According to Wikipedia: In literary criticism, purple prose is prose text that is so extravagant, ornate, or flowery as to break the flow and draw excessive attention to itself. My garden is currently demonstrating its own purple prose happening with an extravagant, ornate, and flowery late summer purple parade of perennial pulchritude. Late summer and autumn is a good time to celebrate the power of purple in the Central Texas garden.
Tidy bouquets of Katie’s Dwarf Ruellia are scattered–some by the gardener, some by serendipity–throughout my gardens.
Bees, as well as butterflies and moths, love the deep, pollen-rich blooms which open in the early morning and close by the end of the day.
These lovely cultivars are well-worth having in Texas (and maybe other) gardens. Amazingly water-wise (they grow and bloom in the cracks of cement walkways), are disease-free, and pretty in bloom and foliage.
Who wouldn’t want these lovelies making an elaborate statement in the garden?
A native Texas ruellia, Drummond’s wild petunia, Ruellia drummondiana, is also flowery poetry right now.
Seeds were gifted to me a few years back, and I sprinkled them in the garden and now have a lifetime supply–and then some– of these sweet and hardy late summer/autumn wildflowers. Like the Katie’s ruellia and all other ruellia plants, the blooms open in the morning and close for the evening–and then seed out prolifically!
Drummond’s wild ruellia is also the host plant for the Common buckeye butterfly and I’ve noticed that in years prior to growing Drummond’s ruellia, I rarely sighted buckeyes in my garden, but recently the butterflies have become more regular visitors.
On the metallic side of purple are the bodacious berries of the American beautyberry, Callicarpa americana, in full, fall form.
Birds love to eat them, the gardener loves to look at them and speak and write their praises.
Trending toward the lavender end of purple are a few blooms of the Giant liriope,
…and the native Branched foldwing, Dicliptera brachiata.
I grow a lot of the giant liriope; one or two were given to me years ago and the clumps that I’ve transplanted from those originals form a staple of my shady, water-wise garden. The blooms are scarce, only occurring this time of year when it rains. Honeybees visit when the diminutive flowers arrive.
The Branched foldwing was a mystery plant until I identified it last year, which you can read about here.
Dainty and restrained, it’s not a wowzer kind of plant, but the foliage is attractive and the little blooms charming; they’re just the right size for the smaller pollinators.
Orange and purple are a stunningly clashing combo, but that combo often works well and no more so than when my resident Neon skimmer rests on the purple bloom stalk of the Pickerel rush, Pontederia cordata.
A purple blooming Autumn sage, Salvia greggii x mycrophylla, is beginning a nice composition of blooms, though I don’t think it’s enjoying the constantly wet soil that has been the norm this August.
I hope the wet weather breaks for a dry-out and these shrubs can loudly purple-up my back garden for the coming months.
Skyflower, Duranta erecta has never been so eloquent, nor for so long, in my garden.
It’s not covered in dripping purple comeliness like I’ve jealously witnessed in other Skyflower shrubs, but I’m pleased that the blooms have appeared, on and off, since spring (thanks to the mild winter) and that they’ve provided nectar and respite for pollinators.
Purple heart plant, Setcreasea pallida is lush and purple in its groundcover drama throughout our long growing season. While I like the blooms, it’s the showy purple leaves that turn heads.
Purple prose. Late summer purple speaks with beauty and extravagance in my garden as autumn approaches. Soon, companion colors will add to the garden’s story.