Purple Lilac Vine

Purple Lilac Vine

Well, I can’t believe that this is my 100th blog post and that some of you are still reading my blog…. ;^)

I have enjoyed meeting so many of my fellow gardeners and those who want to learn how to garden.  I have met people not just from Arizona, but around the country and all over the world.  It just blows my mind how many of us there are, who love to garden and visit beautiful gardens.

The day after I started my blog, I joined Blotanical, which has been such a wonderful place to belong.  I have met many fellow gardeners and have visited their beautiful gardens through their blogs.  I highly encourage those of you who have not visited, to stop by Blotanical…a whole new world awaits you.

In honor of my 100th post, I would like to share with you one of my favorite vines….

Purple Lilac Vine

Purple Lilac Vine

This is one of six Purple Lilac Vines (Hardenbergia violaceae) that I have in my garden.   

Purple Lilac Vine

You can see why it is called Purple Lilac Vine.  The flowers mimic lilacs, but have no fragrance.  They flower in February, when there are few other flowers in the garden.

It does require a trellis or other type of support to climb up against a wall.  

Purple Lilac Vine

Today, when I went outdoors to take these pictures, the bees were happily buzzing about the flowers, greedily gathering pollen.

There is nothing not to love about this vine.  It does not suffer from frost damage in my zone 8b and so is evergreen.  It handles the heat very well, has no thorns and is absolutely beautiful.

Purple Lilac Vine

Long ago….okay about 10 years ago, I planted the vines as a groundcover along the golf course and they worked so well, that I bought some to grow as groundcovers in my own garden.


Even when out of flower, they are just beautiful.  They need no special attention.  I do not fertilize them and only prune them every couple of years or so.

And so, this is my type of plant….low-maintenance and beautiful!

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and letting me know what you think in your comments.  I am excited to see what the next 100 posts bring! 

A Simple February Bouquet….

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
54 replies
  1. Kathleen
    Kathleen says:

    How generous of you Noelle! and congrats on 100 posts! It's amazing how fast that happens, isn't it? You're doing an extraordinary job. Keep it up!

  2. Rosie (Leaves n Bloom)
    Rosie (Leaves n Bloom) says:

    Hi Noelle let me be one of the first on reaching your 100th post milestone. Its been great following you since December and I look forward to the next 100 posts.

    I won't participate in the prize draw as I have no little ones that age – but I did head over and had a look around your sisters website.

    Best wishes for the Future

  3. Kate
    Kate says:

    Hi, Noelle!
    Congrats on the 100th post milestone! My how time flies when we're having fun. I have really enjoyed your blog and look forward to discovering many more zone 8 plants that make me so very, very jealous! :)) Love that lilac vine.

  4. villager
    villager says:

    Congratulations on your 100th post! Your posts are well-written and researched, and I truly enjoy reading them. I also appreciate all the encouragement you give to me and other bloggers.

    I'd love to participate in the giveaway!

  5. Curbstone Valley Farm
    Curbstone Valley Farm says:

    Noelle, congratulations on your 100th post! A big achievement indeed…and yes we're still reading your blog, we LOVE your blog!

    I think the chicken applique is adorable, but I have a soft spot for chickens! I'd love to participate in your giveway too.

  6. Mary-anne
    Mary-anne says:

    Hi Noelle, I love your blog – discovered it after i visited Phoenixlast November, and fell in love with the landscape there. In Australia, we call that vine the "happy wanderer" or "native sarsparilla" Please don't enter me in the giveaway – I just wanted to say "hi"

  7. Joanne
    Joanne says:

    Congratulations 100th blog post and all that fun.

    The plant you posted about is beautiful. I have one in a small pot in my back porch. This must be the 4th year since I bought it and several times I nearly killed it but once again it has lovely flowers on.

    My youngest daughter is very covetous of it as her one bought at the same time did not survive. I have tried taking a cutting without success any suggestions how to propagate or even encourage it's growth.

  8. Darla
    Darla says:

    Congrats!! I love your blog..I was so hoping it was going to be a cutting of your vine….yes, please enter me in the give-a-way..cute shirts!

  9. Commonweeder
    Commonweeder says:

    congratulations on 100 posts! You are right that Blotanical is a great resource for all of us. Looking at your vines makes me think I'd love to have about 6 gardens all across the US so I could have plants suitable to a full range of zones. And I'd love to be entered in your giveaway. We are particularly partial to chickens here at the End of the Road.

  10. Jan (Thanks For Today)
    Jan (Thanks For Today) says:

    Congratulations, Noelle. Our garden blogging community is blessed to have you:-) I've always admired your posts, and you…well, at least since I've known you. And thank you for your sweet steadfast friendship despite my 'neglecting' to re-fave your blog after I went and deleted them ALL from Blotanical. It was a stupid thing to do, but I thought it would help be to go 'cold turkey', because in some ways, this has become somewhat of an addiction. It didn't work, of course. Now that I'm back I'm so glad to visit friendly gardeners like you. Just about everyone in the garden blogging world is friendly, but you're tops in my book!

  11. Shady Gardener
    Shady Gardener says:

    Noelle, Thank you for letting us in on your first Blog-versary! I'd love to be in the running for one of those t-shirts. Please count me in. 🙂 Please know that your blog is very special and that you offer beauty that I will never see here, as well as invaluable information for desert gardeners (such as my friends who have now visited)! 🙂 Have a great day!

  12. The Running Garlic
    The Running Garlic says:

    How very cool and Congratulations on the 100th post! I am a brand new reader & love your posts – so very interesting. Please include me in your giveaway and thanks so much! We are heading out of town Friday so I won't know the news until Monday. Thanks again!!!

  13. VW
    VW says:

    Wow, you're already at 100. I'm just barely getting to 100 posts after 2 years of blogging. But this pace works for me.
    I LOVED hardenbergia when we lived in California and am so sad it won't survive Spokane winters. But your pictures are beautiful.

  14. Rose
    Rose says:

    Hi, Noelle–congratulations on your 100th post! I love the appliques on your sister's t-shirt and would love to be in the drawing.

    Sorry I have been MIA in reading your posts lately; life has been a little hectic here. I've been skimming through your recent posts and enjoyed the information about composting. Phoenix seems like such a progressive city; I would love to get a free compost bin, but I don't think many, if any cities in Illinois offer such a program.

    Your lilac vine is a lovely shrub; I'd be tempted to sniff it anyway. All this sunshine looks so good right now, especially since we're in the midst of a snowstorm. I've been checking out flights to Phoenix to visit my daughter next month, but I'd love to jump on a plane right now:)

  15. Amy
    Amy says:

    Hi, Noelle ~ Congratulations on 100posts! You do contribute a great deal to Blotanical and I'm glad that we can share plants and ideas.
    Your sister's shirts are very cute! Please enter me in…:)TKS

  16. gardeningAngel
    gardeningAngel says:

    Happy 100 Nicole! I love the lilac vine, too bad it is zone 8 🙁 But it looks gorgeous in your yard. I love visiting you in the Arizona desert. Please, please do enter me in your contest!


  17. Ami
    Ami says:


    Congratulations on your 100th post! This is my first time to visit your blog. I went through some of your old postings. Very impressed with your garden. The design is so neat and beautiful. All those Rocks, pebbles, and the plants blended in such a harmony. Love it!

    I am very new in the blog world. This world is so fascinating, as much as gardening itself!

    Welcome stopping by my blog anytime.

  18. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    Congratulations on your Centennial Post Noelle, and may you be blessed with also a 100fold. Thank you also for visiting my site once-in-a-while even if i'm not a member of Blotanical, as i cannot.

    That Purple Lilac is really marvelous and i am sure it will thrive in our tropical garden. I haven't seen it here though. Rather than having your give-aways i would gratefully appreciate if i can have seeds of that Purple Lilac, oh how i love it. I promise i will give it the tender loving care i give to my pets and my orchids. Thank you very much, and Happy Valentine's also.

  19. Teresa
    Teresa says:

    Time flies when you are having fun. Your lilac vine is gorgeous. I am sure it wouldn't survive here though. Your photos make me long for sunshine filled warm days to go outside and sniff the fragrances in the air. We got about 8 inches of snow today. I was trapsing around the yard with my camera noting how different it is with all white instead of colors. Trade you.

  20. Grace Peterson
    Grace Peterson says:

    Congrats Noelle! I love your Hardenbergia. I wish, oh how I wish… Even though I'm also an 8b, occasionally the mercury drops into to homicidal mode and after the last two years, I'm swearing off all marginals. I'll enjoy it vicariously. May your next 100 be equally as enjoyable.

  21. James Missier
    James Missier says:

    Congratulation for your 100th post, its great to note that after some time you have arrived to this level where a great collection of postings of plant stories & material had been gathered.

    Great t-shirt too.

  22. camissonia
    camissonia says:

    Great blog, with great gardening tips, Noelle. Hardenbergias, like many other Aussie natives, are remarkably hardy and adaptable to maybe all but the coldest climes. I'm inspired by your photos and am putting these vines on my "to plant" list. Happy 100th!

  23. Muhammad khabbab
    Muhammad khabbab says:

    Congrats on your 100th post. Your blog is one of those i take inspiration from. You are doing a great job and your fans are increasing day by day. I never saw this vine in our country yet but the color is so enchanting i will surely try it if i get seed.

  24. Rebecca @ In The Garden
    Rebecca @ In The Garden says:

    Congratulations on reaching 100! Thank you for introducing us to such a beautiful and interesting plant, what a spectacular vine, and I love how it grows as a ground cover. Too bad it isn't hardy to zone 4 ;).

  25. gippslandgardener
    gippslandgardener says:

    Hi Noelle! I'm another one who knows this plant by the common name 'Happy Wanderer' here is Australia. I planted a new one in my garden less than a week ago having taken out an old one that had gotten a little carried away with wanting to visit the neighbours!

  26. Kiki
    Kiki says:

    Yay..Congratulations Noelle! Sounds like a good reason for cake! I enjoy your blog and am happy to have found you! I love the vine plant..and it is so gorgeous! Your sister is very talenetd.. good for her! I'll pass on her link!Thye are adorable. Congrats again! yay..

  27. DianeH
    DianeH says:

    Congratulations on your 100th post.
    Your gardens and plants are so amazing! They keep us northerners
    who are buried in snow alive with the hope of spring. The t-shirts are great thank you for putting my name in.

  28. North of Sweden
    North of Sweden says:

    Congratulations! Milestones-isn´t that one of Miles records? Worldwideweb milestones-thats our new world. Thanks it doesn´t feel that much computerstuff reading and seeing all wonderful plants and nature views you´ve shown so far!

  29. NellJean
    NellJean says:

    A great milestone. Congratulations.

    Oh! I thought I was about to enter a drawing for a lilac vine — just as well, it would probably melt here in the humidity. I can see myself in a tee with a chicken on it, however.

    The word verification for this post is 'pable' — is that a good sign?

  30. Meredith
    Meredith says:

    Congratulations on your 100th post, Noelle! I've been learning so much from your wonderful blog, and now I can add Purple Lilac vine to my memory bank (filed under "pea-like flowers," "hummingbird-friendly," and "wisteria cousin for the desert").

    May your next hundred be a delight for you, as much as for all of us who come here!

  31. Floridagirl
    Floridagirl says:

    Oh, that vine is beautiful! I wonder if it can be grown in Florida. Will have to research. It reminds me a lot of the Queen's Wreath vine grown in Florida gardens.

    I would love to be added to the giveaway drawing. Congratulations on your 100th post!

  32. Brad
    Brad says:

    My hardenbergia is just starting to bloom. It's also one of my favorite vines. They're quite common here in the Bay Area especially coming up over fences to hang in a profusion of purple in spring. Mine is a little late since I just planted it last summer. I never thought to use it as a ground cover, but it makes perfect sense. I've learned that they like to spiral up straight supports, like a pea.

  33. debsgarden
    debsgarden says:

    Well, I missed the give-away, but i wanted to tell you I enjoyed this post on the purple lilac vine. It is a beautiful plant. I think it may not be quite hardy enough for zone 7b, but if I see one I might try it!

  34. arizonaplantlady@gmail.com
    arizonaplantlady@gmail.com says:

    Hello Everyone,

    Thank you so much for your well-wishes. I appreciate them so much. I wanted to let you all know that I drew a name today and it was Darla who won the giveaway. But, I promise that I will be doing another giveaway soon :^)

  35. Lisa McDaniel
    Lisa McDaniel says:

    Hi There! I discovered your site while planning our landscape in our new Phoenix home. We had them plant this lilac vine and this month many of the leaves on the old growth have turned yellow although the vines still seem health vs dry. Isntgis normal? What does it need?

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