Blue isn't that common a colour in cool climate plants so I'm glad to have a number that not only survive but thrive in the garden. Mind you, I could do with a few more - but more of that later.
One to really benefit has been my plant of Ipomea indica. After breaking ground in May it grew steadily to cover part of my south facing wall before beginning to flower in early September. Normally, cooler nights at this time of year restrict flowering to the production of no more than one bloom at a time at three to five day intervals from each of the spiky clusters that develop in the upper leaf axils. Maybe 6 to 8 at a time on the whole plant. With the warmer nights I'm getting two and three blooms at a time from each cluster, giving far more concentrated colour. It's not a big plant (compared to the size it can reach in warmer climates) but I counted nearly thirty blue trumpets this morning. Glorious. And very encouraging for a plant that all the authorities insist isn't hardy in the UK except in the very mildest of spots. My garden isn't that mild!
|Ipomea indica - mid October flowers|
|Ipomea indica - another cluster of mid October flowers|
I mentioned Tibouchina organensis in the last post. The flowers are more purple than blue but I think it still qualifies for this piece. Flowering is now building up nicely and hopefully will continue until icy weather forces me to bring it under cover. I've got a nice spot in the kitchen picked out - though Maria might have other ideas.
Number 2 on the list is Aster x frikartii 'Monch'. Unlike other autumn asters of the novi-belgii and novae-angliae this one is a true blue, disease resistant, and can flower from August onwards well into late Autumn on a neat, well branched plant that rarely needs any support. I was very pleasantly reminded of it's potential when I visited Bodnant garden during a recent visit to North Wales. No wonder that great gardener and gardening writer Graham Stuart Thomas rated it amongst his top 6 perennials. I reckon I can provide the well nourished soil and sunny space this one needs to thrive if I just clear a little bit of the rather rampant Iris sibirica in the top border in the front garden.
|Aster x frikartii 'Monch'|
Update 24/10/2012: I've just realised that I've used the old, no longer valid name Convolvulus mauritanicus rather than the correct C.sabatius. It is the same plant. Honest.