Purple Passion Of Spring

Why is it that purple(ish) flowers are seemingly the first to bloom every year? Is it genetic? I read somewhere that flower colors may provide signals for specific pollinators due to differences in vision patterns among various birds, butterflies and other insects. So maybe purple flowers bloom early because their pollinators arrive early? I don’t know whether this is actually the case. Maybe it’s just my imagination! Perhaps I’ve been unknowingly planting more purple(ish) flowers than those of other colors and by simple happenstance they all bloom at the same time!

The first Irises that bloomed this spring were white. They’re long gone. They were immediately followed by Irises in various shades of purple. Some might not even be considered purple, but I wouldn’t know how else to categorize them so I gave them that distinction! I do have two yellow ones now blooming but they’ll have to wait for a later post!

These other purple(ish) bloomers are either still going strong or have just begun to flower. I’m not certain whether the Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris) qualifies in this color category. When purchased it was supposed to be blue and white, which it definitely isn’t. So I’ll just consider it purple(ish). The Rocket Larkspur (Delphinium consolida Rocket) have just begun to bloom. Currently most of them are purple, but pink and white ones are beginning to show themselves. As for the Viola — I’m not certain what species they are. They’ve been growing in the shade beneath some shrubs for years. Last week I dug all of them up and transplanted them to a shady area of the back yard. They should put on quite a show during the summer!

In order to combat the ‘purple power’ of my garden, I’ve decided to search out some perennials with flowers of different shades to plant amongst what I currently have. To that end, I accompanied my husband to a local garden center and picked out a few plants that were included in a one-day sale. I ended up with five perennials — Daylily ‘Siloam Paul Watts’ (Hemerocallis ‘Siloam Paul Watts’), Autumn Sage ‘Radio Red’ (Salvia greggii ‘Radio Red’), Tickseed ‘Cruizin’ Route 66′ (Coreopsis verticillata ‘Cruizin’ Route 66′), Butterfly Flower (Asclepias tuberosa) and Phlox ‘Red Flame’ (Phlox paniculata ‘Red Flame’).  The Butterfly Flower is the only duplication of a plant that I already have. So I’ve got some reds and oranges to add some additional color. Of course, they may not be blooming at the same time the plants in my purple family do, but they’ll still add something different to the garden!

I’ll leave you with a photo I took just after a rain shower last week. Aren’t the raindrops and the coloring of the Iris bloom just exquisite?


22 thoughts on “Purple Passion Of Spring

  1. ALL your photos are exquisite, not just the iris fresh from the rain! So wonderful to see the abundance of flowers in your garden. Glad you picked up another butterfly weed, maybe a monarch will lay her eggs on it. Look for munchings! 😉


  2. Beautiful photos and irises. Do you know the name of that last one? It looks like one that was in my garden when we moved in years ago and that I’ve share with others, but it’s a rather unusual color and I’ve never found one that quite looks like it in photos and information about irises.


    • Unfortunately I don’t know the names of any Iris I have. I wish I did. Some were given to me by friends, some by my Mom, some came from a neighbor up the street who set them out at the curb in a wheelbarrow for folks to help themselves to and some were here when we bought the house. I don’t think I’ve ever actually purchased any! The one you mentioned is one of my favorites.

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    • I have an entire bed of them in our side yard beneath some trees. The foliage is wonderful, but very few of them bloom — just two or three that get some speckled sunlight on occasion. That’s okay, though, as they make a great ground cover and don’t need much water. More iris = less grass!


  3. I love irises but don’t have many and now I’m not sure why! I was just looking out the window yesterday at the garden and thinking “goodbye blues and pinks – hello yellows and reds!” as the earliest bluebonnets are going to seed, pink primrose have been knocked down by storms, but yellow coneflowers and coreopsis in combination with blanketflower and amaryllis are just kicking into gear, flower wise.

    That’s fascinating about pollinators – I’m going to have to look that up! Enjoy your new “colors” and I look forward to seeing the results here!


    • My coneflowers and coreopsis are greening up very well but it’ll be a while before they bloom. I do have several Mexican Hat Flower mounds that have buds, though. I also have some small ones of those that I need to transplant so they’ll get full sun during the day and I need to do so before they get too large. I have seedlings of various flowers up but yesterday’s heavy rain washed dirt and debris over them. I’ve been trying to uncover some and I think they’ll be okay. Here’s hoping for a very colorful spring garden for both of us!


  4. I think that you’re right what you say in the first paragraph. I’m not that keen on irises but do like the colour of the one in that last photo. I always think that pictures of flowers with raindrops on them makes them look rather magical. xx


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