September 27, 2013

Fall Display Ideas in Dark Purple

Autumn cut flowers
If you have Cochicum blooming in your garden right now, why not discover how
long these flowers can last in water? Hint - longer than a week.

My whirl wind speaking tour is almost over, as I drive 6 hours to upstate New York to speak tomorrow at a meeting of the Adirondak chapter of the American Rock Garden Society (NARGS) at Cornel University where I will be presenting a talk about winter blooming bulbs. After an amazing and inspiring few days in Atlanta as the Garden Bloggers Conference last week, I am both energized and exhausted. I made many new friends as well as meeting dozens of other garden bloggers who I only knew as thumbnail images and hashtag handles. Isn't 'real' better than digital sometimes?

Purple berries
Callicarpa provides a yummy( yet not edible!) option for all color displays. Look for shrubs in the spring
at garden centers, and prune them careful so you don't end up with plants that look chopped up like this...treat them more like forsythia - a biannual trim, which will allow long, graceful branches to form, like wands covered with berries....
Beauty Bush
...so it will look like this.  Callicarpa dichotoma and other Callicarpa species
can be hard to find, but find at many of the on-line nurseries with a simple Google search.
Your neighbors will be jealous when they see this color in your garden.

Since I am packing for my last trip, here is some images from my inspiration boards for my yet-to-be-designed fall displays that I am planning for my home and garden. Yes, sage and puple is my color theme this year. Eggplant, verdigris, malachite, purple, plum - you get the idea. I nice rest for the eyes from all of that orange, right?

Click below to read more:

Fall displays
Violet, purple and sage green provide a fresh, new color palette for autumnal displays,
thanks to this display at Terrain that I adored last year, I am searching garden centers
for anything purple - eggplants, pottery and green winter squash.
Black Pearl Peppers
Last year I tested this grey and black display idea inspired by galvanized metal. There is
still a lot of purple going on here.

New England Fall Asters
New England Asters, are often overlooked by many new gardeners, as most plant their perennial borders in
the spring, when pots of asters are green and boring. On a chilly September evening, these tall and
brilliant plants are anything but boring. Can you count the honeybees?

Fall Urn Ideas
My good friends at the posh, earthy and stylish nursery Snug Harbor Farm in Kennebunk Maine is changing how America thinks about plants and display ( check out their site). They offer
us a completely new and surprisingly simple option for red cabbage, right?

Fall Garden Inspiration
My front garden was once all lawn, but now sparkles in the crisp, fall air early in the morning. Calluna,
heather and sedum in shades of sage and magenta distracts passerby's from our neighbors orange pumpkins.

Galvanized metal, slate, black iron combine with silver and black leaved plants - my chosen motif for our decks this summer. The miniature pineapple lily in the slate cube are new dwarf varieties I am testing.

Fall color palette
Pots of quick color like these Pineapple Lilies and purple Hebe at Terrain can change ones mind about what a fall container, potted
plant or arrangement should look like. Buh bye flowering kale, see ya later.

Salvia guaranitica
Salvia guaranitica and Ruby Throated Humming bird ( Archilochus colubris), getting ready to migrate south.

Purple grape vine
Purple-leaved grapes are showing up at better garden centers, imported from Holland a few years ago,
these have been on my wish list for three years now. Great for the wine connoisseur's display if planted
in a violet, glazed pot and white pumpkins. Gourds and scarecrows beware.
Brown Sunflowers
Black Sunflowers are both awesome and creepy, but come on - don't you have to have this in your garden nest year?
Chocolate and smokey, imagine this with airy grasses and hip contrasting colors like mustard or gold.

Purple cotton plant
I am on the hunt this year for pots of purple cotton and purple okra plants like this on the right, as well
as reclaimed wooded crates in which to display them. Late agapanthus and Eucomis make me
want to take a vacation from potted mums.
Silver and purple container plants
Begonia ' Escargot' and Purple Cabbage make for a perfect couple along with succulents and a black Aeonium.


  1. Matt...love this post! The next time you are lusting for something let me know! We had the Vitis purpurea for the past few years and they didn't sell! so we discounted like crazy and someone finally adopted them!
    The purple Okra is easy from seed....I started some for Ed at Rocky Dale and they are looking really gorgeous right now!
    We also have the Callicarpa and they are looking amazing!
    You really should come visit sometime!

  2. Damg! Thanks Amy for letting me know. Next time, save me a few! I know that at Terrain they too had trouble selling them. Hence, why we need to promote them more!

  3. Yes, "real" is better than digital! It was great to meet you and hear your talk on non-hardy bulbs.

  4. Asters are stars of my garden at the moment, running neck in neck for prize blooms with the Japanese anemones.

  5. I don't know about dichotoma but americana is considered edible, though not incredibly tasty on its own. It is usually made into a jelly or jam.

    An interesting variation is the white berried varieties. I've seen americana with white form in several areas in the wild in national forests of east Texas.

  6. Very lovely photos collection. I am so wonder after visit your images collection. Very exceptional shots no doubt. Please keep sharing with us !!

  7. I have never seen these kinds of flowers before but they looks great in mass display.


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