Snow Fairy Bluebeard
Flower description / bloom time
The soft blue flowers begin blooming in late July and are ¼ inch or less in small clusters on the tip and sides of the stems. Though pretty, they can get lost in the bright, variegated foliage.
Foliage interest— color/texture
This bluebeard has fine-textured, variegated foliage. The 2-inch leaves are toothed, sage green, with an irregular white margin. The foliage is clean throughout the season and the variegation has a strong effect in the garden until frost. When crushed or bruised, foliage has a mint-like fragrance.
Habit and growth rate observations
‘Snow Fairy’ has a vase-shaped habit that reaches 24-30 inches high and wide. Though very slow to return in the spring, it shows more vigorous growth by mid-summer.
Site preference—soil and light
‘Snow Fairy’ is said to prefer sun to light shade in average, well-drained soils, but it also did well in the shady garden [see picture below]. It did not overwinter in wet soils.
Successes and possible drawbacks – how to overcome them
The bright, clean variegated foliage provides interest all season and the mid-size, graceful form of the plant makes it multifunctional in the garden. However, it emerges as late as early June, so do not be too hasty to assume it has died. Rabbit problems can require fencing for protection.
Notes from growers/retailers
Growers consider this plant to be an easy container plant to grow with an average finish time. They suggest starting small, shifting up to a larger pot size and pruning once to fatten” up the plant. Grow in part shade for best coloring of the foliage.
Consider combining ‘Snow Fairy’ with Stachys byzantina and Geranium sanguineum. It goes well with bright colored flowers and plants with bolder foliage.
Parting SHOT— the overall evaluation results were Good ***
This plant is no trouble at all and makes a big foliage statement from June until frost. The flowers do not show up unless you are standing close, but who cares? Foliage and growth habit make this plant a winner!