Friday, May 1, 2009

Blues and purples cool down hot gardens

As a gardener, I am drawn to the pastel portion of the color pallet. While I can appreciate bursts of vivid color, I prefer them to be small, carefully placed complements to the more soothing colors of the overall garden.
A garden should be a place of rest, a place where the harshness of the world retreats, and to me, nothing does that better than blues and shades of purple - mostly lilac and lavender.
This morning, I visited some of the local nurseries to find some plants to recommend for those looking to introduce these colors to their garden. Two I found are:

(Above left) Balloon flower (platycodon grandiflorus) - in Sentimental Blue. The Japanese lantern-shaped buds open to lovely flowers that will bloom all summer. The tags say sun to part shade, which, in Southeast Texas, means they'd appreciate filtered sun in the heat of the afternoon. This one was $3.95 at Beaumont Greenery on Delaware.

(Above right) Angelonia offers lilac/lavender flowers on stalks that grow from 10 to 18" tall and a little more than a foot wide. The flowers are a nice contrast to the bright green stems. I found nice ones for $10.98 at Lowe's.

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