Book Review: A Book of Blue Flowers by Robert Geneve

An unusual book focusing on blue flowers from powder blue and turquoise to navy and violet with all shades between. Adding a note of coolness and calm to any garden, blue is an essential element in any garden providing a contrast to the more frequently seen warm colours.

Surprizingly, blue is not a common colour, found in every plant species. It is limited to certain plant families and breeders have spent years trying (with limited success) to introduce it elsewhere such as in the legendary search for a blue rose. Geneve looks at all aspects of blue flowers from how to use them, the scientific aspects of blue as a colour, through to descriptions of hundreds of plants. My only criticism is that it would be useful to have a few more photographs showing exactly what some of these plants are like.

A book for browsing through, for getting ideas of plants to include in a garden. It has a host of fascinating snippets for example the origins of plant names. I never knew that the genus word for Anchusa links to a Greek word for paint on the skin and reflects the fact that the plant was once used as a cosmetic. Very detailed and well researched it will appeal to all plant lovers.

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