Purple. Purple and More Purple

Each year Pantone identifies a colour of the year, which helps set trends in every conceivable industry and I’m very excited to say that this year the announcement read…….

“PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet, PANTONE®Color of the Year 2018. A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.”

This is just adorable for us gardeners because there are so many gorgeous, purple flowering plants which you can include in your garden for a splash of on-trend colour. Purple is such a lovely addition to the garden and you will probably want to plant plenty, once the purple bug catches you.

So you want a tree

Jacaranda mimosifolia

On our honeymoon in 1998, we traveled to South Africa and I remember vividly, the stunning Jacaranda-lined streets of the capital, Pretoria. We grow Jacarandas in Perth too and in recent years many local governments are realizing the beauty of these trees as street trees and more have been planted. You can look no further than the stunning Jacaranda mimosofolia. It’s a great deciduous tree that allows winter light and shade in summer and in-between during Spring, you will be treated to a purple fiesta of beautiful flowers. These will grow to between and 20 and 30 metres tall, so allow plenty of space. Deep watering in the early years, through the summer months, will encourage growth.

How about a shrub

‘Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’

My personal favourite shrub is the evocatively lemon fragranced Brunsfelsia latifolia, which is endemic to Brazil. It is also known as ‘Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’ as the flowers bloom and fade from bright purple to shades of violet and the almost white. These grow very well in our climate and offer a little bit of height in the garden bed and then there is that unmistakeable fragrance-you will not be able to walk past without taking in a deep sniff of this beauty. They will grow up to 1.8m in height and require full sun-part shade.

have you a passion for purple???

A groundcover perhaps

Scaevola-WOW!

How about Scaevola in a hanging basket?

Some years ago Kings Park in Perth, as part of their plant breeding programme, set about propagating something to rival the petunia for Perth gardens and they created Scaevola ‘Purple Fanfare’. This plant has taken off all over the world and can be found in pots and garden beds in native gardens as well as cottage gardens. There are many different Scaevolas to choose from as the breeding gets better and better. These native plants will flower most of the year and need very little care, just some native slow release every now and again.

 

A rose by any other name

‘Blue Moon’…you saw me standing alone…

‘Blue Moon’ is one of the most delightfully scented roses you could possibly plant and the best news for 2018 is that it is purple. Blue Moon is a Hybrid tea rose which blooms continuously and the stems are nearly thornless. They do very well in a pot or in the garden bed. I’m sure you have room for one of these in your garden or even in sunny spot in a pot.

 

 

 

 

Climb New Heights

Wisteria sinensis or Chinese Wisteria provides a stunning shot of purple and looks great on a climbing frame or on wires framing a verandah. Make sure that you use Marine Grade High Tensile wires when setting this up. You won’t want to be replacing cheap wiring years down the track when your wisteria is established. It will grow fast and does need regular pruning to be kept in check. Plant it into a well-prepared hole with some good organic matter in the hole and a treatment of liquid Powerfeed by Seasol is all this plant needs say every six months. Each Spring it will reward you with stunning blooms.

Wisteria…imagine this in your garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Subtle Sense of Whimsy

Salvia ‘Waverly’ offers the gardener a small-medium sized tidy shrub with long blooms in deep shades of purple and white in full sun to part shade. I love the way this plant bends in the breeze and provides nectar for insectivores. It does well with little care at all and regular tidying up with sharp secateurs will keep it in check. This plant is pretty drought tolerant too.

Larkman Nurseries breed Salvia Waverly and here’s what they have to say about it

“Sages are a popular part of the Australian garden due to their versatility and tolerance of hot dry conditions.  ‘Waverley’ is an attractive low growing shrub that thrives in our local conditions.  It is tolerant of moderate frosts, part to full sun and most soil types.  It has green foliage with a purple tinge during winter and long racemes of pink, aging to white, flowers in late winter and spring.  Each floret is held by a dark purple calyx.

Salvia ‘Waverley’ is part of the Larkman Nurseries range of Salvias from all over the world.  The range includes the giant yellow Golden Fountain Sage, Salvia madrensis down to the wispy Blue Lightning, Salvia lycioides.  ‘Waverly’ responds well to an annual prune in late spring followed by an application of Osmocote Plus Controlled Release fertilizer.”

I love Salvia ‘Love and Wishes’ and Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’ alongside ‘Waverly’

Looking for an easy care boarder?

Beautiful Agapanthus, hardy and drought tolerant but not full sun

Edge your garden beds with almost no care, Agapanthus. These lush, deep green, strappy-leaved plants with their long, long stems with round-shaped blooming heads will look great every summer but do best in part shade. They will get sunburnt leaves if grown in the full sun. The only job you will need to concern yourself with is deadheading the flower heads at the base of the plant at the end of flowering. They will propagate themselves and thicken up in no time at all. They can survive with very little water but will do better with water twice a week and a little liquid fertilizer. These will do very well in coastal conditions.

Have you got a spot for some purple in your garden???

First Class Contemporary Design-Atlanta Style

Over the past few years, many of my landscape designs have involved interpreting garden spaces surrounding Giorgi Exclusive home designs in Perth, Western Australia. I have completed four of these high-end gardens in the past two years and so you can imagine how excited I was to check out a contemporary garden in Atlanta during my trip there in September and I was so pleased to see and confirm that my garden plantings are really ‘bang on’ trend with comparable cutting edge designs in the USA.

I will admit it, I do at times question myself, I suppose it’s natural, there have been times when my clients look at me with that “are you serious?, you want to plant that?!” kind of look because they are too polite to say it out aloud and I go back and think and look and check and read and re-read again…I guess that’s a part of any healthy creative process and the mental torture that anyone designing something puts themselves through…probably pretty normal I expect.

Creating a garden space around a contemporary home can be challenging because the Landscape Designer needs to consider what the Architect had in mind and provide a design that is sympathetic to that design while at the same time offering much needed green space for the family. The garden needs to support the family that is going to live there. It’s a significant investment for the garden owner at the end of their build but I must say that for me the garden is the icing on the cake of a new home (I find it hard to get excited about tiles). The work of the Garden Designer is the finishing touch, when that lawn is down it tells the neighbourhood-This House is finally complete, a family is moving in.

Here’s my Top 5 Tips for creating a Stylish Contemporary Garden

  1. Improve the soil. This is probably the most important aspect fo creating a new garden. It makes no sense trying to plant new plants beautifully nurtured by the wholesale grower into builders sand leftover from the build. New soil enriched with mature compost is an essential foundation for any garden
  2. Invest in Large Trees.  I always try and include as many mature trees into the design as I can, the idea is that the new home sits comfortably back into the landscape in as short as time as possible. Mature trees give you this
  3. Mass Plantings for a bold effect. Large drifts of plants particularly when working with hard landscaped raised beds always looks best. Colour, shape and variations of light through shadows by plants against walls can be achieved through careful selection of mass planted foliage plants
  4. Include Edibles. I always try to include edibles in every garden every client needs at least a few herbs to compliment their cooking
  5. Include Flowers Yes, green is a colour and I love it but I am a sucker for flowers. I follow the same disciplined principle of mass planting whatever I choose for best effect. This does not mean I plant a monoculture, just that there is never one or two of anything in the contemporary gardens I create .

Here’s some images from the Private Garden of Robin and Marc Pollack just outside Atlanta Georgia

Bold and Cobalt Blue Contemporary art to compliment the landscape

Bold and Cobalt Blue Contemporary art to compliment the landscape

Even the birds live a stylish life here

Even the birds live a stylish life here

Attention to detail

Attention to detail a place for everything

Foliage provides a pop of colour

Foliage provides a pop of colour

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Challenging variation in heights-note one of my favourite plants Ficus Pumila on white wall

Challenging variation in heights-note one of my favourite plants self clinging, easy trim, Ficus Pumila on white walls

Imagine standing around here with a nice glass of red on a cold winters night

Imagine standing around here with a nice glass of red on a cold winters night

Who wouldn't want to dine here?

Who wouldn’t want to dine here?

 

Mass planting for a stylish effect

Mass planting for a stylish effect

Love the variations of underfoot hardscaping

Love the variations of underfoot hardscaping

A very stylish way to invite nature into the garden

A very stylish way to invite nature into the garden

Groups of three pots in dark charcoal

Groups of three pots in dark charcoal

Stunning outdoor seating for the whole family

Stunning outdoor seating for the whole family

Always room for Edibles

Always room for edibles

Garden Writers on tour

Garden Writers on tour

Every good painting needs a splash of red

Every good painting needs a splash of red

Plants that provide shadows on white walls-living art

Plants that provide shadows on white walls-living art

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Even the Glasshouse offers contemporary style

Even the Glasshouse offers contemporary style

How did they get those post up there?

How did they get those post up there?

A cool place to sit

A cool place to sit

Check out Giorgi Exclusive Homes at their website http://www.giorgi.co