When it comes to creating our dream flower borders, we have to use enough to make a show.
Recently I photographed some beds of my all-time favorite plants, the All Around Purple gomphrena. The plant commonly called globe amaranth or even bachelor’s button is tough as nails. Sadly it is one of those plants many gardeners don’tto its potential. It gets spot planted or used a dab here and a dab there.
The All Around Purple is an award-winning variety that reaches 18 plus inches in height and seems to persevere through the torrid summer heat like few other plants. One plant might cause you to glance, but planting a sea of purple leaves you and visitors spellbound.
Try buying by the flat and planting in an informal drift. Lining them up like toy soldiers in straight lines sometimes creates an illusion that says “not enough.” One bed that stole my heart used a large drift of the gomphrena adjacent to a drift of Purple Majesty ornamental millet, another plant often spot planted.
The background to the planting was another fine-textured leafy grass that showed off the multitude of round purple blossoms. Pink perennial hibiscus was also used to echo the purple of the gomphrena and the purple leaves of the ornamental millet.
In another bed I loved, a sea of dark purple was used in combination with gloriosa daisies. The golden yellow of the daisies and purple from the gomphrena created visual excitement and caused ieveryone to stop and take photographs. Though it is early September, I would not hesitate to plant All Around Purple as a companion with fall-blooming mums. If your garden center has them, you could not create a more stunning partnership. Space plants about 18 inches apart. Plant them at the same depth they are growing in the container. Add a layer of mulch to conserve moisture and retard weed growth. The gomphrena is an excellent cut flower for the vase or dried flower for winter arrangements. Also consider using the little ball-shaped flowers around the home in potpourri dishes.
Once the gomphrena and the mums are through, it is on to pansies and their pals like dianthus, flowering kale and cabbage. You can create the dazzling beds of color for all seasons – just use enough to make a show.