Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Color Purple

Ask me what my favorite color is, and I will never say purple. In fact, I wouldn't even name it as my second favorite. Various shades of greens and blues, definitely. But purple?

Well, you'd never know it by looking at my surroundings. I drive a purple Mustang (a hue officially called 'Deep Violet' in the Ford record books), my workout bag is purple. Many years ago, I even wore violet contact lenses, if you can believe it.

And now, I seem to have overdone it with purple/lavender/violet plant colors. We're talking both foliage and blooms...so maybe it's time I quit resisting and admit that, despite its association with Prince and an old Oprah Winfrey movie, the color purple is pretty cool.

Here's a list of some of the purplish plants going into my garden this fall that particularly excite me:

Astrantia 'Moulin Rouge' from Dutch Bulbs - I'd never even heard of Astrantia before, but wow...this really popped off of the page at me.

Phormium Tenax Atropurpureum from Big Dipper Farms - The two phormiums I had in my backyard this summer both died, so I'm not sure why I got two more. Yeah I do...they're gorgeous. And I'm planning on putting both of these in the front with more moisture and a little less sun exposure. We'll see.

Sambucus Nigra 'Black Beauty' from Digging Dog Nursery - This is a black elderberry that apparently has all of Europe in a tizzy. I had to hunt over a few online nurseries to find it, as several ran out of stock pretty quickly. This tall shrub ranks as one of my most anticipated plants in the garden now...even though the one I just planted is only about 6" tall at the moment. Just look at those leaves, though...gorgeous!

Sedum 'Black Jack' from Wayside Gardens - Sedums almost always do well here in Texas, due to their drought- and heat-tolerance. I like this one because it is just unabashedly purple...at least, according to the picture.

Echinops Ritro and Taplow Blue - I love Echinops for both its thistle-like prickly hardiness and its alien-esque globe flowers. I'm not sure what the diff is between Ritro and Taplow Blue, but I have plenty of each.

Besides these highlights, I have more purple plants in the form of a purple smoke tree, several Black Gamecock Louisiana irises, a few lingering lavenders, an Agastache 'Black Adder', an Ameria 'Rubrifolia' and a few other scattered things that will either bring continuity to my overly-violet garden or will convince myself everyone that purple really is a wonderful color.

(Or maybe I'll change my name to Violet, like the gum-chewing girl in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory..."You're turning violet, Violet!")

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