Garden Photo of the Day

Blues from Kathleen’s Garden

A favorite color through the seasons

big purple flowers growing on a vine

I’m Kathleen Shelman, and I’ve gardened on our acre in Corbett, Oregon, for 35 years. I love using blue in my garden, so here’s a sampling of blues throughout the year. I used to be more picky about what I considered a true blue in my color combinations, but now I include anything that’s close.

garden decor made of blue glass bottlesMy bottle bush is surrounded by ferns in summer, but it really shows up in the snow.

blue flowers in springThe very first blue of the spring is an Iris reticulata (maybe the variety ‘Harmony’, Zones 5–9).

outdoor stairs covered in plants with tiny purple flowersGrape hyacinths (Muscari aremeniacum, Zones 4–8) have colonized an old staircase where children once waited to catch the school bus.

mass plantings of blue and yellow flowersNaturalized scilla (Scilla siberica, Zones 3–8) and Anemone blanda (Zones 3–9) contrast with yellow Erythronium oregonum (Zones 5–8).

big purple flowers growing on a vineClematis ‘Multi-blue’ (Zones 4–10) uses a fig tree for support. I typically do not have good luck with the clematis family, so this one was a nice surprise.

group of tall light blue flowersThe pale blue of Gallega officionalis ‘Lady Wilson’ (Zones 5–8) lights up a sea of green.

delicate light purple flowers growing next to larger bright purple flowersA Veronica spicata (Zones 3–8), on the left, is complemented by a very large Campanula (probably Zones 4–8) on the right. Both of these plants have been moved a few times. They were inherited from the previous gardener, Faith Mackaness, so they are at least 40 years old.

small light purple flowers next to large bright orange flowersI love blues/purples with orange, as with this seedling Geranium (Zones 5–8) and Hemerocallis ‘Rajah’ (Zones 3–9).

large shrubs with bright blue flowersIn August, hydrangeas edge what in spring is the bulb garden. Here are Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Tellers Blue’ and ‘Ayesha’ (Zones 5–9).


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    JanetInCwood 03/29/2022

    Love your garden. The bottle bush was great. I used collect those bottles loved them colour. Thank you for showing us.

  2. gardendevas 03/29/2022

    Love these gorgeous blues!

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 03/29/2022

    Love the geranium with the daylily.

  4. katherine_8 03/29/2022

    Kathleen, what a fantastic garden!! I love, love, love all the blue hues. It's a nice change / addition to "the usual". I've always loved the juxtaposition of pairing blue with green, orange, and other colours often considered not a nice match to blue. Way to go, I say. Keep up the great job you're doing in your lovely neck of the woods. Katherine from Ontario, Canada :)

  5. user-5117752 03/29/2022

    Just delightful!! I love combining blue/ purple with orange and yellow. Your combinations are wonderful and make your garden sing! Thank you for taking the time to share with us.

  6. btucker9675 03/29/2022

    What a lovely garden! I have a bottle tree with only blue and clear bottles and love yours. The old staircase with the grape hyacinths is so charming.

  7. [email protected] 03/29/2022

    Love all the blues. That's always my first choice when offered options! I plan to research that great clematis- I always have room for one more! Thanks

  8. User avater
    simplesue 03/29/2022

    The Grape hyacinths growing on the old steps is just fascinating to see- great photo!
    I just love your bottle bush aka bottle tree and all of your blue shades of flowers in your garden!
    I've never heard of Gallega officionalis ‘Lady Wilson’ and I'm excited to have learned of the from you- they are so pretty.
    Oh and such a big healthy Clematis! Wow!

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