Nicholas Mosse pottery light blue lawn large mug and blue blooms teapot outdoors on table with banana bread

I was recently prompted to think of some of my favourite things after watching The Sound of Music with the grandkids who were visiting. It can be tricky to keep the list short, to say eight things - one for each note of the scale - but it’s great fun to seek out the answers and go on a journey through life’s catalogue of memories and experiences, a bit of the past and present. The things I narrowed it down to are mostly plants and foods, and therefore all rather transient in nature - not unlike the ‘raindrops on roses’ and ‘wild geese’ of the song. And, curiously, many of them turn out to be the colour blue.

blue border from Kilfane and blue hydrangea from Malahide

Layers of bluey flowers in my garden at KilfaneHydrangea (pictured in Malahide Castle Gardens) will bloom more bluey purple when they are growing in more acidic soil. 

Beloved Blue Blooms

As a gardener, it seems I favour a blueish bloom over pinks, yellows and oranges. I’ve managed to create (almost!) a constant relay of blue flowers in my garden, from early crocus flowers, grape hyacinths to carpets of self-seeding forget-me-nots, viola and love-in-the-mist, hyacinths and bluebells, aquilegia, irises, alliums and hydrangeas. I have cheated a little, as some of these are more violet-blue or closer to purple than blue. My blue border belies the fact that the colour blue appears much less in nature than we may think. If we count by subject rather than size - so the sky and the ocean are only one a piece - a smaller fraction of the plants, foods and animals in the world are blue in colour (not counting the many sheep in Ireland with a blue dot sprayed on their behind!). 

Nicholas Mosse pottery blue blooms collection
To compensate for not enough blue in nature we created these blue tulips as our Blue Blooms pattern. They don’t exist in real life but only wave their blue heads in a gentle breeze on our pottery!

‘Blue’ Greenery

It’s not all in the flowers either. Some of my favourite plants have leaves that are more blue than green, or have a silvery, greyish-blueness to them, and these are wonderful too, like lavender and giant artichokes. As if seeing up to a million distinct shades isn’t enough for most humans, we would experience the world quite differently if we could see as many colours as some animals do, including the ultraviolet spectrum.  

Nicholas Mosse light blue lawn small tapered vase with pink hydrangea
 Bees are like me, more drawn to violet, purple and blue flowers. If you plant a creeping thyme lawn, when it’s in flower you can swap the blue of the sky for the lawn. Pictured: Small Tapered Vase Light Blue Lawn that might also attract the bees!  

The Foody Blues 

For every season a favourite food - I’m a devotee of many that come and go with certain festivals and specific times of the year and a stickler for keeping them that way – strictly no mince pies before 1st December or beyond the 12th day of Christmas. And right now, All Hail Summer Pudding! Tangy and sweet with the distinctive flavours of blackcurrant and blackberry jostling together. It’s a beautiful deep bluey-purple colour too. The scarcity value adds to the delight when the moment in the year comes around again for a hot cross bun in spring, fresh figs plucked straight from the tree and pears poached in red wine in the autumn.  

Blue Jewel of the Dairy

Nicholas mosse pottery custard cups, grapes with blue cheese

Last but definitely not least in the collection of favourite things is my most favourite edible thing (and probably the most ephemeral of all!), a little indulgence of blue cheese. In a bid to eat a bit less cheese these days, having a nibble of this delicacy is now quite the luxury and a much rarer event. There are many to choose from, all with unique character, texture and flavour but I must give a loud cheer for Crozier Blue, a delicious, softish and creamy blue sheep’s cheese made in neighbouring County Tipperary. OK, the ‘blue’ in the cheese is more green than blue, but as this is all a matter of perception, I’m going to say it counts. It’s vegetarian too and can be paired with some purple rice biscuits or blue corn crackers to complete the totally blue colour filter. 

Susan Mosse

Top image: Blue Blooms Teapot, Light Lawn Blue Large Mug, Everyday Plate, Medium Rectangular Plate