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'Virtual Violet' lilac, First Editions 


Ultra Violet is the “it” color for 2018, chosen by Pantone Color Institute. Interior and fashion designers, as well as horticulturists, are celebrating the color for packing a punch. The color itself is described as “dramatically provocative and thoughtful” and “communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.”

I guess I didn’t realize a love for the color purple was so forward-thinking, or that using it makes us a “little braver and bolder.” Most shades of purple play nicely with other colors and pops against green, bronze and silver foliage.

Let’s take a look at some purple flowers and veggies:

“Virtual Violet” lilac: Violet leaves, deep purple stems, raspberry-purple buds and fragrant violet flowers — this lilac is glorious. It has an upright habit which makes it more compact in the landscape, especially in smaller spaces and as a foundation plant. Leaf petioles remain violet into the summer. (First Editions)

“Purple Prince” alternanthera: Need some drama? This dark purple-burgundy-leaved sun-loving annual has ruby-red undersides and pairs beautifully with many colors. It serves as a low-border groundcover in flower beds and a spreading filler in containers, holding up to heat and humidity. (PanAmerican Seed)

“Starfish” petunia Potunia: An apt name for a pretty two-toned petunia with a purple star in the center of a white field. Described as “bright and unique,” it will flower all season long in most growing conditions. (Dummen Orange)

“Twizzle Purple” Penstemon”: “Twizzle” is a great name for a perennial that hints at a little red in the purple flower. It’s a first-year-flowering penstemon, strong, upright and airy.

“Grandio Blue With Blotch” pansy: Although the name says “blue,” the color is clear purple with a lovely black blotch and yellow eye. It has a uniform habit and requires no special growing conditions, thriving during warm spring stretches. (Sakata Seed)

“Sugar Magnolia” pea: Deep purple pods and bright green interiors make this pea a real showstopper in the veggie garden and on the dinner table. The plant produces violet and dark purple bi-colored flowers and peas that are described as deliciously sweet. (Burpee)

“Purplesnax” carrot: It’s a skinny, sort of weird looking purple carrot with orange flesh, so it has a two-toned effect when sliced. It’’s described as a “supersweet, crazy-crunchy, nutrition-rich, deliriously delicious” carrot. It is a German-bred Nantes Imperator-type carrot. (Burpee)


Arts/Special Sections Editor

Special Sections Editor for the Courier

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