Tuesday, 23 September 2014

An added dash of purest blue to my sun-and-sky bed

 My sun-and-sky bed – all blues and yellow – is waking up, slowly in spring, for it’s in partial shade, and mainly perennials and the little bulbs that I love, like Scilla, amongst, at the moment, one or two lungwort (Pulmonaria) and primroses.

An added dash of colour – of purest blue – comes from a new groundcover, Lechenaultia biloba `Midnight Blue’ (above), which I bought at Kuranga Native Nursery this week. It’s that dark true blue of delphiniums, that make people rub their eyes in disbelief; or of rare Chilean Blue Crocus (Tecophilea cyanocrocus, possibly extinct in the wild) that makes gardeners fork out their savings for a little bulb.
Two more Lechenaultia were there: cobalt `Sky High’(below) and `Light Blue’ (above) which is very pale indeed. Lechenaultia hails from southern Western Australia, from gravelly and sandy soils, and at Kuranga Native Nursery the plants are endearingly (and accurately) labelled `I am a fusspot’ (below). (Melbourne’s soils are just too wet in winter for these plants.)
Unfortunately gentian-blue `Midnight Blue’ was not thus labelled and...landed in my car boot. So...into the raised bed (and a probable death sentence next winter) in the sun-and-sky bed (where I want it) or into a handsome pot nearby and a possible death sentence from lack of water over summer?

Jill Weatherhead is horticulturist, garden designer and principal at Jill Weatherhead Garden Design and garden writer who lives in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne, and works throughout Victoria (www.jillweatherheadgardendesign.com.au)

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