Container Garden: Purple, Purple and More Purple

Too much of a good thing? I decided to go with a purple color scheme for my three large containers that are in full sun along the garden paths.

I chose purple because it won't be washed out in the sunshine. Purple works well with any other color growing in my garden. In other words, I consider purple to be neutral as it looks good with white, silver, pink, red, yellow and orange.

The stone in our house foundation, porch and fence corners has purple tones. Putting white or yellow against the stone doesn't work. Our flagstone (used on the main path and porch/patio floors) is actually called Pennsylvania Bluestone Lilac Heather. The paint on our house is a sage green/gray and purple looks good against that color, too.

One pot is outside the cottage garden fence at the entrance gate. There is a coordinating pot at the beginning, and another at the end, of the grit path beside the Knock Out® Roses 'Radrazz'.

The plants that I used in all three containers grow well in full sun. The two containers inside the fence are 16 inches and the one outside is 20 inches.

Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum'
(Purple fountain grass, zones 8-11)
1 plant

Strobilanthes dyerianus
(Persian shield, zones 9-11)
1 plant

Tanacetum ptarmiciflorum
(Silver Lace Bush, zones 8-10)
1 plant

Lantana montevidensis
(Purple trailing lantana, zones 9-11)
1 plant in 16" containers, 2 in 20" container

Ageratum houstonianum 'Tycoon® Purple'
(Floss flower, zones 9-11)
used as many as needed for filler in each container

Petunia grandiflora
(Petunia, not hardy)
3 plants for each of the 16" containers; none in the 20"

These plants like the same conditions. There is a balance of foliage plants and blooming flowers. The pennisetum will grow tall in the middle, while the trailing lantana will spill over the edges. The ageratum will fill out the middle. I still have to watch for the danger of frost, but since these annuals are planted in containers, we can move them inside the garage for protection.

Newly planted container gardens look sparse for a few weeks. It won't be long before these annuals fill out to make a stronger statement. Annuals need regular feeding to ensure robust growth.

For the container outside the fence, I chose deer resistant annuals. I repeated the same plants inside the fence because the view is of all three containers. All annuals were chosen to perform well from spring until the first frost in the autumn.

Story, design and photos by Freda Cameron


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