Color Purple

Part 1 - When it comes to purple the sky’s the limit

I was reading the January/ February issue of “Backyard Living” came across this article by Julie Drysdale, Aptos, California and titled “The Power of Purple”. Since purple is one of my favorite colors I found it very interesting and decided to share some of her tips with the readers.

There’s no denying the rich and velvety appeal of a good, strong purple – in fabric, in paints, fine wine and for gardeners, in bold flowers, foliage, ripe plum and egg plants.

Purple can single-handedly make your garden more dynamic, whether in a themed flower bed, as an accent plant or mixed in a container display.

The only place purple falters is in dim light, do don’t grow it in shade or off in the far distance where it will only recede into the background.

Purple‘s versatility makes it one amazing color. Perhaps that’s why there are so many offerings in purple –hued flowers. And it’s the perfect complement for many other colors.

Bright yellow is always a terrific partner, because yellow helps solidity or give heft to purple, yet its regal presence is able to tone down a brassy yellow. Side by side, they are striking and elegant. The same goes for purple with rich hues of red and gold, in autumn or at any other time, Assuming the plants all share the same intensity, the result is jewel-like.

Blues and greens look grand with purple as well, because purple’s splendor is able to give them some substance and depth.

Even difficult- to- combine colors go with purple. It’s downright electric with orange, its direct opposite on the wheel.

If you have a bland fence or wall needing color, vines that flower in bold purple colors will certainly step up the challenge.

Wisteria, clematis, bougainvillea or cup-and-saucer vine put on a grand purple show all on their own. A lighter – colored backdrop or an open-form arch, pergola or trellis are perfect for displaying both the purple blossoms and accompanying green foliage. It gives the deep color definition, rather than making it look like a dark mass.

Plants with purple foliage are also worth considering because the color will last all season. Grapevines and sweet potato vines both come in purple-leafed versions. These form a background quite unlike any other for complementary or contrasting colors.

Finally, because purple comes in an array of shades, from almost indigo to violet to lilac, you could devote and entire garden to purple alone, it’s a fine idea, and it’s sure to look dazzling, provided you include plenty of variety and don’t crowd the plants.

Listed below is a list of some purple flowers, you might be interested in for your garden.

  • 1. Lavender
    Purple varieties: ‘Hidcote Superior’, ‘Munstead’
    Botanical name: Lavandula agustifolia
    Plant type: perennial herb
    Bloom time: late spring into summer
    Hardiness: Zone 5 - 9
    Height: 2’ – 3’
    Width: 2’ – 3’
    Light needs: full sun
    Planting: A site in slightly alkaline soil of moderate fertility is ideal; must be well drained, or your lavender plants will rot. Poor winter survival in coldest regions.

Next week I will continue with a list of purple flowers.