Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Purple, Rain

Warm reds and golds a-flame in the murk and drizzle of a Northwestern autumn adorn the calendar pages of my mind, but this year it's the color purple that leaps out all around me.

Everywhere I look, it seems, purple flowers are blooming. Perhaps it's a result of the very late arrival of hot, summery weather this year, causing a late blooming season for some plants, or perhaps the unseasonably warm spate of September days we enjoyed nudged a few species to bloom again.

Among the plants producing purple posies are lavender, ice plants, rose of sharon, petunias, coneflowers, dahlias, sweet peas, clover, agapanthus, allium, thistle, speedwell, and sage. Some lithodora and wild lilacs are tagged with a few late-opening flowers. I even spied a few clumps of periwinkle crocuses, those perennial harbingers of spring.

Here's a few of the purples and purple-blues cheering up the garden, in which none of the trees' and shrubs' leaves show any signs of turning red and yellow yet:

This little flower is a harebell. What I love about this
particular specimen is that it is only an inch and a half tall!
The harebells in my garden all tower 2 to 3 feet in height
before blooming. It's as if this little late bloomer knew it
didn't have time to reach such exalted heights before
winter. It's charming to see this tiny stem putting all its
effort into growing and holding up this great big flower,
a bit like a two-year-old child putting on its father's hat.
Wild Geraniums


Goldleaf germander

One lone, tiny Birch Hybrid Campanula flower
Verbena bonariensis