Choosing Blue Bulbs for Your Spring Garden

You don't have to have a green thumb to grow these blue blooms.

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Spanish Bluebells

"The color blue is often associated with feeling down," says master gardener Paul James. "But in the garden, I think blue is one of the most uplifting colors of all." You can find blues in all types of plants, from annuals and perennials to evergreens, but for Paul, some of the best blues come from spring-flowering bulbs.

Paul discusses three in particular that, while less popular, offer big blooming rewards. Ipheion is a dynamite little bulb also known as starflower. These 3- to 5-inch beauties are a snap to plant and grow, and they slowly spread, which makes them great for naturalizing."And for those of you who are plagued by deer, this is a naturally deer-proof plant." The grassy leaves, when crushed or eaten, smell and taste like garlic. Ipheion is hardy in Zones 5 to 9.

"Another of my favorites is Hyacinthoides hispanica better known as Spanish bluebells. One of the great things about this blue baby, besides its obvious beauty, is that it grows great in shade, even deep shade." Spanish bluebells grow in Zones 3 to 8.

"Now for my favorite of the lot: Camassia. This rugged 30-inch plant grows just about anywhere in Zones 5 through 8, and it actually survives in damp soils and heavy clay when given full sun. Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest once roasted the bulbs of Camassia as food, as did members of the Lewis and Clark expedition."

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