Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Blue Garden

I am a huge fan of the color blue! Versatile blue can be cool and calm, soft and pastel, or bold and electric. My kitchen cupboards at Tone on Tone are a shade of cornflower blue. The color palette of my new home office is white, blue and beige. Much of the antique Swedish furniture I find is painted blue. And, I will always love English blue-and-white transferware china!

When it came time to design the rear garden, I chose many blue blooming plants. Along with blues are whites, lavenders, silvers and grays---colors of the sky. Some of the plants include:

Russian Sage - Perovskia
Catmint - Nepeta
Variegated Dogwood - Cornus Alba
Verbena Bonariensis
Bluebeard - Caryopteris
Hyssop - Agastache

Hopefully this garden will mature into an ethereal cloud garden with softness and movement. Here is a sneak peek of this fairly new garden.

 The blue garden is at the rear of the house. Blooming are Camassia bulbs.
Below the antique chimney pot are blue pansies. To the right is variegated dogwood (Cornus Alba). 
Starting to bloom are blue false indigo (Baptisia) perennials.
The above photo was taken in autumn 2011. Here are Verbena Bonariensis, Lavender Hidcote, and Buddleia.
This lavender blue columbine (Aguilegia) was just planted last week.
A close up look at lovely Camassia bulbs.


  1. The power of pictures allows us to time travel into another this case yours:) I love that you name the flowers that we see; especially because I found a plant this year, and didn't know if it was a weed or flower... and thanks to you I now know it to be columbine! Brenda.

  2. You have a green thumb, Loi! Everything you plant is gorgeous. You have now motivated me to get busy!
    JUST GORGEOUS! And I love the chimney pot. Such a perfect way to display.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Happy Wednesday.

  3. You amaze me with your perfect gardens! I love the blue theme, and I thank you for opening up my eyes to new gardening possibilities! We have a huge yard, and I'm afraid of putting too much in my beds. But it is like layering textures in decorating! Keep posting more of these inspirational views!

  4. Hi Loi,
    Another great gardening colour combination.
    Your garden looks wonderful and the photos brilliant as always.
    Have a lovely day,

  5. Oh Loi, your garden looks very established already! It's beautiful! You've used my favourite plants and hues! Hidcote is defo my favourite lavender - lovely and tidy! I adore catmint - it really does give that lovely hazy cloudy feel to a garden - that's what I'm going for too!! I love Nepeta Mussinii and Six Hills Giant. Also used Nepeta 'Walker's low' but was disappointed with this one, splayed very unattractively!!! which one(s) did you use?


  6. Hi Loi, this beautiful and very inspiring. Blue is the only color other than white like in my garden. For the last year I have been working on a small garden at our cottage in RI. Right now it is just boxwood, lavender and hydrangeas; the lavender struggled last summer - I don't think it got enough sun. This has given me some good ideas! All best, Phyllis

  7. Hi Loi,
    Another gardener! So beautiful your garden is! Stunning camassia shot with the rear of the house.

    Do you like blue allium? Ours have broken ground and are on the way. I just posted photos of our dog Andy enjoying the garden yesterday among brunnera (forget me nots), a delicate petaled blue with gorgeous foliage that thrives until fall. We have a more naturalized setting and are allowing it to spread without much control.

    We also have several old chimney pots in our garden that I found years ago being given away. One covers the well pipe. I had to paint them black as they were mottled in an unattractive way. Our furniture is black wrought iron so they compliment each other. I love the crown shape and patina on yours.....and your bench...and your pergola...and your bright green lawn...sigh!

  8. Forgot to mention another blue we muscari bulbs! Also called Blue Hyacinth. My husband, Arvind plants them all over our property in clumps. I love them so much, they were in one of the garden photos I posted the other day.

  9. oops, not blue hyacinth, they are called Grape Hyacinth. They are a reliable and long lasting bulb.

  10. Loi, once again you leave me breathless. If this is a fairly immature garden I can not even imagine it's beauty in a few years. The simplicity of the blue pansies keeps the rest of the garden in check---keeps it humble and beautiful at the same time.

  11. Hi Loi - Your garden is beautiful! Love the blue flowers. I hope you'll share photos of your new home studio /office with us(?) and perhaps of photos of your kitchen at your shop too (?). The blue cupboards sound very nice.

  12. Gorgeous! I am thinking about giving you my 3 children and tearing my house down so I can start over:-) Haha!! xo, Kathleen

  13. Good morning Loi! I like the idea of a cloud garden. Funny story, as a child I was always flustered that my "cornflower" crayola was the first to be worn to a nub. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. As we move around frequently, I don't get to garden but I think my next move may be to pitch a tent on your lawn and sleep in a bed of blue flowers...

  14. Hi Loi! I love your blue garden!!! All you do is amazing! I learn so much from you. Thank you for sharing :) The camassia is beautiful. Thank you for introducing me! And that blue columbine is knocking me over. Love your antique chimney pot in the garden. The back or your home is so lovely, what views you have. The vine growing up your arbor is gorgeous too!
    take care,
    Robin G

  15. Blue is my favorite color too. Via this post, I've just found a new flower I need to add to my garden - Baptisia. I love it!

  16. I see it! The softness and movement, already. I had to do a double-take when I saw your Lavender Blue Columbine (photo 5) looks like an antique botanical print - engraving!

    Will there be Nikko Blue Hydrangeas in your future? Do they have enough soft movement?

    1. Hi Donna - Thank you for visiting again. Delighted to have you back! My garden gets too much sun for Nikko blue hydrangeas :-( I tried them, and they just droop from June - August!! Have a great weekend, Loi

  17. I also love blue. My favorites are the lighter hues of aqua and French blue. I have blue in some form in virtually every room of my home. I also cannot get enough of blue and white transferware. The flower choices you have made for your garden are wonderful. I had every one of them in my garden when I lived in New York. Now that I live in SW Florida, I cannot grow most of these. I am not giving up on the Nikko Blue hydrangea, however. I bought several last year from nurseries that promised they would grow in my zone. They are not looking well, but I am hoping for the best. Please post pictures of your maturing garden. I will enjoy your hydrangeas vicariously.
    All the best...Victoria

  18. Love how you're sharing the plants and their names that's the best way to learn more about what you like through another persons eyes. Lively settings and very artist.

  19. Your blue garden is beautiful! I have always loved the idea of a single colored garden. I have slowly been editing my plants to mostly white and just love how it looks.

  20. Hello Loi,
    Love your blue is my favorite too.
    So nice to find your blog...through Brooke.
    Your home, gardens and collections are beautiful and I am enjoying reading through your posts.
    Thanks for sharing it all!
    Take care, Laura :)

  21. Loi, it is beautiful. You are a great photographer. You really know how to capture the image so it is artistic and creative.

  22. You have a beautiful garden and I love blue, too. I've never been the type who loves gardening - I don't think I have the patience! But who knows, I may take it up one day as your garden is very inspiring!

  23. Oh Loi! So excited to know you have a blog now! I featured your beautiful home on my blog about a year ago. Here is the link:

    It is my all time favourite home!! And now I get to see your garden! Ahhh a lovely way to end my day! Thanks for sharing!

  24. Wow...your blue garden is stunning. Love the peaceful feel - would never be indoors!!

  25. I love the understated elegance of your garden (and your design in general.) I feel lucky to have found you - after reading Brook's blog, Velvet and Linen.
    Best to you,

  26. Blue is so rare in a garden and these images were such a treat. My heart fluttered as only gardens can make it flutter.

    Also, love your images on Pinterest. I don't where to start looking. Great collections.

  27. Hi Loi,
    I love your blue garden. I have a lot of blue in mine as well. Nothing will be blooming in Calgary yet for another month or so. Blue is one of my favorites, and I also love white flowers.

  28. Your blue is wonderful! I have some blue flowers in my garden, too. The colour goes great with white and pink.

  29. Absolutely beautiful - I love this colour palette in a garden. When I lived in London, I had restricted space in my garden, so I kept it all very formal and structured. The planting was all blue and white with box hedging - it looked similar to yours - I loved it!

  30. So...lovely! I too work with this color palette both inside ad out! It's so peaceful and elegant!
    So glad I discovered your blog...after pinning so many pictures of your home and store!
    Have a great weekend

  31. Loi, your colour palette is beautiful, calming and restful. The Camassia looks so wonderful against that variegated Cornus. I would love to spend an afternoon in such a garden.


  32. Heavenly Loi - I adore your blue garden. I love that antique chimney pot (castle)!

    Last year I planted a lovely blue perennial called False Indigo . It is purple really but quite lovely. I love blue flowers but there are very few varieties that are hardy here. We are in a cold, dry zone (Zone 3), so we really struggle with plant material here. I wish I lived where you do, just for the sake of the garden even....(not to mention the shopping).

    I finally LINKED to your blog on my website and subscribed so I will not miss any more posts!!

    xo Terri

  33. Haha - Loi I just noticed you did have false indigo already. After I wrote it I thought "wait a minute - I saw something that looked like indigo" and scrolled up and there it is! Lovely indeed. Looks like you have found lots of blue flowers...

    xo Terri

  34. Hi Loi,
    Here in Ontario we had an early spurt of spring and then a cold spell... I am anxious to get out and about in our gardens.
    Your cloud garden is already fantastic, showing great promise for years of enjoyment. Thank you for the inspiration!

  35. Wow, your garden in gorgeous. I would love to start gardening (I have a nice sized plot) but don't have a clue where to start! Maybe when it stops raining here (Hertfordshire, England) I'll give it a go. Have a great weekend. Hugs, B x

  36. So, "when my ship comes in", you'll not only be designing the interior of my home, but the gardens as well! This post is perfect timing, as I've been trying to decide on plants for our yard -- specifically blue perennials. So beautiful.


  37. Hi Kerry - Many thanks for your visit and comment!! I'd be happy to do one room / garden at a time, for you :) :) And, would love to see what you plant for your yard. Take care, Loi

  38. Yes! I've been adding a little blue into the garden as well. I'm so glad to see how great and tidy your Hidcote lavender looks; I've contemplated planting it here but have been unsure about how tidy & neat it would look. I got lucky this year with Victoria Blue Salvia. It's an annual where I am, but with the really mild winter, it came back again this spring and is looking great under a pink standard rose with with Euphorbia Diamond Frost growing in front of it.

    Another inspiring post!

  39. I'm a huge fan of blue too. Most of my home is blue.


Many thanks for your visit! If you have a question, please leave a comment and I will do my best to answer. Loi