Exploring Color: Blue

Colors are the smiles of nature. ~Leigh Hunt

Seeing blue in nature seems to brighten my day and fill my heart with gladness. Even in winter I am treated to some magnificent hues of blue. The incredible deep blue of the sky even with the frigid temps. And the way shadows play with blue all along the snow piles.

Besides the iridescent blue of the Eastern Bluebird, I adore blue flowers in my garden and in nature. I think this is especially true because blue is not the most prolific color in the garden. But it is frequently the most loved (or favorite) color.

For this week of my #the100dayproject, I am exploring blue. I am planning to take all the blue watercolors I have to mix, swirl and combine them to make some interesting combos.

So let’s explore a bit about the color blue…..

The word blue comes from the Old French word bleu, blo meaning pale, discolored.  Blue is a primary color; its complementary color is orange.  It is associated with depth and stability. And it has been shown to cause the body to produce chemicals that are calming which slows human metabolism. Maybe why I love seeing blue skies and blue flowers (like these scilla) in nature.

Various Meanings and History

Blue is said to symbolize trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, freedom, strength and new beginnings.

Blue can help you sleep and is a good color for bedrooms.

Blue skies are said to be a symbol of optimism and better opportunities.

The ancient Egyptians used the blue gem, lapis lazuli, to represent heaven.

In many cultures blue is important in religion; it is said to bring peace, or keep the bad spirits away.

Winter blue sky

Fun Facts

Blue is used to promote products and services related to clean/cleaning, airlines, and bottled water.

It is said you should avoid using blue to promote food and cooking because blue suppresses the appetite.

Blue symbolizes importance and confidence, and this meaning is the reason behind the blue power suit and blue police uniforms.

In Iran, blue is the color of mourning.

In the US the something blue bridal tradition represents love.

A light blue car means that you’re calm and quiet.  A dark blue car means you are credible, confident, dependable.

Blue denim is the most common clothing material in the western world.

The beautiful Blue Jay is a perfect mix of many hues of blue.


Light blue is associated with health, healing, tranquility, and softness.

Dark blue represents knowledge, power, integrity, seriousness, depth, and stability.

Turquoise is the symbol of youth, has a soothing effect, is associated with communication, protection, health, confidence and strength.

Aqua is the color of high ideals.


Blue Blooms in the Garden

Over the last several years,  the Perennial Plant Association has chosen a couple of “blue”  Plants of the Year (Brunnera Jack Frost, Amsonia).  And I see lots of beautiful true blues in the spring garden with Scilla, Iris reticulata (pictured above), Muscari, Forget-Me-Nots, Glory of the Snow, native Virginia Bluebells and Puschkinia.

And in summer it is the blue Nigella that fascinates me as it blooms amongst stronger colored blossoms like Nasturtiums, Zinnias and cosmos.

The non-native chicory blooms along roadsides here in the US adding a lovely color.

I wanted to give a shout out to Art Summits for their colors classes, Stop Making Mud and Mix Your Own Neutrals. I have been learning about color and how to mix primary colors like blue so I finally stopped making mud. Thanks Art Summits.

All the pictures shared in this post were taken with my Nikon Coolpix or iPhone camera, and manipulated on my iPhone using the apps, Pixlr and Prisma. The collages were created with a variety of apps 10 years ago that are no longer available. You can follow my progress with #the100dayproject in my Instagram and Facebook feed.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2022.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

6 Replies to “Exploring Color: Blue”

  1. I’m enjoying your color collages and the “fun facts” included in these posts, Donna. I plant almost everything there’s even a chance of growing here if it produces blue flowers. However, I often find it difficult to capture the color accurately in photos – it seems the light has to be just right.

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