Purple Passion Natives


O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain! 

Katharine Lee Bates


When we bought our current home, the builder asked us to pick out the color of the siding and shutters.  We had decided to go with a gray house.  Our last house was gray, it seems more natural in our surroundings with the trees and all our surrounding neighbors had beige houses.  For shutters I wanted another natural color, green–forest green to be exact.  But what to do for the front door.  Typically they paint the front door the same color as the shutters.  But I anything but typical.  Our last house had a brilliant red door.  I wanted something different and I picked purple.  A deep wonderful purple.

At the time I had no idea of the significance this purple door would have on us and our identity.  When I tell people I have a purple door, they cannot imagine it until they see it.  They like it a lot actually.  It is perfect for a gardener, a nice bold color.  But we are know as “purple door” to our neighbors.  And when people ask where I live, I say the gray house with the purple door.  Then they say, “oh where all the flowers are”.  That’s us!

I discovered recently the significance of having a purple door.  In feng shui they say having a purple door means you are honorable and rich in quality of life and wellbeing (not necessarily money).  It also shows you are openminded, versatile and think outside the box especially since it is not a common front door color.  Purple front doors with blue hues, like mine, bring a sense of calm and exude a peace around the front door area.  They say there is good energy around the color purple and I believe it.  When I enter my house I am at peace there.  Well you can judge for yourself in these pictures of the front of the house.  Sorry I just realized I don’t have many pictures of the front of the house so hope these do it justice.

Recently, I launched a garden design business called, “Purple Door Garden Designs”  The logo is on the sidebar.  Obviously, my purple door wasn’t as nice as the one we found for the logo, but at least I do have a purple door pretty close in color.  I haven’t gotten too far with the business due to my day job, but hope to move slowly ahead this year.

It is Wildflower Wednesday today, and I thought it would be great to highlight my purple native blooms as I join Gail@Clay and Limestone.


spring native purples



The word ‘purple’ comes from the Old English word purpul which derives from the Latin purpura. Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Purple is considered rare in nature although I have lots of purple flowers. Purple’s complimentary color in the garden is yellow; a combo I love.  I also love combining orange and purple for a bold statement.


native mint flowering indoors

Various Meanings

Purple is associated with royalty and symbolizes power, luxury, ambition, wealth and extravagance. Purple is also associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic.  It is considered to be uplifting, calming and offers a sense of spirituality.



*In Thailand, purple is worn by a widow in mourning.

*In Japan, the color purple signifies wealth and position.

*In Egypt, purple is a symbol of virtue and faith.

*Lavender is a plant which “has an outstanding olfactory quality”, and is among some of the most ancient elements going into perfumed products.

*Lavender was very popular during the 19th century with men as it introduced them to world of perfume.


Fun Facts

Almost 75 percent of pre-adolescent children prefer purple. Therefore bright purple is a great color to use when advertising children’s products.

non-native lavender

Purple is a color liked by very creative or eccentric types.

Purple is considered a cool color in design. It  has a very calming effect in a garden.

Designers say that purple plants visually recede in a garden, helping to make a small space feel larger.

The scent of Lavender is a great stress reducer. In aromatherapy lavender can be: balancing, soothing, gently clarifying and normalizing.

Purple is a very trendy color especially amongst gourmet chefs who are always looking for a new vegetable like purple carrots.

Purple Concord grapes are native to North America.

The message you send by driving a Purple vehicle: Creative, individualistic, original.

Purple is one of the traditional colors of Mardi Gras which started yesterday.  It symbolizes Justice.



Light purple evokes romantic and nostalgic feelings.
Dark purple evokes gloom and sad feelings. It can cause frustration.


summer/fall purple natives




There stood the purple spires with no breath of air
Nor headlong be
To disturb their perfect poise the livelong day
‘Neath the alder tree. 

Robert Frost


Next up on the blog:   I will be joining for W4W@Garden Walk Garden Talk on Monday discussing Time.  Gardens Eye Verse is the first Monday in March.  I will have the last 2 color posts in March in time for GBBD, yellow, and Wildflower Wednesday, green.  Of course I will highlight another favorite native plant in March as part of my Simply The Best series with Diana@ Elephant’s Eye.

I hope to have more info next Monday on a new seasonal meme that will start in Spring.  And I hope you will join me for my weekly posts, every Tuesday, at Beautiful Wildlife Garden.

 Of course I will be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday, and Katarina@Roses and Stuff for her Blooming Friday theme Colors.  So drop by to check out all the blooms this Friday.

Please remember, to comment click on the title of the post and the page will reload with the comments section.

All content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.



  1. Lea says:

    Beautiful purple!
    I had no idea there were so many purple flowers!
    Great post for Wildflower Wednesday!
    Lea’s Menagerie

    • Donna says:

      Thx Lea….it is amazing the number of purple native plants I have…if I were to show you the non-natives, we would need another post….glad you enjoyed the purples!!

  2. Christina says:

    Colour is such a subjective thing; I have always like purple for foliage colour as well as blooms. Many of your purples look blue to me (that’s what I mean about ‘subjective’) and men definitely ‘see’ perceive colour differently to women. You only have to listen to TV programmes where the male gardeners describe the colours of flowers. For me purple contains more red tints than blue but that’s just me and not a criticism. Christina

    • Donna says:

      Since this was a native plant post as well, I only highlighted native purples. I have so many non-natives you would have enjoyed. You are so right about how color is perceived. We have this discussion every so often in the office. What is purple and those that prefer the blue tones versus the reds. I love both as you can see. Many folks would scoff at me if I proposed the blueish purples as blue…I enjoy hearing others perceptions…glad you enjoyed the purples especially the red tones 🙂

    • Donna says:

      Thx Angela and welcome to the garden. I have snowdrops blooming a little…we still have winter here…The collages were created with Picasa. It is wonderful for creating collages. I am anxiously awaiting all my purple early bulbs!!

  3. Daricia @aCLTgarden says:

    i love that you chose boldly for the color of your front door. purple is gorgeous, bravo! you have an incredible array of purple blooms to go along with it. i’m fond of tradescantias, too. very nice wildflower wednesday post!

    • Donna says:

      Daricia so nice to see you visit the garden…I do love my purple door…glad you enjoyed the purple natives…tradescantias are one of my favorites too…

  4. Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens says:

    Purple is my favorite flower color especially combined with orange. My family’s house in Maine is driftwood grey with an eggplant door. I always do the planters to match. I did a post on the planter and window boxes in August and you can see the door in the photos.

  5. Janet/Plantaliscious says:

    Am currently feeling very good about my personal passion for purple! Love your front door. Don’t personally find dark purple evokes miserable feelings though… Good luck with your new business!

  6. Rose says:

    What a fun post! I don’t have a purple door like yours, but my previous car was a purple mini-van:) And purple is one of my favorite colors in the garden. I didn’t realize until I started planting different combinations how well it combines with any color. Surprisingly, purple and red even look good together. Beautiful collages!

    • Donna says:

      Thx Kathy…so many native purples and non-native purples…I think I have as many non-native purples with all the irises and alliums.

    • Donna says:

      Ah Sheila….here is something about having a red door “In Feng Shui, a red front door means “welcome.” Interestingly, in early American tradition, it meant the very same thing. In fact, if a home had a red front door, tired travelers who might be traveling by horse and buggy would know the home was a place where they would be welcomed to stop and spend the night or rest.”

  7. Beth says:

    Hi Donna, I enjoyed reading about the color purple. We used to have a teal blue door, but since have changed to red. I know a red door has good feng shui as well but don’t know the exact meaning. I enjoyed your purple floral collages. Last summer I did a series that included purple in the garden, pink in the garden, yellow in the garden, etc. It was fun.
    Blessings, Beth

    • Donna says:

      Beth you are right a red door is very good…..here is something I found, “In Feng Shui, a red front door means “welcome.” Interestingly, in early American tradition, it meant the very same thing. In fact, if a home had a red front door, tired travelers who might be traveling by horse and buggy would know the home was a place where they would be welcomed to stop and spend the night or rest.”

      So glad you liked the purple flowers and post 🙂

  8. andrea says:

    Great mosaics Donna! What software do you use to make them? Purple is also my favorite color followed by blue which also have purple hue sometimes. Unfortunately, there are not much blues and purples in the tropics. Congratulations on your new business of purple. By the way, Violet is the color of the 7th energy center found at the top of the head, it is the color of spirituality, color of the divine!

    • Donna says:

      Andrea I use Picasa which is for a PC or Mac. Thx for reminding me about purple in the 7th energy center….it is such a wonderful color…too bad there are not too many purples in the tropics…I did not know that!

    • Donna says:

      Beth I think I love purple and yellow in spring and then I move to purple and orange for summer….purple with anything actually works for me!!

  9. Tootsie says:

    that is impressive! you are lucky to have so much purple in your area!! I love the hues of purples and blues in flowers…they are so soft and inviting!
    Thanks so much for linking into my little party this week…I hope you will again soon!!! I just love seeing the things everyone shares each week!
    Hugs from Alberta Canada!
    I shared your post on Tootsie Time’s facebook page!
    ¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.

    • Donna says:

      Sue how wonderful of you to say so..I have not had a chance to do much with the business but hope to get planning more and refining what my plan will be…

  10. Janet at Planticru Notes says:

    I love purple in the garden but on a front door..brilliant idea. Ours is currently navy inspired by a local shop called “The Blue Door Gallery”. Great collages too.

    • Donna says:

      Oh a navy blue door is very wonderful…here is the meaning…..Dark blue doors are believed to create calm and peace for your home…in turn, bringing those feelings to your guest and family who enter through and into your home. Additionally, blue is thought to bring lots of positive energy into a space. So glad you liked the post and the purple door!

  11. HolleyGarden says:

    Oh, I love the color purple! And I love your purple door! I have a bright yellow door, and it really shocks people – they either love it or make fun of it! But I love it. Good luck on your new business venture, too. I love the name!

    • Donna says:

      Thx Holley. I bet the yellow door is beautiful. I’ll be posting about yellow in a couple of weeks. Here is the meaning of a yellow front door….Yellow is a color that evokes mental clarity, perception, understanding, wisdom, confidence, curiosity, humor and merriment.

  12. Debbie/GardenofPossibilities says:

    Donna, What a fun post.I love purple, it’s my favorite color (does that mean I think like a pre-adolescent??). And I love using purple in the garden, I’ve yet to find a color that purple doesn’t look good with. And congrats on the new business.

    • Donna says:

      It is nice Christine…its a good thing they don’t say that crazy lady who stares at the ground for hours taking pictures in the rain and snow.

  13. Becky says:

    I love all the purple. Right about now I miss the flowers. I have been wondering what source you use for determining when a plant is a native. I usually use Mrs Wm. Starr Dana as a resource for native wildflowers. Her book is from 1897.

    • Donna says:

      Becky I use a few sources. The one I especially use is Don Leopolds book, Native Plants of the Northeast: A Guide for Gardening & Conservation. I know Don and he is a professor at SUNY ESF. There are several online sources as well including http://www.wildflower.org/plants/
      I also am not a purist so I allow for many varieties of a native sometimes especially with color. I checked into your book and bought a used a copy. Love having many different sources..thx.

  14. Becky says:

    Donna, I’m sure you will enjoy Mrs. Dana’s book. She was a friend of John Burroughs. It is interesting that she had to publish using her husbands name. Old books can be great fun, but bring on the new. The Lady Bird Johnson database is fantastic. I can’t wait to try searching for my next unknown wildflower to identify it.

    • Donna says:

      Becky I don’t know if I have seen the unknown wildflower. Was it featured on a post? I might be able to help. I do have a few other resources that might help…I am excited about the book…

  15. Becky says:

    I don’t remember posting an unknown wildflower, but I can see I need to take a small notebook to get more information about a plant’s structure and location and then get a good close up of the flower to identify it. All I need now is spring. Winter is back here today for real.

  16. Dee/reddirtramblings says:

    Donna, I love your purple door and all of your collages. What beautiful blooms, and I bet so many of them are exquisite with your door. I wonder . . . have you see Gail of Clay and Limestone’s purple tuteur and gate? Much like yours. You two could be sisters of the lavender hue.~~Dee

  17. Aimee says:

    Well, Donna, you’ve just gone from a 10 in my book to an 11!! I just LOVE that you have a purple door! I have always appreciated when people choose a different, bold color for their front door. It’s nice that your neighbors don’t just associate you with the purple door, but also with all the flowers!

    I do love purple…of course I would as it’s a combination of red and blue, my two favorites! In our last apartment I painted our bedroom purple! A muted purple that had lots of gray in it…we just loved it! I recently saw some Stinking Hellebore and though “oh! I wonder when Donna will be doing GREEN!” 🙂

  18. Bumble Lush says:

    I love this post! Purple is my favorite color and I loved reading the fun facts about the color. Purple does seem a bit rare in the food world–there are purple potatoes too! I planted Queen of the Night tulips a few years ago and loved the dark purple almost black color. Your purple blooms are beautiful!

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