By Karen Chapman, Le jardinet
Feature Plant: Clarity Blue™dianella (Dianella hybrid 'DP401' PP27348)
If you have been searching for a bold, architectural plant that is evergreen, deer resistant and survives with only occasional watering, you’ll fall in love with this stunning blue-grey perennial. Clarity Blue™dianella has an upright, vase-shaped habit that is easy to use in containers or the landscape, yet is a more modest size than most New Zealand flax (Phormium sp.) and a welcome change in color from the better known variegated dianella.
Clarity Blue™dianella combines easily with succulents for a tough waterwise landscape, but is equally at home mingled with billowing, drought tolerant perennials such as hummingbird mint (Agastache sp.), Russian sage (Perovskia sp.), and catmint (Nepeta sp.).
The distinct blue-grey color shows up well against dark burgundy foliage such as Purple Pixie®dwarf weeping loropetalum (Loropetalum chinense ‘Peack’ PP18441), yet also offers subtle contrast to the silver and grey tones most often associated with drought tolerant plants.
Whether you prefer to use it in a container design or in the landscape, this will quickly become a favorite. Try the combinations suggested below or use them as a springboard for your own unique designs. Even if Clarity Blue™dianella is not winter hardy in your area it is worth featuring as a special annual in summer designs, where it is sure to intrigue your neighbors.
Wake up your patio with a vibrant turquoise container garden featuring Clarity Blue™dianella as a centerpiece. Surround this hardworking shrub with three Meerlo lavender (Lavandula allardii ‘Meerlo’ PP25559), whose variegated creamy-white and blue-grey foliage echo the color of the dianella. The multicolored, aromatic foliage of this lavender is reason enough to grow it, but the delicate spikes of blue flowers add to the summer scene perfuming the summer breeze with their unforgettable fragrance.
To soften the edges of the container add Amethyst Falls ornamental oregano (Origanum x 'Amethyst Falls') between the lavender. The hop-like bracts will tumble gracefully over the container, balancing the upright form of the other plants. This delightful ornamental herb has foliage in the perfect shade of blue-green, while the lilac and apple-green bracts introduce contrast, and tiny lavender flowers add an interesting detail.
This romantic, fragrant design is as easy-care as it is beautiful, being deer resistant and requiring less water than more traditional container plantings.
Bold becomes beautiful
Balance the sculptural foliage of Clarity Blue™dianella with an abundance of billowing, flowering perennials that share its deer resistant and drought tolerant attributes.
Weave together clusters of a dwarf, orange hummingbird mint, e.g. Kudos Mandarin (Agastache ‘Kudos Mandarin’), and a dwarf bluecatmint, such as Kit Kat (Nepeta faassenii 'Kit Kat'), around a group of several Clarity Blue™dianella. The colorful blooms will attract bees and hummingbirds, while the aromatic foliage of these two perennials will deter deer. A mulch of gravel or a simple groundcover of Mother of thyme (Thymus serpyllum) will knit the elements together visually.
All these plants will thrive in full sun and well-drained soil.
Cultural Details for Clarity Blue™dianella
Hardiness: USDA zones 8-11, Sunset zones 5,8,9,14-24
Light: Full sun-part shade in hotter climates
Water: Low once established
Mature size: 24-30" tall x 18-24" wide