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Ultra Violet in plants

Written by Jackie Albarella
Imagery by Proven Winners®

When I think of Ultra Violet, I think of Andy Warhol’s Factory in New York City, and of course I think of Elizabeth Taylor and Prince.  But this year I have a new reason to like Ultra Violet. Pantone’s color of the year 2018 is Ultra Violet, and you will be seeing it in every aspect of design; from wall paint, to room furnishings, to floral designs, and in gardens.
    Pantone says their choice of Ultra Violet  “symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets.”  This is what gardeners do every day. So, think about your indoor and outdoor plants and how you can incorporate or highlight that Ultra Violet color.
    One of the great things about the color violet is that it works with so many other colors. Violet is a mix of red and blue, two seemingly opposite colors, that mixed together, form a beautiful and versatile hue.
    For years gardeners have used a variety of shades of violet in their plantings. Violet can make a strong statement in a flower bed, or can be used as an ethereal, calming wave of color.
    Using violet is easy. Think of mixing a Salvia Ultra Violet with bright yellow bearded iris for a spectacular spring display. Or mix a violet buddleia in with some chartreuse potato vines for a patio container that will be the star of the summer. Use the color of the year for more than just plants. Why not purchase an Ultra Violet planter and fill it with a striking green aloe or some soft flowing grasses?
    Think of the gorgeous fields of flowers in Provence. Miles of lavender and hyacinths bordered by yellow sunflowers and green olive trees. These color combinations have been around for years, and maybe this year will be the time you try to mirror such gorgeous design.
    There is a large variety of plants from which to choose including perennials and annuals, both tall and bushy.
Use your garden design sense and choose the violet that will complement the plants already there, or add some new highlights to an existing bed.
    Here is a list of some violet plants you may want to add to your 2018 gardens.   
• Allium 
• Anemone 
• Aster 
• Balloon Flower 
• Bellflower     
• Catmint
• Canterbury Belles 
• Clematis
• Dwarf Iris
• Gladiolus
• Heliotrope
• Hyacinth
• Lavender
• Lily of the Nile 
• Lisianthus 
• Lupine
• Monkshood
• Salvia
• Verbena
• Wild Indigo

    This is the fun of gardening; using your plantings as if you were painting a canvas.

Jackie Albarella can be seen Saturday mornings on WGRZ-TV Daybreak Saturday, Buffalo.

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