05 January 2010

Blue, blue, my world is blue...

After playing with David Perry's exercise in Red, Green and Blue last week, I spent some time looking through my photos for another post. It struck me, not for the first time, that I truly am very fond of blue. Not just of blue poppies, either, though they definitely do make my heart happy.

Blue is a soothing, cooling colour, both in the home and in the garden. Some call it cold, but I just find it refreshing, eyecatching but not strident. Some shades of blue tend to disappear into shadows unless some contrasting colour is nearby to really show the blues off. And of course, some plants that are called 'blue' are actually purple in colour, or have purple accents: my blue poppies, for example, have a rich purple colour at the centre of their petals when the buds are opening, and Corydalis elata often has purple colouring highlighting its dazzling electric blue flowers.
(Above collage, clockwise from left: lacecap Hydrangea 'Blue Billows'; Eryngium amethystium; Corydalis elata; frost crystals on car windshield; Allium caeruleum; Gentiana septemfida. Centre, Meconopsis grandis )

I'm not one for pastels as a rule, though I tolerate spring flowers in shades of soft pink or yellow. I prefer jewel tones (more on that in a coming post) but love all shades of blue in flowers, from the pale china blue of glory of the snow to the sky blue of baby blue eyes and forget-me-nots to the rich cobalt in anagallis and scilla.
Clockwise from top: Anagallis 'Skylover', blue pimpernel; Allium caeruleum again; Chionodoxa, glory of the snow; Scilla, blue squill; centre Myosotis (forget me nots)

It's not just my floral tastes that are blue today. I spent last evening at the so-called emergency department of our hospital, because of some not-yet-diagnosed problem with one leg. Maybe it's muscle spasms, maybe it's gunk in the knee, but whatever it is has me essentially unable to walk at the moment and in a lot of pain. Mostly today I'm totally irritated at the doctor I encountered last night, who was a dolt; the nurses were fabulous, but when someone can't straighten out their leg completely, trying to put a splint on it and causing more pain isn't my idea of the right treatment. So I'm sort of sulking in the house again today after spending all day yesterday unable to move. I remind myself others have to deal with far worse, and that I'm able to read and write, and that tomorrow, hopefully, will be a better day. Meanwhile, I can read to my heart's content, and Longsuffering Spouse gets to be housekeeper, cook and nursemaid. He's awesome. Just like the colour blue.

Above, clockwise from left: Echinops ritro 'Veitch's Blue', globe thistle; Meconopsis betonicifolia bud; Delphinium 'Blue Bird'; Lindelofia (a member of the borage family, related to forget me nots, anchusa, and pulmonaria); Spring gentian at NSAC rock garden; baby blue eyes; centre photo, bee on Eryngium planum, flat sea holly.


  1. I hope you soon find out what is wrong with your knee. It sounds painful!
    I love your gorgeous blues! Right now I'm watching the blue jays and I'm cheered in spite of the brutal cold and snow!

  2. Ick! to knee pain! I hope they find out what it is very soon. Suffering is Zippus Funnus. I am also a jewel toned kinda gal. Lovely blues, dear!

  3. I kind of regard blue as the true neutral rather than white.

    Blue is pretty much my favourite colour in the garden. It compliments just about everything. I operate on a 'when in doubt, plant some catmint' theory, see, blue again.


  4. Jodi:
    I knew when you got into experimenting with colours via David Perry's photo essay, I knew blue would be the introduction to the sea of blue in your garden. It truly is heavenly Jodi! I hope your knee soon rectifies itself.... amazing how much we rely on these joints and bends on our bodies! Thanks for the blue heaven post!

  5. Jodi, I hope they soon figure out what's wrong with your leg; one would think it would at least warrant some tests after hearing you describe the problem. Sending healing hugs your way. (Yer blues are gorgeous!)

  6. Happy New Year Jodi!

    Judging by your striking collages, blue is by no means the depressing/cold colour it's made out to be!

    Your comment over at mine made me giggle - I used to share my birthday with Douglas Adams, so any reference to his work is treasured.

    Thanks for the Follow - I must get you out of my Google Reader and onto my Followers list, so I've got everyone in one place for once.

  7. I like blue as well and have it in quite a few of my interior decorating schemes although it isnt always easy to find accessories.

  8. When my daughter got married in January several years ago, it was hard to find clear blues for the deocrations and accessories.Why don't designers look to nature and give us some clear shining jewels like yours?

  9. Now you are speaking to me. LOL! I love blues and have them all around the house and the garden. You have some gorgeous blue blooms. The poppy is so pretty Jodi

  10. Stunning blues! I did a blue post about a month ago, it's such a wonderful colour in the garden. I am ordering 2-3 of the coveted Meconopsis this year, I can't wait. Have your found yours hard to keep happy? Wonderful post! :) Rebecca

  11. All of this blue is inspiring. I almost started thinking about my garden again. The ground is so frozen that it feels like concrete. We are supposed to get a bit of snow tomorrow night. That will make it feel not so hard. I hope your knee is better soon. This cold weather is good for nothing but achy joints.

  12. I love the blues too. I tend to get blues and purples, those cooler colors, for my garden. I'm sorry to hear about your leg! A split doesn't sound like a very good course of action, but I'm no doctor. I hope it gets better soon, at least it won't stop you from blogging. ;)

  13. Please don't be blue (except in the garden), dear Jodi. Your night sounded horrid ... I hate hospitals and uncaring staff. On a happier note, your photos are stunning and you humor is not lost! Feel well soon, dear friend, and enjoy those good books!

  14. Hi Jodi,
    I know one doesn't want to be in pain any time of the year, but I myself would rather have it in the winter when I can't garden anyway. I hope they figure out what is going on, and it heals soon.

    I love your blues. I see some flowers I grow, and some, like that variety of sea holly, that I'd like to try. I wonder why it has "flat" in its name. Some of mine have flatter flowers than those. I love their shape and color.

    I hope 2010 brings you good things, and health.

  15. Such wonderful blues!
    I like them too...especially the welcoming color of Blue Bells early in spring
    Did they do any tests on your knee?
    or is this what we have to look forward to in the US if healthcare "reform" goes thorough
    I'm lighting a candle and dipping into the blue moon water right now for you

  16. Argh, I hope it's not serious, Jodi. Your blues are so lovely. Most all of my true blues eventually turn purple because of my weird alkaline soil. But, I keep trying! :))

    Here's to a quick and painless recovery. - kate

  17. Lovely blue post, Jodi. I adore your blue poppies, and look forward to adding some to my garden this year. I hope you are feeling better soon!

  18. Jodi, lovely post on such a refreshing colour! Our local botanical garden has a blue garden tucked away and it is a magnet to me.

    May all your blues be of the gardening variety :)

  19. Hope you will get well soonest, or else we might miss many uploads and photos. Your blues are certainly very beautiful. Blues are mostly in the temperate climes so we dont have much of blues here.

  20. Jodi .. I am so sorry about the pain and discomfort. But sadly I understand too well about the bonehead doctor thing .. I have had my share as well and it is totally frustrating. I too am in the middle of "what is wrong with me now" episodes .. I don't know how to handle this any more myself .. but getting lost in a good book or planning garden/plant adventures do help .. and yes good solid hubbies help so much as well (I think it is a Bluenose birth place thing .. quality wise ? LOL)
    Fingers double crossed that some one can nail what is wrong and help you out soon ?
    let me know how it goes ?
    Joy : )

  21. Dear Jodi, it is very saddening to hear of your troubles, and the clumsy efforts of the doctor too. It is hope that you recover from this quickly and with as little pain as possible. Your blues are so cheering, however. Not just your signature poppies, but all of them. :-)

  22. What pretty blue collages! I love blue in the garden as well.
    I hope they figure out what the problem with your knee is, it's so frustrating not being able to get a diagnosis so you can work on a treatment for it.

  23. Jodi, that was great. You have a lot of blue flowers from which to choose. Blue is my favorite color, with green a close second, but we don't have as many blue flowers this far south. I rely on delphiniums, sages, salvias and woodland phlox a great deal. One of my biggest regrets is that we can't grow those blue poppies here. Too hot.~~Dee

  24. Sorry you're feeling blue about your leg, I hope you get it straighten out soon. (Sorry, I couldn't stop myself.) I also love jewel tones and blues. Yours are all lovely.

  25. Y'all are better than a whole bushel of doctors, you know that? Thank you for the cheery comments and the get well wishes. Am currently still immobilized but off to have proper Xray and visit with real doctor (my GP) this afternoon. Meanwhile, the painkillers are entertaining too.

    Robin, blue jays are one of my favourite birds. I can see them at the suet feeders from where i'm reclining.

    Debi, Zippus funnus was the first thing to make me chortle aloud in reading back.

    Rob I hadn't thought of blue as neutral, but you're right it goes with everything. My cats concur with 'when in doubt, plant some catmint' theory.

    Teza, you share my zeal for blue, I know. It's such a soothing and happymaking colour.

    Nancy, my own doctor is Not Pleased with the adventure with quackus assholus I had the other night. He'll fix things up for me.

    VP, Douglas Adams is one of my literary heroes. A little zaniness is always needed. I too had to sort out my followers list vs Google Reader, which I'm not using. So many following things to do...

    Patientgardener and Melody, someone else mentioned it's sometimes hard to find blue accessories. I guess it's because there are so many blues and they don't all go together well. Sometimes I like the cobalt or steel blue shades, sometimes the more turquoisey ones.

    Lona, Blue seems to be an universally loved colour in the garden, maybe because it's so rare?

    Rebecca, I will repost an earlier article I did about blue poppies, hope it helps. they can be quite contrary.

    Lisa, hope the snow moderated the cold. Here we have snow and mild temperatures, which may make ice. Which won't improve my humour at all.

    Dave I've thought about doing an all-blue bed (there's a nice one at Kingsbrae Gardens in St Andrews, NB) but haven't gotten to it.

    Joey, thanks for the good wishes. I'm alternating between reading mystery novels and blogs and doing a little work when not too sleepy. It'll pass.

    Sue, sea hollies are one of my favourite perennials. I too wonder about the use of 'flat' in E. planum, but the species name planum also suggests flat. Now I will have to go do some research....

    Suz, don't worry; mostly our healthcare is awesome. I just had a dolt of a doctor on at the ER rotation, they were understaffed but there's something going on at that hospital, (which I dislike at the best of times). Not having to pay for it (except thru taxes) is also a good thing. thanks for the good wishes!

    Kate, I can see hydrangeas and a few other things turning purple (I've seen purple hydrangeas and they're gorgeous) because of alkaline soil, but I'm really intrigued. Maybe conversely, some of my plants stay really blue because we're acid. Food for thought.

    Liisa I hope the meconopsis do well for you, too!

    Ms S, aren't all-blue beds gorgeous? I mentioned Kingsbrae Garden's blue plot above. It's gorgeous.

    Andrea, that's really a great observation about blues being in more temperate climes! I hadn't thought of that, being in a definitely temperate/temperamental climate!

    Joy, I'll let you know how I fare with solving the leg thingy...yes, you're probably right about bluenose husbands having that great quality.

    Frances, dear heart, you're always so cheering and kind yourself! I'm taking some of your cheeriness to help improve my cranky self.

    Catherine, I'd like to see you do a blue collage/post!

    Dee, I'm thinking a green flower post is coming, because I love my green flowered plants. I sort of did one before Christmas, but need to wax lyrical about them. I can see OK not being conducive to happy Meconopsis, but you have other plants that I can't grow.

    Barbara, you made me LOL when I read your comment. I too hope it straightens out soon.

  26. And there it is... the coveted blue poppy indeed. *drool* I see Laurel Burch's kitties, too! I love those! Very nice, jodi!

  27. Like Robin we frequently see Blue Jays and we have so many pretty blue-toned salvias here in Texas that I should be content, but oh, Jodi - it would be a thrill to see a blue poppy someday!

    Best of luck with the leg and hope your splints and crutches are extremely temporary.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose


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