The most elusive of bloom colors –
Is this really a blue-flowered perennial?
One would think that the people in charge of naming the colors of flower petals have their own set of crayons. They call it blue and in your garden the plant blooms a sickly shade of pink or pinkish purple. I feel your pain! If it’s not blue, I don’t want it in my garden either! However, Veronica is one of the very few perennials that offers flowers that are very close to being blue. Close enough for me, flower snob that I am, and new Tidal Wave Veronica is likely not going to disappoint.
Search result images can sometimes reveal what catalog photos do not – the true color of a perennials flowers. However, when using this method of discovery, you have to keep in mind that the brand of camera used to take the photograph, and your computer screen’s color display, does alter reality from what you see. Don’t rely on one image. You need to dig deeper than that. Take into account the source of the images. Are they nursery photos, promoter photos, or gardener photos? It makes a big difference. Promoter photos are many times altered, and also the only source for nurseries to use to market the season’s offering. After a plant has been available wholesale for a year or two, smart nurseries have planted it in their garden and can show you a garden shot. These will usually be closer to true color than the perfect advertising view. Gardener images can go either way. The key is to see what version of color is seen more than others, and is usually a pretty safe bet at being the color the plant will bloom for you.
So is Tidal Wave really this true blue? I don’t think so – no live plant blooms the color of Gramma’s blue and white china. But, Royal Candles Veronica is more blue than purple, so this yummy little spring bloomer could very well be an excellent bluer side of purple. And here’s what I think this plant really will look like in your garden below. It’s definitely leaning heavily toward blue, and the lighting could be off on these two images, but these are the ones I would go by when ordering this perennial for my garden. On the left is a gardener photo from Garden Web Forums and below is a nursery image from Far Reaches Farm.
Notice that there are hints of the deeper blue bloom color here and there on the image on the left? In the shot the blooming is just getting started, and it’s possible at the height of flowering the color is intensified, because you can see that the blossoming starts out far lighter at bud burst and darkens as the flowers unfold. The featured image at the top of this page was shot precisely at the time the plant was in full glory – that’s the goal of advertising shots – to capture the plant at it’s full glory. Some of the color depth can be related to soil acidity, but I’ve never found this to be true of Veronicas.
But yes, Veronica ‘Tidal Wave’ is definitely blue in the world of real flowers. Definitely going to have to find a spot to add this one to my beds!
A hybrid of two ground hugging Veronicas, this lovely little perennial comes from the breeding program at Chicago Botanic Gardens. It is well-behaved, and forms an evergreen carpet that is 2″ tall and about 36″ wide in three to four seasons. Like it’s cousins, this plant will deal with some drought once it is established. Be sure to give it great drainage, because Veronicas will develop root rot if the soil is constantly saturated. They will do well in average garden soil. Tidal Wave is hardy in zones 4-8.
Nomenclature & Trademark
Veronica ‘Tidal Pool’ PP#23,341