recommendation wanted for a blue perennial to give as a gift -

hi there... i'm planning on giving a flower as a gift, to a neighbor, who works a lot in his yard, so i want it to be something he can plant, that will bloom every year... also i'd like it to be blue & preferably, relatively big tall and strong. i'm wondering about an iris. any recommendations? many thanks, ~raine
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The problem with Iris is that she only blooms in the early spring and not throughout the summer. They are nice though. My iris are purple, and yellow.
http://members.shaw.ca/misnomer/picsonly/iris.jpg
(very big picture)
The neighbor remarked that "isn't it wonderful what a little bit of water will do"
The flax has blue flowers, tiny delicate little flowers, wind blows and the petals blow off, next day, all new blooms.
http://members.shaw.ca/misnomer/picsonly/poppy.jpg
http://members.shaw.ca/misnomer/picsonly/poppy2.jpg
take care Liz
On 27 May 2004 17:21:35 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@ptd.net (color_me_) wrote:

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Hi:)
I have some Tall Phlox that is blue. I like blue flowers the best, and this one is my favorite...it blooms all Summer too:) I don't know whether it grows in every zone or not, but I am in Texas, where it gets really HOT in the Summer:)
Hope this helps:) Angie

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The choice of plant rather depends on where you are, and what soil and water and light conditions are available. There are, for instance, various species and cultivars of Iris that do well in various parts of the US... but most require fairly full sun. Some cultivars of the common bearded iris rebloom in some areas in the fall... that's a nice bonus.
You might also want to think about what color you think "blue" is. There are very few really blue flowered plants... delphiniums, iris, Lithodora, some Salvia, Gentiana, some Meconopsis, etc., but the majority of "blue" flowers are actually in the lavender or purple shades.
My suggestion: go to some of the best nurseries in your area, tell them what you're looking for and what sort of garden your friend has, and ask them what they'd recommend.
Kay
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On 5/27/04 8:21 PM, in article
wrote:

One of the Veronicas would do well - I love Crater Lake and Sunny Border the best but there are lots of runners up too! Cheryl
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On 27 May 2004 17:21:35 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@ptd.net (color_me_) wrote:

Balloon Flowers last longer- Platycodon grandiflorum. http://www.nargs.org/potm/potm_aug01.html has a short version. [7-10 inches] I don't know what variety I have, but they are 18-24 inches tall.
In zone 5-6, mine start to show a little color right after my Iris are done. . . mid-late June. They continue to blossom through August if it doesn't dry out too much. [I never water my gardens]
I'm not sure I'd call them 'strong' though. Mine don't flop much-- but certainly more than the Iris.
Jim
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there seems to be some impressive Delphiniums at Lowes this year in sky blue double flowers. I got myself three of them and tucked them into spaces I barely had room for because they were BLUE and almost three foot tall. I staked them............. madgardener

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Bare root irises tend to turn to mush, so plant them as soon as they arrive. Here's a couple of standards irises:
'Autumn Circus' http://www.vandycks.com/fall/z33210.31238.phtml 'Song of Norway' http://plantsdatabase.com/showpicture/27981 /
Japanese irises can get pretty big too. http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~ianblack/japiris /
For something really out of the ordinary -- if you have the right climate, try blue poppies: http://www.christiealpines.co.uk/Pages/Meconopsis.html
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One of my favorite blue perennials that blooms all summer is salvia guaranitica. It grows four feet or a little more in height and can be slightly invasive. It suffer from no fungus that I know of, and few insects bother its foliage. Shearing back the tops with they become a bit ratty looking will bring on a fresh burst of blooms. As a bonus, hummingbirds love it.
Here are sites with pictures:
http://www.hort.net/gallery/view/lam/salgu /
http://www.floridata.com/ref/s/salv_gua.cfm
John
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insects
love
Another possibility is Stokesia laevis (Stokes' aster) http://floridata.com/ref/s/stok_lae.cfm I'm not sure that it qualifies as tall, but it is lovely and long blooming.
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wrote:

Neither web page worked.. both "page cannot be displayed"

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On Sun, 30 May 2004 06:34:56 -0600, Janice

-snip-
It looks like hort.net might be down this morning-- I take that back. I can ping it. . .and a tracert takes 22 hops, but makes it. Maybe it has a lot of domains blocked?
I get the second one OK.
Jim
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insects
love
Sorry about that. Try going to Google and typing in "salvia guaranitica." That's what I did when I copied and listed the sites. There are three or four which have pictures.
John
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On 27 May 2004 17:21:35 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@ptd.net (color_me_) wrote:

It all depends on what you consider "tall" .. and how true to blue you need.
There is a perennial scabiosa that's a lavenderish blue with a lighter center, and it will grow into a spreading and around 1.5 feet tall
There are Michelmas daisies that come in two colors, a pink and the one that is well.. aster blue, both have a goldish yellow eye, they grow 4 - 5 feet tall here, and they will spread, but not honorifically. at least not for me. Easy enough to spot and pull out. They do not bloom until fall though.. the do attract a lot of bees, so that's great if you want pollinators, and you're not allergic.
Cranesbill Geraniums.. lots of different sorts of those, blue, white, or magenta, but they do spread if you don't dead head.
Delphiniums come in many shades of blue.. sky, lavender, dark dark indigo, with or without white "bees" or eyes. They do get real tall..which means Stake 'em up!! or put some multi level plant rings for them to grow through.. (upside down cheapie store tomato cages that the legs have broken off of or gotten too bent up) ..running some wires across them a couple directions and letting them grow up through them helps keep them from falling over..well even used like a tomato cage works well too..particularly with the wires across the rings. Delphiniums can be "bug magnets" I guess, but I didn't notice when I had a couple. More may be a problem or a bigger problem in some areas more than others. I remember reading if you wanted a bug free garden you shouldn't grow hybrid tea roses or delphiniums. LOL
There are those columbines, but if you have thrips or leaf miner in your area, skip those!
Gentians are BLUE of course, don't know how tall they get or where your area is.
Iris come in many colors and heights and types, as well as single and repeat bloomers.
Clematis, General Sikorski is supposed to be close to sky blue.
Blue flax are beautiful, but in a hot climate, they're shriveled by the time I get up. .. although there are supposed to be some that stay open longer.
I have an anchusa that is very blue, small flowers, and stiff hairy leaves, anchusa azurea I think, really a biennial and reseeds readily, and will grow anywhere from a single stem 1.5 feet tall, to a larger multi-branched plant about 3 - 4 feet tall. They bloom early.. like NOW.. when they've come up from last year's plants, spring sprouted seed will come on anywhere in the year from late May to June.
There is Centaurea Montana a perennial version of Bachelor's buttons or Corn flowers...very blue..2 - 3 feet tall.
You can always mix in a few annuals for this year if you can't find a perennial that's in bloom this year.. Blue Bedder Salvia are really nice.. silverish foliage and Very blue flowers against that foliage is wonderful..
Might chat with him a bit to see his taste.. does he like the big bold flowers, or can he appreciate smaller flowers. Many people don't quite "get" those small flowers in spikes of flowers on veronicas. I really don't care for double flowers, but I can appreciate many sizes of flowers.
Then you can always go to the Blue cast leaves of a Hosta sieboldiani and there is one larger but .. the ones with HUGE seersucker like leaves are mighty impressive, and get pretty tall. Granted these aren't blue flowered..or .. they may be.. pale, most are white though, but he leaves are the key element there, and might be ..depending on his tastes.something he'd appreciate as it's Big and bold and takes up SPACE. Hopefully slugs aren't a major problem where you live..as they like hostas of course.
There are lots of others .. but don't know what zone you're in. Mecanopsis betonicifolia Tibetan Blue Poppy Zone 7-8 .. always grabbed my attention, but I'm in the wrong zone. It says: Best in moist but well drained rich acidic soil. Site in partial shade with shelter fro cold winds. May be short lived in hot or dry locations. Divide clumps after flowering to maintain vigor.. It's a clump forming perennial bearing large saucer shaped flowers that are clear blue.. or purple blue or white. So you'd need to know they were Blue, they are gorgeous if you have the spot for them 4 feet tall too!
Well I'll shaddup now ;-)
Janice
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