Friday, February 18, 2011

Color Essay Number 7: Purple

I have been honoured with a Stylish Blogger Award by two blogging friends and as the happy recipient of this award, I am duty bound to reveal seven random facts about myself. I hope the my good friends will bear with me a few more days, before I share a little bit about myself. Spare time is in short supply at the moment, and I want to have the opportunity to take a few pictures to go along with my big reveal. For today, I will go with what I already had in the works.

I do not consider that I have  nearly enough purple on my garden, and so this post is as much a wish list, as anything else. Here are some of my favorite purple themed photographs of the past summer, with flowers from my own garden, and elsewhere as noted.

Purple first appears in my garden with tiny violets and hyacinths. The violets self-seed in both sun and shade.

'Odyssey' Bearded Iris at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Hamilton, Ontario

These are not my irises, but I do have ones that are very similar. I made the mistake of planting my irises in a somewhat crowded bed and they became too shaded to prosper. I am thinking of adding a new garden bed this spring, to see if I can do better by them. To make a statement, irises need to be massed into a sizable clump.

Isn't this stunning? These are large clumps of Japaneses Irises at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, Ontario.

Clementine "Blue" (Aquilegia)

Columbine self-seed in my garden. I find that they like half-sun. Too much shade, and they do not perform well.

I have many birdhouses scattered throughout the garden, but of all them, this one which is right beside the front door, is the most popular with the birds. Do you think they like it best because of the pretty purple clematis?

Too common to be extraordinary, I still have to include hostas in my parade of purples, because they are so darn dependable and easy to grow.

A little plant lust here. If you ever get the chance to visit New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island in early summer, you may be amazed to see wild fields of these stunning flowers. Unfortunately, Lupins are tricky flowers to grow here in Ontario.

Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorus) from my own front own garden. This is a tall, sun loving perennial that blooms late in the summer. It is also available in white and pink varieties. (See also the double flowering variety in the header photograph.)

This is a shot from the Kingston, Ontario farmer's market. I love those purple mini-eggplants.

This is a mixed summer bouquet that I bought at the local farmer's market. 

You need lots of sun for lavender. Some varieties are also not so keen on our harsh winters here in Canada. It is my favorite scent and so I really want to find a spot to squeeze some in. Among my ambitions for next summer is a visit to one of the large lavender farms here in Ontario or Quebec.

Bi-color Monkshood (Aconitum). Monkshood likes sun to afternoon shade and moist soil. It can become floppy if there is too much shade. It resents transplanting. Caution: Highly toxic.

When I saw these Monkeshood at a farmer's market in Kingston, Ontario, I was blown away with just how pretty they were gathered into a bouquet. I have the same variety in my own garden, but it is taking its good old time to clump up. (They are fairly shaded, and perhaps this is why, they are so slow to mature.) This will be their third year, and so I am hoping I will get a decent show out of them for the first time next summer.

To end a Beautyberry (Callicarpa Americana) that I saw at Edward's Gardens. I love the purple berries.

Have a great weekend everyone!


  1. Jennifer you are so good at showing us all of the various hues of a color. I had to move my irises also because they stopped blooming. I wonder if any will bloom this year.


  2. Your photos just blow me away. Your headers matching the post is also pretty cool. Love visiting your blog.

  3. I've had aconitum before but I haven't seen this bi-colour variety. Quite pretty.

  4. The saturated purples in the first photos are heart stopping, especially the purple and white iris, repeated again in the purple and white bi-color monkshood. I guess I just like the crystally sugary sweet look of purple and white. Like candy! Yummm

  5. beautiful collection of purple. is one of my favorite colors for flowers

  6. Your florals have brightened my day! Love the purple clematis winding its way up the trellis and around the birdhouse ~ charming. Your market bouquet is beautiful. Have a great weekend!

  7. What beautiful shade of purple. I am crazy about the Lupines but do not have such good luck with them.The hyacinths look so pretty and i wish I could smell the fragrance from them.LOL! I am enjoying these Color Essay postings.

  8. Purple is my most favorite color in the garden - I've never seen that bicolor monkshood - really nice!

  9. I love purples and blues in the garden. You have a great selection here and your images are just beautiful. I really liked your blog header. Very eye catching.

  10. I love purple colour and I chose purple colour for my wedding color theme almost 5 years ago. The dress and settings were mostly purple. Like the collection of your purple flowers. I too like small eggplant think it taste much sweeter.

  11. Hoi Jennifer,
    Het is weer een prachtige verzameling van paars geworden. Ik heb goed nieuws voor jou. Ik heb jou geselecteerd om de Stylish Blogger Award te ontvangen. Om hiervan meer te weten ga dan even naar:
    Lieve groet en een goed weekend, Elly
    P.S. Het is een hele klus; kijk maar even.

  12. Gorgeous. My friend would like these. Her favorite color is purple. :)

  13. Piękne zdjęcia, piękne rośliny, też lubię fiolet w ogrodzie.
    Pozdrawiam :)

  14. Ah, purple is my favorite color. Those clumps of Japanese Iris at the Botanical Garden are gorgeous. The bicolor Monkshood are amazing too.

  15. Love all your examples of purple! Gorgeous photos to compliment the lovely cool color!

  16. I swear I can smell the hyacinth over here. Loved all the photos.

  17. I just love purple. I am not even sure of what is purple in my garden. It would be nice to do my own color study to make me more aware. I love that birdhouse! I would move in. And I also love the Kingston farmer's market! We can only bring back vegetables that were not grown in the earth - no dirt. Sort of ridiculous as it is right across the river but there you go, boundaries. Maybe I will run into you there over the summer. Beautiful photos. I love the waves of Iris.

  18. I just love visiting your blog - it's such a visual delight! I've tried to add a bit of purple to my new perennial bed as I tend to lean toward mostly warm colors. So purple and white will be making more appearances if everything goes as planned!


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