Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer Blues (and Yellows)



Justin Evertson
      A simple but very effective color combination for the flower garden is blue with yellow. Mother Nature must have understood this from the start as she dispenses both colors in great quantities. In fact, it is relatively easy to keep the color combination going throughout the growing season as different plant species succeed each other in flower prominence. From spring through fall, here are just a few of the great combinations possible:
 ·         Catmint (Nepeta spp.) and Cushion spurge (Euphorbia polychroma): These two plants grow from 10” to 18” tall and are most striking in early to mid-spring.
·         May Night Salvia (Salvia nemorosa) and Moonshine Yarrow (Achillea x ‘Moonshine’): Both plants are extremely reliable, easy to grow, reach about 18” tall and are at their peak in late May to early June.
·         Blue False Indigo (Baptisia australis) and False Sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides): These two prairie natives grow from 24” to 36” tall and are going strong in late spring and early summer.  Give each plenty of room to grow.
·         Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) and Goldsturm Rudbeckia (Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’).  The soft spray-like blue of Russian sage (36” to 48” tall) makes a great backdrop to the summer-long blooms of Rudbeckia (18” to 24” tall). 
From top: catmint; goldenrod; pitcher sage
·         Sunny Border Blue Veronica (Veronica x ‘Sunny Border Blue’) and Fernleaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata).  Both plants stay under 24” tall and are typically mid to late summer bloomers.
·         Pitcher sage (Salvia azurea) and Goldenrod (Solidago spp.).  Mainstays of the late summer and fall landscape, these native plants can both grow 48” tall, depending on the type selected.  However, both can be cut back frequently during the growing season to keep low and to delay blooming.

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