As with so many keen gardeners I am an avid listener to BBC Radio 4’s Gardener’s Question Time. Amazingly the programme has been going strong since 1947 and over the years is believed to have answered more than 30,000 questions. It’s no wonder many very experienced gardeners still refer to themselves as being amateurs – there’s just so much to learn!
Sometimes the tables are turned and the Question Time panel takes a break by asking the audience a question. A recent Friday afternoon broadcast posed the question as to what the audience believed would be the flower colour for 2015. “Purple” I thought as I listened and was amazed when it was announced that 82% of the audience had also selected purple flowers as the colour of the year.
Described by the Oxford Dictionary as being a rich deep shade, somewhere between crimson and violet, purple has long been associated with royalty and piety. In 1953 tin invitations to the coronation of Elizabeth II were in purple as are the robes of a Bishop. In the natural world many plants and fruits are purple including aubergines, lilac, grapes and of course the lovely autumn leaves of copper beech trees. The depth of the purple varies to include mauves and pretty pastel lilacs.
So, if 2015 is the year of the purple flower what can Suttons do to help us all achieve “trendy” gardens? One absolute must is the charming new Tibouchina Baby, available either as a potted plant or as 3 super plugs and illustrated at the top of this blog. This compact beauty will deliver vibrant purple flowers throughout late summer and early autumn.
One purple flower does not a colour scheme make. Other strong candidates include:
Ornamental Millet Purple Baron
Petunia Purple Wave
Scabious Pin Cushion Mix
Dahlia Le Baron
Alliums – various purple varieties
But why stop at the purple flower? There’s absolutely no reason why your veg patch should be left out. Strong candidates for the purple theme include:
Gardeners don’t tend to be super fashion conscious but even if the thought of having a “trendy” garden fills you with horror maybe you’d like a little touch of purple somewhere to add richness and vibrancy. Maybe?