When I was starting my garden, my husband requested I put in some blue flowers. Blue flowers aren't the easiest things to find, but I think I made a good choice when I came home with a Caryopteris. It's common name is Blue Mist Shrub and I think that's apt. Like Russian Sage, Caryopteris takes its time developing its full color, starting off with the slightest hint of blue and surprising you with its final intensity. Now, in mid-August, my plant is a mound of vivid blue flower puffs. The bumblebees and butterflies absolutely love it, so I view it at a distance.
The regular, old Caryopteris is about as rugged as they come. There are several new varieties out there that are stunning, with deeper shades of blue and contrasting foliage, but I've found them to be a bit more temperamental or, like my ‛Worcester Gold', a little aggressive. My 'Dark Knight' sometimes skips a year and then pops back up next season. Very annoying, but I'm trying to be patient. They are beautiful shrubs and I've yet to see a plant that didn't pair nicely with them. Caryopteris is as low maintenance as they come and small enough to fit into any garden. Take a look at one of my all time favorites, the Blue Mist Shrub.
Photo: © Marie Iannotti