Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > July 2016 > IN THE DIRT with DOUG - POWER TO THE PURPLE


The color purple, I am not talking the movie although the movie did have purple flowers in the meadow.  And, I am not talking about Deep Purple, the rock band or Jimi Hendrix with Purple Haze.  But, in their own way, they all understood the power of purple.  The color purple spans a wide spectrum range from a deep purple that is almost black to a pale periwinkle. 
                I look at my own use of the color purple in my gardens and I admire other homeowners and how they use purple in their landscape.  There is so much green with any landscaping that using other colors just enhances the landscape that much more.  Purple’s ideal color partner is yellow.  Yellow will brighten up the garden and, at the same time, the two colors will compliment one another.
As I mentioned at the top of this blog that the color purple can be achieved through either flowers or foliage.  Following is a list of plants for you to consider when you want to add some purple color to your landscape:
  1.  Heuchura (perennial), or better known as “Coral Bells”.  Coral Bells give you the purple through foliage.  Some very good varieties to consider are Plum Pudding, Sugar Plum, and Frosted Violet – just to name a few.  Personally, I have Plum Pudding planted in my garden and I love it.  I planted a chartreuse coleus near it in order to have that purple and yellow combination.
  2. Buddleia (woody perennial), or better known as “Butterfly Bush” gives you the color purple with its flowers.  The variety ‘Black Knight’ is awesome with its ultra-dark purple flowers.  Other varieties to consider are ‘Low and Behold’ and ‘Purple Haze’.  All Butterfly Bushes provide a rich source of nectar for butterflies and bees.
  3. Verbena ‘Homestead Purple’ (perennial) – a great ground cover with beautiful, dark purple flowers from spring into summer.
  4. Setcreasea (annual) – Setcreasea is a unique plant in that it has purple foliage with a pinkish-lavender flower.  Although Setcreasea is sold as an anuual, in many local areas I see it in the landscape as a plant that has perennialized.  It is considered a zone 8 plant and we are zone 7B so it is borderline hardy.
  5. Syringa ‘Bloomerang’ (shrub) – or better known as a dwarf Lilac that is a repeat bloomer.  Great dwarf shrub for a sunny location that will give you lavender flowers more than one time a year.
  6. Ruellia brittoniana (perennial) – or better known as “Wild Petunia”.  A tall, upright growing perennial with dark purple flowers in mid-summer.  Very different and under used in my opinion.
  7. Lavender (perennial) – is considered an herb.  And, it has everything: beautiful  purple flowers with a nice fragrance, foliage is very fragrant that makes it deer tolerant, a long blooming period, and it attracts bees and butterflies to the garden.
  8. Salvia (perennial), a great hardy perennial that blooms for a long period in mid to late spring.  May Night and Marcus are just a couple of varieties to consider.  Excellent perennial to use as accent in a sunny garden, especially with perennials that bloom yellow such as coreopsis.
  9. Persian Shield and Heliotrope (annuals) – two excellent performing annuals that give you a strong purple presence in garden.
  10. Liriope (perennial) – commonly referred to as “Monkey Grass”.  Comes with green or variegated leaves with a purple spiked flower in late summer through the fall.  Monkey Grass makes a great border plant or can be used in container gardens.
So, here is just a quick list of plants to consider planting to give your some  purple power.                                                    HAPPING GARDENING
Posted: 7/27/2016 by Doug Hensel | with 0 comment(s)
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