2020 - THE YEAR OF BLUE

Colour experts Pantone have named “classic blue” the colour for 2020 which made me think about all of the beautiful blue flowers nature has given us.

I love these pretty muscari, or grape hyacinths, which you will see popping up in your gardens around about now. They start life as little bulbs and have a delicious perfume. But you don't have to have a garden to enjoy them, they will grow happily in pots or window boxes and they're perennial so they will come back year after year. They can also be bought as cut flowers in small bunches and they make a beautiful addition to spring wedding bouquets.

There are around 400 shades of blue but Pantone says it chose the classic deep sky blue because of its association with stability and calm which seems to capture the mood of 2020. There are far fewer blue flowers than there are shades of blue but their beauty and relative rarity is appreciated far and wide; it's a colour favoured by artists - Van Gogh’s Irises, and Picasso’s Blue Period for example; it symbolises serenity and remembrance: forget-me-nots, and the striking blue cornflower is the national flower of Estonia.

One of my favourite blue flowers is the hydrangea. These huge balls of floral delight are fabulous and extravagant and not cheap to buy as a cut flower but you only need a few stems to fill a vase and they last a long time. Hang them upside down to dry and they will last even longer, so they really are very good value. 

If you want to plant a blue hydrangea in your garden the soil needs to be acidic otherwise the flowers will turn pink, a simple testing kit from your local garden centre will help you determine the acidity in your soil which can be adjusted by adding some ericaceous soil.

Of course it's impossible to talk about blue flowers without mentioning bluebells!  Come March and April these little blue treasures will be covering our woodlands and gardens but don’t pick them because they are protected and you could be fined;  just take a walk in the woods and savour them while you can.

So if you're planning a wedding or event this year, re-planting your garden, or beautifying your balcony, consider adding some blue flowers for a splash of on trend colour and an air of calm sophistication. Enjoy!