Wednesday, 30 December 2015

The post-Christmas purples

I've got that post-Christmas feeling. Lazy and languid, more inclined to look at the outside world than get out into it. I'm in a very pleasant sofa-space right now; overfed, pampered, fussed and spoiled. Cat and chocolates easily to hand. I feel imperial, but towards the fall of the Empire; richly lazing in my ruined environment, replete and delighted, but haunted by a slight purple wistfulness. The end is coming; new year and the new term approaching like the unstoppable rise of decaying trade routes, annoying warlords and squabbling inheritors. The raven calls across the falling embers of 2015... and quoth the Raven: here is my faaaabulous 2016 seed catalogue.

There's no shortage of beautiful purples. Here are my top eleven purple seeds, plus a stray corm, because Christmas.
  • Zinnia Elegans Giant Purple Prince - proper Imperial Purple, and likely to be a proper fusspot that needs repeatedly staking. Ruffleicious.
  • Silene Armeria Electra - the humble Catchfly gets an imperial makeover. A proper rebel - likely to prove invasive, and may revert to its pinker origins.
  • Opium Poppy Blackcurrant Fizz - everyone's favourite fling and forget seeds in a ridiculously ruffled blackcurrant pop-party dress. OTT, bonkers, beautiful.
  • Shizanthus Dr Badger - little orchidaceous stunners with petals like tiny lilac butterfly wings. This variety has patches so dark they're almost black, hence the badger.
  • Phlox 21st Century Blue - foxes the digital cameras with its incredible deep indigo flowers, little orange eyes peek out of the centre of the flowers. Proper showgarden.
  • Sweet Pea Blue Velvet - ridiculous watered-silk ball-dress petals, heavily scented, unfussy, huge wows. You can plant them today if you've got a bit of shelter.
  • Scabious Burgundy Beau - Wine-dark pincushion plant. Looks at its best decorated with a small bumble bee. Lovely white stamens like tiny fairy lights. Fireworks.
  • Purple Cobaea - The cup-and-saucer vine's purple variety is green on the outside, lilac on the inside, like a fancy couture skirt. A scrambler, but classy.
  • Larkspur Mauve - poisonous, fussy, fancy and almost certainly irresistible to slugs. A good looking prestige item available as plugs later for when your seeds fail.
  • Hibiscus Tronium - The flower-of-an-hour has a dark maroon eye in a sweet white flower with glossy shiny dark foliage. Uplifting.
  • Foxglove - nothing fancy, just the hedgerow plant; a drunken leaner, annoyingly biannual so it will spend a good year sprawling dull leaves over everything until it achieves dominion or leaves your garden. Perfect opponent for your Hollyhocks.
  • Dahlia Edge of Joy - and here's the stray corm - a pale, fashionable, bee-friendly semi-single flower streaked through with a brushstroke of purple. Gorgeous.
Of course I've made myself a firm promise that I'll use up the seeds I already have before buying any more, so this is strictly fantasy shopping. 

We-ell. Maybe just the badger.

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