The Garden, Volume 80: 538 (Nov 4, 1916)

"Shades Of Blue"
Edward H. Woodall

It is a truism to say that shades of red always look good when well massed together, and now I find the same thing true of blues in various shades and types. Never before having been out here so early in autumn, I had not realised the wonderful beauty of a tangle of climbers in shades of blue. Thunbergia laurifolia, Ipomoea rubro-caerulea (the big form, which is the deeper in colour) and Plumbago capensis (in many shades) harmonise together so beautifully that one longs for a big stretch of pergola or of wall to show them off to the full, and there is a hybrid of Ipomoea Learii, exquisite in its blue grey shading, that must not be omitted from the blue medley. No idea of the beauty of such a mixture can be formed until one has had the luck to come across a group of this colouring before the first cold of autumn has chilled the profusion and luxuriant grace of such climbers. No one can resist the desire, I think, to repeat such a combination when time, opportunity and climate serve. Perhaps its very evanescence adds to its ethereal charm.

The fashion for glaucous and blue leaved conifers is superseded by the charms of Cupressus arizonica, of which I wrote last year, and the advent of the very striking Juniperus pachyphlaea, of which I know no more save that I have seen a row of it in a nursery. Certainly it is a very striking tree if it preserves its present character when fully grown. It is as white in leaf and growth as if it were a silver-leaved Centaurea, such as candidissima, and more closely reminds one of a silver filigree tree than anything that is real and alive. Smoke or soot would, I presume, dull its excessive brilliance, but, as I have seen it, I should no more think of planting a row or avenue of this sparkling beauty than 1 would plant a forest tree with diamonds for leaves. The effect is really too garish. It must be used with much discretion, and to a real artist it opens out quite a new field for the landscape gardener. One is always saying "Nothing can beat this," and then comes a plant or tree from heaven knows where that puts a stopper on all such rash sayings. If surprises are the essence of successful gardening, I can fully recommend this shrub or possible tree; it will take a great deal to surpass it in its particular line.