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The Colour Purple; 6 of the best purple perennials for the garden

What does the colour purple mean to you? Does it have a particular significance or attachment, or is it simply a colour that you love? It’s certainly a colour Ladybrook Nursery likes. Purple is a hybrid colour, combining the calmness and stability of blue with the fierce energy of red. It’s also a sensory, peaceful and tranquil colour that has for centuries been traditionally associated with royalty. What appeals to us most, and what makes purple such a versatile colour to use in the garden, is that it is one of the few plant colours that can be bold and rich, whilst also being calming and serene. If you would like to add a splash of purple to your borders this summer, here are 6 classic purple perennials we can definitely recommend.

Lavender Hidcote

Lavender ‘Hidcote’ is a bushy dwarf evergreen shrub with narrow, silvery-grey leaves and small, aromatic deep-purple flowers. Given the right conditions the plant will flower profusely throughout the summer.

  • Height – 60cm
  • Foliage- silver/grey
  • Flower colour – dark purple
  • Flowering – July to September
  • Aspect – full sun

Allium Schoenoprasum

Although primarily grown for their edible leaves, the vigorous Allium also produces clusters of brilliant pink to purple bulbous summer flowers which are also edible.

  • Height – 50 cm
  • Foliage – bright green/edible
  • Flower colour – bright pink to purple
  • Flowering – July to August
  • Aspect – full sun

Hebe Pascal

Hebe ‘Pascal’ is an attractive compact growing evergreen shrub, and can grow up to up 45cm high. The leaves are green in summer and dark plum in winter. The purple perennials plant produces cascades of violet-purple flowers in early summer. Hardy to -15°C, the Hebe ‘Pascal’ has been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit.

  • Height – 45 cm
  • Foliage – evergreen
  • Flower colour – purple/violet flowers
  • Flowering – spring to late autumn
  • Aspect – full sun to partial shade (might need some extra protection in winter)

Verbena Bonariensis ‘Lollipop’

Verbena bonariensis is one of the best cottage garden plants and looks great in herbaceous borders. It is a superb plant in for giving grace, height and airiness to the border. Lollipop has all the traditional qualities of verbena bonariensis, but is lower growing and therefore ideally placed at the front of borders

  • Height – 60cm
  • Foliage – dark green
  • Flower colour – purple/dark lilac
  • Flowering – summer to early autumn
  • Aspect – full sun

Iris Ensata Hercules

Iris ensata ‘Hercules’ is very easy to grow and an ultra-hardy perennial plant. Although often regarded as a marginal plant, Iris ensata ‘Hercules’ will also grow well in moist fertile soils. The plant is tolerant of clay and acid soils so is very versatile. Ensata ‘Hercules’ produces large purple perennials flowers in summer over upright architectural foliage.

  • Height – 90cm
  • Foliage – green
  • Flower colour – purple with yellow veins at centre
  • Flowering – June to August
  • Aspect – full sun or partial shade

Buddleia davidii

Although much maligned as invasive, the Buddleia Davidii, or butterfly bush, is a fabulous addition to any sunny border. Its dramatic fragrant flowers attract an abundance of beneficial insects. If pruned hard in spring buddleia will produce dense spikes of tiny fragrant dark purple flowers. In autumn the grey/green leaves turn a buttery yellow.

  • Height – up to 3m
  • Foliage- grey/green
  • Flower colour- deep purple
  • Flowering- spring to summer
  • Aspect- full sun to partial shade

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