Back in Blue

It’s that time of year when the blue skies are once more reflected on the ground, as the earliest of the blue flowers make a comeback in the garden.

Forget me not flowers

The first forget-me-nots, which self-seed with gay abandon here, have begun to open their first shy blooms; such a quintessential spring flower. I do rip them out with vigour from the wrong places, but still they romp across the borders forming limpid pools of pale blue at the feet of the tulips that will hopefully be blooming in a few weeks now.

Muscari flowers

The grape hyacinths were the first blues into bloom this year. These are spreading comfortably across the narrow herb bed outside the side-door, and as they clump up they do make a pretty picture, though I ponder whether they are in the right place here. There seems something rather contradictory in growing poisonous plants, however mild, alongside edibles, thus I am contemplating digging up this narrow border, and relocating the intruders to more ornamental borders before resettling the herbs.

Omphalodes cappadocica 'Cherry Ingram' flowers of blue

One of my favourite blues in the garden is the no-fuss, long-flowering navelwort, Omphalodes cappadocica ‘ Cherry Ingram’, which I picked up at an NGS plant sale after visiting local gardens with my Mum and Dad three years ago. I worry sometimes that it will succumb to winter wet in our heavy soil, and yet without fail its clump of pointed green leaves persist through the winter, to be bedecked with these vivid blue blooms early each spring. A much deeper blue than forget-me-nots, this depth of colour somewhat elusive through the lens of the camera, this mound of deep blue never fails to catch my eye.

I was relieved this week to see a small but solid clump of leaves emerge from the soil, quickly followed by the first blue flowers of Pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’, after I had feared it a casualty of the heavy rains. Too small to make much impact yet on the spring garden, I hope in the future to divide it and spread it around the garden for its welcome punch of blue.

Hyacinth flower

It’s not just the true blues: I love the deep purple of this hyacinth that pops up each spring in a pot that my Mum gave us several years ago.

Daffodils in the garden

Spring flowers in the garden

Narcissus W.P.Milner

Despite these bright arrivals, it’s still the colour gold that dominates in the garden at the minute; from the pale lemon of Narcissus ‘W.P.Milner’ which are opening at staggered times around the garden, through the the bright tones of a pot of diminutive but abundant N. ‘Tête-à-tête’ to a range of other daffodils of assorted shapes, sizes and colours.

Narcissus 'Tete a Tete'

Golden daffodils

Another welcome sight in the past couple of weeks has been the re-emergence of the cowslip that I bought last spring on a visit to the first ‘Herb Friday’ open day at Jekka’s Herb Farm, near Bristol.

Cowslip flowers

One of my favourite wild flowers, I have my fingers fervently crossed that this self-seeds as freely here as the wild primroses which drift easily through our borders, occasionally producing surprising variations in colour.

New rose foliage in springIt isn’t just the flowers that are catching the eye here in March either; I love the way this new rose foliage flares scarlet in the spring sunshine. Something else seem to have taken rather too much of a shine to these leaves though, if the holes are anything to go by. Hmm.

A brisk and cold breeze sends a persistent parade of clouds scudding across our blue skies, some regally sailing across the horizon in the sunshine, others eclipsing the sun and sometimes bringing short showers, and even the occasional rainbow. I love the mercurial nature of spring, and the succession of changes in the garden from day-to-day at this time of year.

18 thoughts on “Back in Blue

  1. I’m very impressed by your forget-me-nots – I love them, but there’s not a hint of anything like flowering here. Am going to go and shout at them a bit. And I must get that Ompaloides – sigh. (I’m pretending I’ve not seen the cowslip. Not looking, not looking…)

    • Perhaps we’re a bit more sheltered than you, and your forget-me-nots are on their way! I definitely recommend the Omphalodes, a real burst of blue. And surely, surely … your meadow would be perfect for cowslips. They grow well from seed I hear… 😉

  2. Yes, I believe you are right it is the changes, day after day almost hour after hour that bring such joy to a gardener’s heart in spring!

  3. My garden is rather yellow at the moment but there are blues beginning to appear. The Scilla seem to be the best blue so far, I think I need some forget me nots next year but I want the deeper blue ones like yours and not the pale blue ones

    • I do love forget-me-nots when they’re in bloom, they romp around our borders with abandon in all shades of blue (and pink). Their only downside is that they don’t die well, but they pull up very easily when they turn brown and unsightly, to make way for the next succession of planting.

  4. Sara, you really should have been an author! I love that last paragraph; it captures the essence of Spring so neatly.
    For me, yellow is definitely the colour of Spring – daffs, Forsythia, Gorse, Primroses,etc.

    • Ah, thank you Mark. I love writing 🙂
      Yellow is definitely spring’s top colour, and when the blues start to break in too summer suddenly doesn’t feel so far away.

  5. It’s always a nice surprise when blues emerge again, isn’t it? I used to have some omphalodes and must try and get some more. I am sure your cowslip will self seed – my original has done so prolifically.

  6. I love forget me nots and muscari – I have some of each in my garden, though never enough I think. But that may be just a matter of time. The Omphalodes are beautiful and entirely new to me – they sound like something from a Roald Dahl novel.

  7. Some beautiful shades of blue and yellow Sara. I’m never quite sure why some folk dismiss forget-me-nots as weeds. I love them:) Must treat myself to an Omphalodes – the colour is glorious and anything long flowering is welcome. It sounds as if we have pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’ of similar sizes – just as well that they like moisture.

    • Thanks, Anna. I love forget-me-nots in bloom, and they’re so easy to pull up if they’re in the wrong place. They offset the wallflowers and then tulips so well,,, I definitely recommend the Omphalodes.

  8. I love the looks of the Navelwort and Forget Me Nots. They are quite lovely.

  9. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Rhapsody in Blue | Rambling in the Garden

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