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Fall in the garden is a time of celebration with plants enjoying the period after the heat of summer has bid goodbye and before the cold of winter arrives. 


This time of year is filled colorful blooming plants decorating our outdoor spaces.  In the past few weeks, the color purple has made its presence known in several gardens that I have visited recently.


If you love the color purple, here are some plants that you may want to include in your garden.

 
Black dalea (Dalea frutescens) saves its flowering for fall when violet flowers appear above its lacy foliage.
 
This Southwestern native is hardy to 15 degrees F. and does best in full sun.  Black dalea is underused in the landscape and deserves to be used more.
 
 
Desert ruellia (Ruellia peninsularis) is a shrub that I use it often for my client’s designs.  I love that it flowers throughout the year as well as its attractive foliage.
 
A native of Mexico, this shrub does best in full sun to partial shade and is hardy to zone 9 gardens.
 
 
Sometimes, parking lot medians can put on a spectacular show.  This blue ranger (Leucophyllum zygophyllum) begins blooming in summer but saves its best flowering for fall.
 
The gray foliage adds nice color contrast in the garden.  Hardy to 10 degrees, plant in full or reflected sun for maximum flowering.
 
 
One of the most beautiful purple blossoms belongs to the skyflower (Duranta erecta) shrub.  Delicate purple flowers are arrayed on graceful arching stems.
 
Hardy to 20 degrees, skyflower blooms spring through fall.  
 
 
Last week, while I was doing a landscape consultation, my attention was drawn to a beautiful blue potato bush (Lycianthies rantonnetti) blooming in the front yard.
 
 
The vibrant purple flowers contrasted beautifully with the bright green foliage.  This shrub is hardy to zone 9 gardens.
 
 
Finally, let’s look at the generous blooms of purple trailing lantana (Lantana montevidensis).  This lantana groundcover blooms spring through fall and needs very little care other than pruning once or twice a year.
 
Hardy to 20 degrees, this lantana grows in full sun or partial shade.  
 
I hope that you have enjoyed this tour of purple autumn blooms.  
 
What is flowering this fall in your garden?

Friends and family know that I cannot pass up a bargain.  I come from a long line of bargain hunters as my mother will attest to 🙂

I do love designer quality, but rarely (if ever) pay full price.

This extends to buying plants.  One of my favorite plants is called ‘Lavender Lace’.  

 This plant is a beautiful, flowering trailing lantana that has two different colored flowers.

I remember when I first saw this plant growing in a landscape.  I had to stop my car and take a closer look.

Since then, I have only rarely seen it in landscapes.  But, I knew I wanted it when we re-landscaped our front garden.

We did see it at our favorite nursery and I was so excited.

Until I saw the $25 price tag….
Even though we had enough money to buy this ‘designer’ plant – I just couldn’t make myself purchase them.
*The reason I wouldn’t buy them was because I knew that I could replicate the look of the ‘Lavender Lace’ Lantana for a fraction of the cost.

Here is my version of this ‘designer’ plant…


My ‘knock-off’ looks pretty good, doesn’t it?
It was absurdly easy to do.  
 Here’s how:
Simply take a 1-gallon Purple Trailing Lantana AND a 1-gallon White Trailing Lantana and plant them next to each other in the same hole.
That’s it.  As they grow, the purple and white flowers will intermingle with each other.
I love the effect of these two colors together.
AND, what I love even better is that I was able to achieve the same effect as ‘Lavender Lace’ Lantana for $4 instead of the $25 dollar ‘designer’ price tag.