The last two years have been rough and there’s no doubt that we all have struggled in one way or another. We’re now looking at yet another Covid variant and sometimes it can feel like we just can’t catch a break. Despite this, there are some things to look forward to, especially if you’re a gardener. As many already know, and many have newly discovered, gardens can offer respite from our complicated and changing times, and an opportunity to get outside and reap the benefits of placing hands into the soil.
While there may be snow on the ground and a frosty bite in the air, winter offers gardeners a time to design and plan their gardens for the upcoming seasons. If you’re looking for inspiration, one resource that we refer to is the Pantone Color of the Year. In 2022, the selected color, Very Peri, brims with possibilities and evokes a feeling of hope and joy, just when we need it most. Quite honestly, when I saw the color for 2022, I shrugged my shoulders and said “another shade of purple – big deal.” But when I read the rationale behind the selection, I got it and I love it!
“Displaying carefree confidence and a daring curiosity that animates our creative spirit, inquisitive and intriguing PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri helps us to embrace this altered landscape of possibilities, opening us up to a new vision as we rewrite our lives. Rekindling gratitude for some of the qualities that blue represents complemented by a new perspective that resonates today, PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri places the future ahead in a new light.”
Very Peri isn’t about the color alone, but what it embodies: joy, excitement, creativity, and maybe, just maybe, a little light at the end of the tunnel. I’m all in!
What’s most rousing is that many plants are, if not spot on periwinkle, then at least very similar in color to Very Peri! A blending of red and blue, Very Peri can skew to one or the other depending on how a person sees color. We’ve included plants that cover the gamut. Even better, the combinations are endless and complementary colors abundant – green, red, white, orange, yellow, gold, pink – the palette is unlimited. Check out a few of our favorite plants that fall within the Very Peri range:
If you’re looking for added inspiration, Pantone has complementary and harmonious palettes to help you determine how to use the Pantone 2022 color of the year to mix it up!
You can’t go wrong with Very Peri-esque plants. We hope that you enjoy it as much as we do. If you need help in planning your landscape, we’re always here to help and even have a DIY option to help get you started. Check out We Plan - You Plant!
More drought tolerant than other plants, and a worthwhile option when planting in tough, partially shaded areas. The prolific blooming period (early summer through fall) is great for a consistent mass of violet-blue flowers. The aromatic foliage resists deer and rabbit browsing.
Blooming in late spring to early summer, False Blue Indigo is a tall, shrub-like plant with dazzling bluish-purple flowers that attract pollinators in droves. Requiring minimal care, they do best in full sun but can tolerate some shade, in well-draining soil.
Blooming earlier than other Nepeta varieties, Cat’s Pajamas bring a spot of color and needed food for pollinators in May. Flowering throughout summer, bluish-red flowers bloom along the stem, whereas other varieties only bloom at the top, providing more bang for the buck. Enjoying full sun, they are drought tolerant and adapt to most sites.
Fast-growing Creeping Phlox is an excellent groundcover, forming large mats of delicate periwinkle flowers. They are lovely when draped over stone walls or used as a border front to other taller perennials. They prefer full sun and are drought-tolerant, blooming in mid-to-late spring, bringing much-needed color and pollinator food to Wisconsin gardens. For dynamic impact and more Very Peri-ish color, intermingle with Blue Emerald Creeping Phlox.
Pugster Blue has full-sized flowers normally seen on much larger plants. Blooming nonstop from early summer through frost, its bluish-purple flowers have a tiny yellow center. Thick, sturdy stems offer vastly improved hardiness and winter survival over other types of dwarf butterfly bushes. As the name implies, Pugster Blue attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds and is deer and rabbit resistant. Plant in full sun for maximum show.
With a grass-like habit, Lucerne Blue-eyed Grass is an unusual but pretty perennial. Star-like periwinkle blue flowers with yellow centers sit atop narrow, sword-shaped dark green leaves that seem to dance in the breeze. A low-growing plant, they do best in full sun to light shade areas, in moist, well-drained soil. Although somewhat diminutive, they pack a punch with their striking texture and bright flowers.
There is perhaps nothing more stunning than Summer Cascade Wisteria in full bloom. Covered in bluish to purple fragrant flowers, their color is even more striking set against shiny, dark green leaves. Climbing 20’ tall, Summer Cascade can grow as wide as you want it, twining around fencing, arbors, trellises, and pergolas. The weight of a mature plant can be considerable, so make sure the structure you train it on is sturdy! They do best in full sun with medium moisture.
A good groundcover option, Bowles Periwinkle prefers full sun, but with Wisconsin’s hot summers, does best in shade. Dainty periwinkle-colored flowers are contrasted against dark green, leathery leaves. Be forewarned: Bowles Periwinkle spreads quickly and can take over an area if left unchecked.
A Wisconsin native plant, Hairy Wild Petunia thrives in full sun to part shade in dry, rocky environments or any challenging site. They are self-sowing and will grow en masse if left to do their thing. Hairy stems support dainty, purplish-periwinkle flowers reminiscent of petunias although they are not in the same family.