Purple plants create a striking garden

Published 2:00 pm Wednesday, May 29, 2024

By Eddie Smith
MSU Extension Service

Mabel Murphree’s Tupelo garden has an impressive variety of plants, but what really caught my attention were her purple blooms.

One of the first plants that stood out to me was the chive, typically known as an herb but also a great pollinator plant. The beauty of chive flowers lies in their small, star-shaped blossoms which are a delightful shade of purple.

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These flowers grow in dense, spherical clusters made up of numerous individual flowers connected by slender stems. Typically arranged in a globe-shaped formation atop a single, tall stalk, the flowers rise above the foliage of the chive plant to give depth to the garden or landscape.

I found another of my favorites, Bachelor’s Buttons, in Mabel’s garden.

Bachelor’s buttons, or cornflowers, are classic annual plants that are widely known as reseeding pollinator plants. They produce beautiful blooms in both dark and light purple. Flowers may come in single or double form, making them a great addition to a garden.

Once planted, they reseed freely, allowing you to enjoy their beauty year after year. Bachelor’s buttons are easy to grow and require minimal care. They do best in a full-sun location but can tolerate some shade. They are perfect for adding a pop of color to a garden.

I was also intrigued in Mabel’s garden by a plant with striking purple blooms that I don’t often encounter — the Camassia.

Camassia are perennials that produce clusters of star-shaped flowers arranged on long, slender stems. These spike-like stems rise above the foliage of the plant.

Camassia are known for their showy looks, which makes them a favorite among gardeners and florists alike. Additionally, Camassia blooms come in different shades of purple, from deep violet to lavender, adding depth and variety to a garden.

Ajuga covered the ground in a shaded area of Mabel’s gardens. Ajuga, also known as bugleweed, has spikes of small, purple, tubular-shaped flowers. The leaves are often glossy and vary in color depending on the species and cultivar, ranging from green to bronze, purple or variegated.

Ajuga is a pretty and low-maintenance plant that is perfect for adding natural beauty to shady areas of the landscape.

I think adding plants with purple blooms to your landscape can be a great way to create a striking and unique display that makes your garden the envy of the neighborhood. By using these plants, you can create a beautiful display that lasts for years to come.


[EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Eddie Smith is a gardening specialist and Pearl River County coordinator with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. He is also host of the popular Southern Gardening television program. Locate Southern Gardening products online at http://extension.msstate.edu/shows/southern-gardening.]