Ultra Violet, Pantone’s color of the year, is a spectacular color for any outdoor space and is associated with both serenity and royalty. Whether you’re looking to create a relaxing oasis or a posh, ritzy environment, violet is the way to go. Here are some tips to easily incorporate it into your backyard.
Screenshot via Pantone
1. Varietal Plants
There are hundreds of plants that come in violent hues. Don’t limit yourself to one type of plant, especially because many flowers may bloom in different colors, or only bloom violet for a short time throughout the year. Select spiked purple flowers, like salvia or Veronica, or integrate dark lupines to create a massive statement.
Other favorite flowers include violets, irises, and hydrangeas. You might also want to consider plants native to your region that have the ultra violet addition you’re looking for. Woodland phlox, that’s a native plant from Charlotte, NC, is a great example of an herbaceous flower that’s easy to maintain for easterners.
If you live in a drought-prone area like Texas or Arizona, add cool purple toned succulents for a low maintenance and trendy container garden. Even resilient succulents come in this popular shade. Black 'Zwartkop', Sedum, and Aeonium Cashmere all come in shades of violet and make for great accents. Whatever type of plant you choose, integrate a variety for multiple shades and bloom times.
2. Moving Past “Just Plants”
Don’t restrict yourself by thinking violet just has to be showcased through your plants. You can also integrate this bold color by painting gates, doors, sheds, or other items. This is a great option if you live in a snow prone area, because your plants will be dead or dormant for much of the year, not showcasing their vibrant purple shades.
By painting, you’ll have color that pops year-round. You may not want to paint everything purple, as this could be overwhelming—just pick one or two statement pieces. Be sure to select nontoxic paints to avoid exposure to nasty chemicals like VOCs.
3. Make a Splash with Containers
Containers are a long-time backyard favorite for many gardeners with limited space. Add color to your outdoor space by planting violet plants in neutral containers, or neutral plants in violet containers. Violet works well in both cool and warm color schemes, meaning that you can easily integrate a variety of containers with violet hues without overwhelming or contrasting with anything else you might have planted.
4. Plant on a Trellis
A trellis will help you add a splash of violet to the side of your house—without having to repaint. Install an eco-friendly wooden trellis and select a climbing plant, such as clematis, to create a lush living screen.
5. Don’t Forget the Groundcover
Groundcovers won’t take up much space, but they will draw your visitors’ eyes to them instantly. Plant a purple cover between flowers or shrubs. This will add a new dimension to your landscaping, and help keep the soil healthy, as groundcovers help to cycle nutrients between plantings. Popular violet toned groundcovers include Purple Heart and bugbane. By incorporating a groundcover, you’ll fill blank and hard to plant spaces. That will also help you cut down on the amount you need to mow your lawn–saving time, energy, and gasoline.
6. Light It Up
If you spend a lot of time outdoors, you won’t want to limit yourself to enjoy your new outdoor space during just the daytime hours. If you want to be extra creative, add lighting in violet hues, either through the bulbs or the fixtures. The most eco-friendly options are solar path lights and landscape lighting, both of which collect power from the sun during the day and don't require additional electricity. You might also consider soy or beeswax candles.
7. Edible Garden
Purple foods are now popping up everywhere, and the GMG refers to purple as “the new color of health.” Purple foods tend to contain more antioxidants, which fight cancer, prevent decline from aging, reduce obesity, and protect the heart. Plant a few purple foods in your garden for a pop of color and an extra dose of vitamins. Fill your garden with fruits and vegetables including blackberries, goji berries eggplant, plums, cabbage, or acai berries.
8. Cozy Textiles
Symbolically, purple is known to be a comforting shade, promoting relaxation and contemplation. If your newly planted shrubs, flowers, or succulents don’t do it for you, you can incorporate additional cozy elements to your outdoor space. Hand-crocheted rugs, pillows, and throw blankets are eco-friendly and will provide a touch of violet in a more frivolous way.
Violet is the color of unconventionality and brilliance. While it can be challenging to incorporate this bold color, it will certainly be worth it. Push your creative boundaries by outfitting your outdoor space with Pantone’s lustrous color of the year.