10 beautiful purple plants for your summer border
I love the colour purple in a summer border. It is very effective. It is a colour that can be overlooked but it blends in beautifully with greens, whites, yellows, pinks and believe it or not reds. These plants will give you tremendous satisfaction as they are all pretty robust (save perhaps the clematis) and flower well. They also love the sun which is particularly good for a south facing border and they will give you fabulous colour for a wonderful long flowering period. What is more they will all all come back and surprise you next year! Three of them, lavendula, teucrium and erysimum, are evergreen so they will give you some green during the winter months too.
Teucrium fruticans ‘Azureum’ is a small, evergreen ‘bushy’ shrub with white-felted shoots and small, ovate, glossy dark green leaves, white beneath. It has small light purple flowers in summer. Do not underestimate its use – a fantastic and efficient ‘filler’ shrub.
Clematis ‘Arabella’ is especially known for its very long flowering season starting in June, peaking from July to September. Plant behind your sunny border, a really lovely specimen.
Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’ is a bushy evergreen perennial with narrow, dark grey-green leaves and erect racemes of rich mauve flowers. A really reliable plant and a must for any summer border. .
Geranium ‘Rozanne’ is a vigorous spreading perennial, really a bit of a thug actually as it will turn up everywhere given half a chance. But a lovely low ‘filler’ giving a splash of colour for your front of border.
Verbena bonariensis is a tall perennial with erect, branching stems to 2m in height, bearing sparse, oblong leaves and large branched clusters of small, purple flowers from summer to autumn. It has been incredibly popular in recent years as it gives the appearance of being wild so works well with the current trend for naturalistic planting.
Lavandula intermedia ‘Heavenly Scent’ Lavender is Such a favourite. A shrub with bushy grey-green foliage and dense, soft violet flowers. Perfect to fill out the front of any border but can also look quite formal if kept clipped and tidy. A really trusty beautiful plant.
Rosmarinus ‘Miss Jessop’s Upright’ is a compact, erect, medium-sized evergreen shrub with aromatic, narrowly oblong, dark green leaves, whitish beneath. Small, two-lipped light purple/blue flowers are borne mainly in spring and summer. Useful on your summer BarBQ too to cheer up all that meat!
Phlox paniculata ‘Purple Flame’ is a pretty perennial with clusters of fragrant flowers in deep magenta-mauve from mid-summer. Ideal for sunny borders and beds.
Linaria purpurea or Purple Toadflax is an old and popular cottage garden flower with tall, slender spikes of violet-purple flowers, which appear right into the frosts of autumn. It will gently self-seed into places it likes but never becomes a nuisance. For a hectic rather than restrained border!
Thalictrum delavayi ‘Hewitt’s Double’ has light frothy sprays of flowers that look, from a distance, like a purple mist hovering among other plants. They are invaluable for providing a contrast with heavier flowers and are fabulous for a tall middle of border specimen and will tolerate shade as well.