Purple Reigns: Design Tips for Adding this Plant Color to Your Garden

Purple Reigns: Design Tips for Adding this Plant Color to Your Garden

Purple Reigns: Design Tips for Adding this Plant Color to Your Garden
East Friesland Meadow Sage flowers next to pink flowers.

Maybe you’ve been here?

You’re outside looking at the garden and thinking, yeah, it’s good, but it just needs “something.” Or, you're at the garden center figuring out what to do with your containers this season. You're doing the same cool neutrals (white/silver/green) or hot fashion colors (red/yellow/orange). Again. Or (this is the worst), in a garden quiz, you'd be an oh-so-English-y Sissinghurst. He'd be a cool-but-quirky Lotusland, miles apart in terms of color. The remedy to each of these dilemmas is…adding a bit of that great harmonizer: the color purple.

Purple is one of the most fun colors to play with in the garden. As it's found at both ends of the color spectrum (red at one end, blue at the other). It's a true chameleon. Depending on the shade, it warms up cool colors that can get washed out in bright sun. It also cools down hot or bright colors that, while striking, can be almost too bold.

Here are two really beautiful gardens. Imagine erasing the purple from each picture. Still beautiful, but not magical. And in neither is purple the dominant color. It’s the amplifier.


Purple adds depth to white

Pale purple brings this elegant border of white peonies and silvery ornamental grass to life. It does this by breaking up the monochrome palette.


Purple cools hot hues

This deeper shade of lavender enhances but doesn't compete with the orange California poppies. (Which is the focal point of this exciting border.) (image source)

Design Tips

Combine shades of purple for depth and drama.

Match deep purple with hot colors for a dynamic effect

Pair light purple with whites and silvers for a calming effect.

More Purple Flowering Plants


Rhododendron x 'Purple Gem' (H-1)
Item #0997
Showy Spring Flowers


Caryopteris x clandonensis 'Dark Knight'
Item #2289
Late Summer Flowers


Clematis 'Sweet Summer Love' Plant Patent #24,044
Item #8992
Fragrant Flowers


Hemerocallis x 'Little Grapette'
Item #4012
Compact and Colorful


Buddleja x 'Blue Chip Jr.' Plant Patent #26,581; Can. Plant Breeders Rights Applied For
Item #40762
Colorful Waterwise Shrub


Cuphea hyssopifolia
Item #3049
Patio Container Plant


Iris sibirica 'Ruffled Velvet'
Item #4601
Bright Spring Flowers


Perovskia atriplicifolia 'Lisslitt' Plant Patent #20,845
Item #8478
Showy Summer Flowers


Brunfelsia magnifica
Item #1343
Showy Flowering Shrub


Syringa x 'SMSJBP7' Plant Patent #26,549; Can. Plant Breeders Rights #5076
Item #8643
Repeat Flowering

Previous Post  Next Post 
2016-04-25 10:35:00

Please login to comment.

Don't have an account?

Sign Up for free