Spring flowers have turned into berries and seed pods. Without their blossoms peonies are mere green bushes, and even the annuals are looking a bit peaked. Don’t despair, however. The show isn’t over yet. One of the best perennials (or small shrubs) for Colorado gardens is Caryopteris x clandoensis, more familiarly known as Bluebeard or Blue Mist Spiraea.
The latter common name can cause some confusion. Caryopteris isn’t a true spiraea. The “Blue Mist” part is spot on. The airy flowers in periwinkle blue really do seem to hover over the tips of the stems in a lovely cloud. The plants can reach two to three feet wide and tall. Foliage is a bluish gray-green, with long, soft, serrated leaves.