A dreamy blue contrast

Photo by Craig Summers Black
BLUE BEAUTY: Eryngium ‘Blue Star,’ a silver-blue-tinged plant, and a blue fescue’s golden wheat-colored seed heads provide a subtle contrast.

OK, so maybe blue-on-blue isn’t the most ingenious color combination you can think of. You’ve got to add something else – let’s call it the anti-blue – as a contrast between them, to give them definition. Some drama.

The remarkable sea holly (they’re all great; this one is Eryngium ‘Blue Star’) looks like a bouquet of tiny blue pineapples turned crumpets-over-teakettle rising about two feet high.

Below it – planted right by the front door of my Victorian house in rural Earlham, Iowa – I’ve used little blue fescues (Festuca glaucaElijah Blue’) as a front-of-border edging.

Since Elijah tops out at only 10 inches, there is room between the ankle-high, blue leaves of grass and the knee-high, architectural Eryngium flowers of the same hue to insert this transition.

One of the sparkling pink penstemons would be dandy, as would almost anything in yellow (say, the long-blooming daylily named Happy Returns).

But the blue fescue provides its own layer of contrast soon enough in the form of its golden wheat-colored seed heads.

Subtle? Yes. But kind of dreamy, too.

NOTE: This is one of a series of Creative Combos, brief discussions about plants that look great together. You can find more here and here.

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