Lilacs to Lavender: The Lust for Purple Plants Lilacs to Lavender: The Lust for Purple Plants

There is just something about the color purple. If you consult your ancient history texts, it was only the most elite Romans and later popes who could wear purple. In the garden, purple flowers and purplish plants always command attention; they make dramatic additions for single color garden design schemes or simply as accents for any area of the landscape. The following article discusses the passion for purple blooms, with reference to ideal growing conditions and proper care.

Trees and shrubs that boast lavender to purple blooms and foliage make spectacular borders or focal points for any landscape. Lilacs can be grown as trees, as shrubs and even in containers. It's always a good idea to plant other plant specimens under the lilacs, not only for a continuance of color (lilacs don’t have a long bloom period), but also to protect the shallow roots. Aside from the lovely purple shades of various plants, lilacs produce an intoxicating fragrance. Tree lilacs may grow upwards of twenty-five feet. Shrubs, excepting dwarf varieties, mature at about twelve feet. Plenty of sunlight and a well-drained soil are essentials - different species may have slightly different requirements.

Of course, few plants are as famous for fragrance as lavender. This low-growing shrub has many beloved herbal qualities - at one time, people actually washed with lavender water before soap was discovered. Lavender prefers a chalky soil in a sunny location. They make pleasing borders or accents around special garden features like small garden ponds or birdbaths. Lavender is also popular as an herbal remedy with its known calming effects. As a plant with a purple nature, English lavender is an essential addition to any garden, purple or otherwise.

Bush clover is a rose-tinged purple shrub that blooms from late summer to early fall. It prefers well drained soil and needs plenty of sunlight, and it is better suited to dryer locales.

"Ayesha" is lilac-shaded hortensia, also known as mophead hydrangeas. A stunning slightly tender shrub, it will be a focal point for any garden. It has a long continuous flowering period and may even be grown in containers for the patio or porch. A fertile, slightly acidic soil gives the best color results.

When it comes to flowering plants, an ornamental plant like great lobelia is a wonderfully purple choice - and one with a slightly infamous past. The roots of the plant were once used to treat syphilis. This plant is ideal for bog gardens but equally a good planting choice near garden ponds. Under ideal conditions, this spire-shaped plant will grow up to 40 inches.

Scabious is a pleasant hardy perennial that prefers a slightly alkaline, well drained soil. Also called pincushion flowers, they are attractive to both bees and butterflies. The flowers of purple varieties are also suitable for cutting.

Another lovely hardy perennial is wild indigo. Deep fertile soil that is well drained is ideal for these spiked plants that produce the characteristic violet-blue flowers.

The Iris reticulate makes a dramatic addition to the garden with its deep violet coloration. This hardy bulb is far easier to grow than many other small irises. It must, however, be planted in an extremely sunny spot with ideal drainage conditions.

"Oriental Night" is a dark purple strain of sweet alyssum and perfect for growing in crevices or to fill special garden niches. Plant in a dry, sunny locale, and this hardy annual will make itself right at home.

Bellflowers bloom from mid to late summer. They are spectacular plants with their rich purple hue. They prefer moisture-retentive soil, but may thrive under dry conditions.

Other plantings to consider are various types of crocus, catmint, "Darley Dale" heath, lilac phlox (a great groundcover), "Loveliness" selfheal, plantain lily, Chinese wisteria, blue passionflower, Japanese wisteria, ornamental bramble, African lily, and sweet pea. There are many more of various purple shades.

Mixed plantings incorporating shades of magenta and deep bluish-purple make stunning combinations. Try to aim for a garden of continuous blooms so you have great purple coloration throughout the growing season. Additionally, subtly-placed props and other garden accents may compliment the colors of your plants. Gray-lavender patio furniture cushions, plum-colored glazed earthenware pots, purple floating lights for the pond, and a mosaic design of purple glass for the porch steps are just a couple of examples for purple additions to the landscape.

Garden purple is always in style, and purple plants are destined to get your landscape a considerable amount of admiration. Purple’s tranquil effects work equally well in rustic country to exotic highly-stylized gardens. There are plenty of purple plants to choose from suitable to many garden conditions.

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