Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Pretty Purple Power
Some people I know (and love) are very fond of purple. So for those of you (I'm surrounded)who fave it... here's a few ways to enjoy it in the garden.
Even though it isn't my favorite color, it is one I make use of here and there at Hoe & Shovel. Right now there are purples in the form of foliage and flowers brightening up the garden. The mexican petunia clumps flush out every morning just before the sun fully rises and their happy faces last until the sun goes down. I have a love/hate relationship with the invasive tendencies of this sprawling perennial.
Purple queen is another story. Featured (above) here it's billowing over a short hardscape wall and trailing into the flax lily border. No one would argue the value of this hardy, vining perennial as a great performer all year long.
Part of the bargain of purple queen is the teeny-tiny blooms it produces in waves throughout the year. I've snipped off many clippings from this mother plant to start new ones -- in containers mostly-- as it seems to be happier spilling over the side of something.
Persian shield is another great performer and known for its striking foliage with deep green veins but rich, purple hues being the dominant eye-catcher. This perennial is hardy all year long as well. It needs to be trimmed back a couple of times during the year to keep it from getting too tall and lanky. While I'm trimming I poke some of the cuttings into the soil to make more plants in other locations.
Mona lavender has to be included in our display of purple pretties since it not only flowers its delicate lavender blooms but the underside of its velvety, green leaves are a deep shade of the loveliest, deepest, purple color too. In a recent post I mentioned my plan to yank out all the mona lavender from the pots on the back porch because of the mess they make on the deck. I did transplant every one of them outside in the ground... all but this one (above). It is too profuse to disturb ---laden with branches and blooms cascading to the ground and covering the entire container.
The butterfly attracter blue porterweed has tiny purple flowers that open in the morning and close up in the evening. I seem to favor tall and wispy plants. There are several of these around Hoe and Shovel and I particularly like the way breeze moves through their graceful branches.
Blue ginger isn't really blue either. It started blooming this year on August 10 and it is still sparking things up in the front garden. Every morning the bees busily gather around them for their morning supply of nectar.
Peacock ginger is a low lying plant with tiny purple flowers. It goes completely dormant in the winter and pops back out in the spring. Truthfully, I'm surprised it is still blooming. As you can see the edges are turning yellow and usually by now the flowers are totally spent. My neighbor got me started on this handy little ground cover that requires absolutely no attention.
Mexican bush sage is really putting on a show the past few weeks. The contrast of its long, slender, bluish-green leaves and the velvety texture of its deep lavender blooms adds an element of interest to the garden.
Happy to report we broke the 70's ceiling for the first time since June today with temps dropping to 67 degrees this morning and low humidity. It was sooooo beautiful outside all day. I WISH I could have worked in the garden all day. But I had other commitments and only got to do a few things in the garden early this morning. Being in this kind of weather reminds me of how much nicer it is to garden when it cools off like this. All my creative juices start flowing and I want to conquer all the projects I have in my head.
Hope you are enjoying your gardening weather too. I'm going out of town for a week... so happy gardening and I'll try to get around to visit you soon.