The use of color is a technique that gardeners use to make their flower gardens look like a living piece of art. Mixing flower color, leaf color, textures and heights, the flower garden can come to life in a way that can please any eye. Most plants are available in a variety of colors, so read the label carefully before choosing the plant.
Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) blooms from July through September, making the 4-foot high flowers a nice addition to the late summer garden. The petals of the purple coneflower droop down from the center, giving it an unusual backward look. Coneflowers like a sunny location and drier soils, so keep that in mind when planting with other perennials.
The delphinium is a dramatic perennial that reaches heights of 4 to 6 feet, although they are also available in dwarf varieties. Purple and blue are the most popular colors of the delphinium. Flowers bloom twice during the growing season, early summer and fall. They are easily recognized as the tall spikes of blooms that grow so high they must be staked. Delphinium grows best in moist, cool climates in well-drained fertile soil. Although a perennial, delphiniums have a short life of only a few years.
Iris is available in almost every color, but the purple bearded iris is a common and beautiful sight. The sword-like foliage can sometimes dry out at the tip, and it won't harm the plant if it is trimmed with a sharp shears. The iris, including hybrids, is available in height varieties from 2 inches to 3 to 4 feet, with solid or multi-colored blooms, bearded or beardless. A sun-loving plant, the iris does best in sandy soil.
There are many varieties of phlox, and they are all available in purple. The garden, or summer phlox (P. paniculata), can grow as high as 3 to 4 feet. Creeping phlox (P. stolonifera) makes a wonderful border plant or ground cover as it grows to between 9 and 12 inches high and if cut back after blooming, can form a dense mat. The moss phlox (P. subulata) seldom reaches a height of 6 inches. The trumpet-shaped flowers of the phlox appear in clusters, some with centers of a contrasting color.
The pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) is one of the first perennials to bloom in the spring showing its purple flowers soon after the first leaves appear. The bell shaped flowers with bright stamens of gold have stems from 5 to 8 inches tall. It's a striking flower that complements ground covers and spring bulbs. It thrives in well-drained soil and in a sunny location. Once established, the pasque flower needs little maintenance and is drought tolerant.