookside' they have may be worth investigating to see if others nurseries describe it as "mid-blue" as they do. I've also found this one which sounds promising, would be great if it was a true azure.

                    Geranium 'Azure Rush' | Claire Austin

                    The search for a "proper blue" continues... :)

                    Does anyone here have either of the above? Are they really blue?

                    Nick
                     
                  • Verdun

                    Verdun Passionate gardener

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                    This was the nursery I purchased many of my geraniums from several years ago then owned by someone else. Fantastic range :)

                    True blue colours are often hard to get Nikalaos. For example I searched high n low for a true blue penstemon but most are tinged with purple. I actually did but only when seeing them at nurseries. You need to actually see the plants for yourself to judge whether they are in fact true blues.
                     
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                    • BellaBlue

                      BellaBlue Gardener

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                    • BellaBlue

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                      • Nikolaos

                        Nikolaos Gardener

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                        Interesting mix @BellaBlue, but I think that photo is misleading. That bicolour one is 'Splish Splash' also known simply as pratense 'Striatum', which is definitely more violet-blue. Thanks for the blue-flowered recommendations! I like the look of that Anchusa!
                         
                      • redstar

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                        @Nikolaos , I have given away buckets of them them to folks over the years, just to keep them at a reasonable size and not over take the hosta near them. I even have some rooted in the center of a stump in the front, filled the hole with soil, put a few clumps in and there they are now going on two winters.
                         
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