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
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
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.
A groundcover perhaps
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’ 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.
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?
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???