What grows in your garden? Readers share their purple plant pride – Orange County Register


I recently wrote about purple flowering plants and solicited readers’ choice for this floral color. Since then, I have received a large number of emails on this subject, indicating the palpable presence of a passion for the violet in the garden.

Grace Hampton, a gardener in Burbank, wrote: “I’ve always loved giant Pacific delphiniums because they come in all colors from pure white to dark purple. The Black Knight series is a deep midnight purple. One of my plants once sprouted a three foot flower stalk of deep royal purple flowers. By the way, these delphiniums include varieties of true blue, which is the most sought-after color.

The delphiniums you describe (Delphinium elatum), of Siberian origin, may be considered the royal and most remarkable species of the English garden, not only for their flower colors and long, rich flower clusters, but also for their height, which can reach eight feet. high. Delphiniums grow easily from seeds that can be planted now. Don’t be disappointed if perennial delphiniums don’t flower in their first year of growth as they will in their second and are definitely worth the wait. You can keep your delphiniums flowering for several years by cutting the main stem after flowering and encouraging the development of side shoots.

  • Blue Hibiscus Alyogyne huegelii (Photo by Juliette de Souza)

  • Sea Lavender Limonium perezii (Photo by Joshua Siskin)

  • Yesterday-today-and-tomorrow Brunfelsia pauciflora va. Floribunda (Photo by Joshua Siskin)

  • Anise-scented sage Salvia guaranitica Black and Blue (Photo by Joshua Siskin)

  • Larkspur or annual delphinium (Photo by Joshua Siskin)

The larkspur or annual delphinium (Consolida ajacis), despite less invasive inflorescences than the perennial but still quite showy delphiniums, grows even more easily from seed and, as a bonus, self-sows to return year after year. Larkspur’s fern foliage is an added attraction.

Julie Anno, who gardens at Foothill Ranch (Lake Forest), shared this piece of her horticultural history: “Twenty years ago I planted two shrubs known as yesterday-today-and-tomorrow (Brunfelsia pauciflora var. Floribunda). They bloom profusely once a year in May and are evergreen. They are in complete shade except for a few hours of afternoon sun in the height of summer. Bushes are very low maintenance. I give them an all purpose fertilizer in early spring and water once a week. I prune them lightly once or twice a year.

Yesterday-today-and-tomorrow flowers change color from royal purple to lavender to bridal white. The leaves also change color in the most remarkable way. When the leaf buds first burst, the budding growth is so dark green that it is practically black. Gradually, the leaves lighten to a more predictable leathery green on their upper surfaces, offsetting a paler green below.

The Latin name Brunfelsia was given in honor of Otto Brunfels, a botanist monk who lived almost 500 years ago. Brunfels belonged to the austere Carthusian order, whose acolytes took a vow of silence and solitude. One wonders how Brunfels would have reacted to the naming of such a plant in his honor. Besides Brunfelsia’s physical beauty, the intoxicating scent of its flowers is legendary, and some species of Brunfelsia are known for their narcotic effects. Brunfelsia is an exceptional container specimen and deserves wider use in this role, as there are few plants that flower so reliably in pots, although it does require more frequent fertilizing than when planted in ground.

Incidentally, to find out the origin of any plant name, go to davesgarden.com/guides/botanary.

Susan McCarthy, a gardener in North Hills, enthused: “This week’s article, ‘In Praise of Purple’ really spoke to me. My hardy, drought-tolerant, sun-loving varieties give me plenty of color all year round. I have Trailing Lantana (Lantana montevidensis), African Daisy (Osteospermum fruticosum), Brazilian Sky Flower (Duranta erecta), Blue Hibiscus (Alyogyne huegelii), Texas Ranger (Leucophyllum frutescens), Sea Lavender (Limonium perezii), and more. I prune and thin them when they are finished flowering to maintain their size and shape. The plants I have can handle the valley heat with weekly watering. I also go around and feed them a few times a year. I agree, there is something about purple flowers.

Juliette de Souza, who gardens in Canoga Park, sang the praises of the blue hibiscus (Alyogyne huegelii), attaching several photos of her specimen. This ornamental plant from southwestern Australia is truly an unforgettable plant in full bloom. Picture large, silky purplish, pinwheel-shaped, purplish-blue flowers completely covering the lace-leaved, if somewhat woolly, foliage. Plant it in full sun for the fullest floral display. It disdains overwatering, so give it no more than a single weekly soak.

Paula Paggi, a gardener in Northridge, praised a species of sage of considerable merit: “We have a purple salvia which we are very pleased with. It is easy to maintain and has beautiful columns of flowers. Hummingbirds love the plant too. It is very low maintenance. I prune it a few times a year and in no time it is over four feet tall again. We don’t feed or water it specially.

We have drip lines in the area that run 2-3 times a week for a few minutes depending on the weather. As with other purple flowering plants… our purple freesias are a treat. Happy Johnny-jump-ups, with their sunny faces are fun. And the purple lavenders send their scents across the yard.

Ms. Paggi attached a photo of anise-scented sage (Salvia guaranitica). It is indeed worth planting and rivals any woody perennial when it comes to abundant long-term flowering. Its anise-scented mint-green foliage is an added bonus and, like all sages, propagates easily from terminal six-inch cuttings.

There are over 1,500 species of bees in California and the vast majority of them are solitary bees. Unlike honey bees and bumblebees which form colonies, solitary bees make nests where a small brood of twenty to thirty bees are raised. Solitary bees are the most effective pollinators since the pollen they collect is almost entirely transferred from flower to flower, unlike other bees which scavenge much of the pollen they collect in their colonies. Bee hotels attract solitary bees. You can order bee hotels online or make your own from hollow bamboo shoots. Native flora is especially attractive to solitary bees, so if you have native plants around your garden, there’s a higher chance of solitary bees making nests in your hotel. Having shallow water dishes around will also bring solitary bees, which rarely, if ever, sting into the garden. Have any of you managed to attract solitary bees to your garden? Do any of you have bee colonies and if so have you seen more vegetables and fruits as a result?

Please send your questions, comments and photos to [email protected] You are also invited to access Joshua’s Instagram account: thesmartergardener1

Previous Alison Rowat TV premieres: House of Maxwell; Pilgrimage: the route of the Scottish islands; Travel Man: 48 hours in the Basque Country
Next Parents of Celebrities, Politicians and Bureaucrats Arrested After Hyderabad Police Stop Hotel Drug Deal | Hyderabad News