It’s a Purple Reign for 2018

Fri. Dec. 15, 2017

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It’s a purple reign for 2018.  Pantone has announced their color of the year and it’s “Ultra Violet”.  There are numerous meanings attached to the color choice this year, but the mystical, magical, celestial color is an amazing mix of blue and red, perhaps more blue than red.

Purple is an interesting color in the garden.  The tone is usually cooler but, depending on the depth of red mixed in, can warm it up.  As for “Ultra Violet”, it’s definitely a cooler color.  There are plenty of annuals that match this and some perennials too.  The classic Jackmanii clematis comes to mind right away, although it may be a deeper purple than Pantones, but I’ll take it!

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

‘Arabella’ clematis is closer to ultra violet.  This scrambling variety is semi-herbaceous with non clinging stems which happily lay among mature shrubs, or cascade over banks and walls.  It’s a pretty groundcover.


Balloon flower is another ultra violet perennial hardy to zone 3.  The closest cultivar is actually called ‘Sentimental Blue’.  It grows to about 10 inches tall and about 18 inches wide.

Balloon flower ‘Sentimental Blue’

Then there’s Nepeta, aka Catmint.  Full sun to part shade, this zone 4 hardy purple beauty is so easy to grow it’ll take neglect!  Do cats really like it?  Yes, they do.  So, if you plant it, the strays may come!


Oh there are aliums and salvia, pasque flowers and lavender.  And that’s just some of the delights.  There are plenty of annuals too.

I would suggest that you always plant in uneven numbers.  The eye appreciates odd numbers!  Frankly, I like odd people but that’s a whole other subject!

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