The Pantone color of the year for 2020 is….. “Classic Blue”. Pantone describes this shade as:
“Instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.”
Photo Credit: www.pantone.com
In the often topsy turvy world in which we live, I think many of us can relate to embracing the feel of a “stable foundation”. And what better way to honor this stability than to add a few native plants to your garden in this bright yet calming hue.
There are many reasons for choosing native plants, among them are hardiness, ease of growing and their importance as a food source for pollinators. Planting natives is a great way for you to contribute to our environment by providing stability. I have chosen three plants to share that will add both interest to your garden and provide a food source for our hard working winged friends.
Photo credit: F. D. Richards on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-SA
Photo credit: Fred Ortlip on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA
Arkansas Blue Star (Amsonia hubrichtii)
Amsonia is a large, busy perennial that produces large clusters of blue flowers in mid-spring to early summer depending on where you live. Their range is zone 4-9 and they reach a mature size of 2’-3’ here in the northeast. The clusters of flowers are an important food source for many pollinators, but if you are lucky they will attract both hummingbirds and hummingbird (sphinx) moths. A bonus attribute of this plant is that in the fall the clump turns a bright yellow that is quite beautiful and lasts for many weeks.
Photo credit: wackybadger on VisualHunt / CC BY-SA
Native Lupine (Lupinus perennis)
Our native Lupine is one of the best ways to add a touch of calming blue to your spring garden. Native Lupine, zone 3-8, requires full to part sun and get about 2’-3’ tall depending on soil type and moisture levels. In New York they bloom late spring – early summer. The tall, spiky flowers are a bold contrast to lower, bushier spring blooming plants. They reseed and will often jump around a bit in the garden, with no one particular plant remaining in the same area for very long. Because of this you may have to reseed or add some new plants periodically. Bumble bees particularly love Lupines.
Photo credit: outdoorPDK on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA
Photo credit: scott361 on Visual hunt / CC BY-ND
Blue Eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium)
Blue eyed grass grows natively in the meadow next to my house and I am always excited to see their happy little faces here and there in late spring and early summer. They have a central yellow “eye” that stands out well against the blue petals. These zone 4-9 beauties are short in stature, growing only about 12”-18” tall. They prefer full sun and make a great border plant because of their small size. There are many species of bees, flies and butterflies that enjoy the blooms.
Consider adding one of these “classic blue” native beauties to your garden this year.