If you are looking for an element of color in your backyard landscaping plans, why not use the color purple? When used strategically, purple is a versatile color that can add dimension to flower beds, edgings and barriers. In addition to the natural beauty of purple blossoms and foliage, there are other functional advantages to using purple in landscaping projects.
1. To Make Your Yard Look Bigger.
Purple has long been used to make spaces look bigger than they really are. Cool colors that contain mostly blue don't grab the eye like red and yellow, which are warm colors. Since they are harder to notice, they seem further away. Although purple is a combination of blue and red, most purple plants are more blue than red. This makes them ideal for creating the illusion of a more distant boundary.
2. To Make It Interesting.
Purple is a rare color in nature, so grouping purple plants together gives a garden or yard a more exotic feel. It's a combination of two colors, so it's more complex than these colors alone. The complexity of purple shades and hues, which include mauve, eggplant, lavender and grape, elevates a garden from "blah" and monotone to vibrant and lively.
3. To Attract Butterflies.
Butterflies are fascinating to watch and are also great pollinators that can help the rest of your garden grow. Entomologists at Clemson University say that butterflies prefer a large area of a single color rather than an assortment of colors, and that purple is one of their favorites. Flat-topped plants like purple aster (Aster novi-belgii), purple coneflower (Echinacea pallida), and Vervain (Verbena bonariensis) are ideal for butterfly feeding and egg-laying. A purple-themed yard will attract many species.
4. To Repel Mosquitoes.
Some common plants with purple blossoms, like lavender, pennyroyal and rosemary, are very aromatic, but mosquitoes don't like the scents. These are beautiful flowers that make great borders and focal points, and will help keep mosquitoes away from your yard without chemicals.
5. To Keep Deer Away.
Deer love to sneak into yards and eat tender young trees, seedlings and flower bulbs. However, according to the University of Illinois Extension, there are some purple plants that deer are not especially fond of, including grape hyacinth, columbine, wisteria and lilac. Creating a hedge of purple lilacs and wisteria vines won't be very attractive to deer, which will most likely move on in search of something tastier. This is a great way to create a colorful privacy barrier and add dimension to your yard while protecting your tulip bulbs and vegetables.
Purple might be an unusual color scheme for a landscaping project, but there are many benefits to using it. If you want to create a backyard that stands out from the neighbor's, consult a professional landscape designer who can recommend the right purple plants for the growing conditions in your region.