The dwarf plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides) isn't really this color:
It should be more purplish, less of a sky blue. My camera seems to prefer this color, though, no matter how I fiddle with the white balance, and I like it fine myself; it just isn't true to life.
The sky isn't actually this vivid a blue, either:
If you don't want to over-expose a sunlit building, however, you have to shut some light out of the photo, and that gives the sky a depth of color it doesn't really have. As if by magic, voilà—you have a perfect September morning. (Actually, it was a perfect September morning. But the sky wasn't quite that shade of blue.)
Even without help from the camera, all on its own, the sky was perfectly wonderful that day. Yet somehow the photo's vibrant color has mixed itself into my real memories of the real sky; it's one of the layers of that memory. I think back to the weekend with a glow of pleasure: "What a gorgeous morning that was! The sky was such a deep blue!" And it was—just not the blue I have in mind. Or at least, not one of the blues.
The plumbago, too: its own, real-life blue-violet is lovely, and a delight to see in late summer. In the dappled shade under the desert olive it looks cool and refreshing. I love it for many reasons, and now one of them is the fault of the photograph. Its gorgeous color (which isn't real) is a mirror of the sky's (which isn't real) on September mornings (which are).
As one of my most quotable friends likes to say (and as I often quote her saying), we create our own realities. We mix the present up together with memory, expectation, imagination, and who knows what else, as we go bumping around trying to make sense of the world. The act of creating a photograph (or perhaps of creating anything), the process of thinking through viewpoint and composition, aperture and shutter speed, of looking closely and wonderingly at your subject and then seeing the finished project—all that interaction becomes part of your reality.
Blue-violet/sky-blue: they're both now part of my (not particularly vast) experience of plumbago. One of those colors is based on what I actually see; the other on a foible of my camera—or, more generously, on using the camera, on engaging with what is out there to be seen.
Which is the truer blue?