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Trying to introduce some purple colour into a lawn.

Discussion in 'Lawns' started by FlymoDM, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. FlymoDM

    FlymoDM Apprentice Gardener

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    So I have to rebuild & reseed a lawn, so besides the wide variety of different grasses I can choose from, I also wondered if it would be possible to introduce some sort of colour into the lawn in places.

    Firstly this needs to be something that can grow and be cut with the lawn with a normal lawnmower in order to be practical for everyday use, I'm not planning on it being something which has to be "manicured" in any way but it also has to be able to endure reasonably short cuts, I like a nice short lush green lawn, so not looking for a meadow flowers setup.

    The sort of thing I was wondering about is if any small flowering purple coloured plants might exist which can coexist with the lawn grass, something like a small violet perhaps that would be no taller than a half an inche above the lawn height at most?

    A purple daisy would work for example (if they exist), as these can be cut back when the lawn is, and whilst they can grow faster than the grass, they dont grow too high.

    If not a flowering plant, maybe something which has light purple leaves or maybe even a purple grass of sorts if anything like that exists?

    The idea is to have the colour strongest in the corners surrounded by a black limestone slab patio fading into the normal green of the lawn in the middle. Doesnt have to be too dominant, subtle will work but ideally it would be nice if the colour is visible for a reasonable length of time throughout the year during the finer weather.

    Not to worried if its something that is around in spring and autumn, dying back during summer if need be as I dont really water the lawn but to stop if from going brown I do allow the grass to grow longer when rain is at a minimum.

    What I'm not looking for is something as large as the popup flowers like bluebells, snow drops, daffs etc.

    So does anyone know of any plants that might work in this configuration if its at all possible?

    It seems a golden opportunity having to build a lawn from scratch to try something a little different that can still be practical and a little nicer than the quick and easy turf option.

    TIA.
     
  2. Redwing

    Redwing Wild Gardener

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  3. Verdun

    Verdun Passionate gardener

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    Well, speedwell....veronica officinalis....is a weed on lawns and will spread easily and quickly. Many of us try to eradicate it ...you flymoDM may want this then. A blue/purple colour to your lawn from speedwell.
    Ajuga has purple foliage....according to variety....and many are short in stature. Again purple blue flowers. This will spread though and probably swamp the grass in time.
    Oxalis triangularis purpureum....prob got name slightly wrong....is a red/purple low growing plant with purple flowers. Again a spreader and invasive :)
    Good to want to be different but you could be creating a bit of a mess there I think.
    You could plant purple crocus in corners of your lawn......they would create purple colour in spring and mown out during the summer.
     
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    • Irmemac

      Irmemac Gardener

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      I have self heal in my lawn (not intentionally) and it creates purple patches across the grass, even when the grass is short. In summer I cut my grass about once a week as I like a neat lawn, so you don't have to grow it longer for self heal to thrive.
       
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      • Tetters

        Tetters Super Gardener

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        I have patches of purple in my grass (I don`t call it lawn) it is escaped ajuga which was originally planted around trees. This will work as long as you keep the mower blades high enough. Nothing will work if your lawn is likely to get scalped.
        Bulbs are certainly a lovely option.
         
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        • FlymoDM

          FlymoDM Apprentice Gardener

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          Due to some problems with the way the patio was laid, we had to make some quick changes namely breaking up the old raised hottub base, sinking the hottub on one side of the garden so its base now sits about 15cm below the top of the patio slabs we a 10cm wide pebble filled gap for servicing, with a row of 55cm wide slabs then surrounding the pebbles hot tub, this then has a concrete (to be painted) block sticking up 4inches from the slabs which is what the eventual height of the lawn will be when filled in and leveled, because on the other side of the garden the path to the shed was laid so it stuck up 4-5 inches above the existing lawn. None of this was planned for, but thinking on feet at the time the work was being down, it became clear raising the lawn was seen as the best way forward to keep everything level, hence the "rebuild" and these "opportunities" now.

          So the wikipedia Veronica_officinalis page sounds quite interesting and seems to be the sort of plant I was imagining/hoping would exist with how it might spread into the lawn, popping up the flowers. As "weeds" tend to be quite rugged, it would probably be ideal for being mowed down when cutting the lawn as well.

          I'm thinking Veronica officinalis would be good around the hot tub area as this is where we would step down from the lawn, so no flowers sticking up too much to breakup the view or deter lawn usage of this area, but with all the black limestone, the purple would work as a good colour to offset the slabs whilst blending into the main lawn. I might even consider using it along the length of the path to the shed as well as this area is shaded by a neighours massive and productive overhanging walnut tree and their massive willow tree further down near the shed.

          Prunella vulgaris looks nice but with a growing height of up to 30cm would seem a little too tall, interesting medicinal properties though.
          I see the GW website say it will flower on just 3cm flower spikes, is this common , because this could be a suitable contender as well?

          Ajuga reptans is another possibility as its not too high and found a useful website with a search facility for different plant properties namely the RHS website.
          rhs org uk Ajuga-reptans/Details

          Purple Crocus is also a possibility as both could work near to the shed at the end of the garden as there is one layer of vertical slabs hiding the shed base with a row ontop of the shed base, so from the conservatory the Crocus and Ajuga would stand out against the back drop of the vertical slabs.

          The crocus would have that very intense brilliant purple with sufficient flower head size to be noticeable enough from a distance, like inside the house, making it a worthwhile contender, but where we live we do get extremes of temperature, so its not unusual to see the nearby weather station featured on the BBC weather, as its got down to -12C here before whilst also being one of the hottest areas in the UK so I have to factor all this in along with soil types where applicable for sensitive plants.

          Anyway I'll keep looking for ideas but thanks for the tips so far.
           
          Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
        • silu

          silu gardening easy...hmmm

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          :) Snap @Tetters. I was just going to post about escaped Ajuga but you beat me to it. I'm not sure I would recommend the look but have never got round to digging the patch out. My lawn isn't lawn either sporting a magnificent quantity of moss etc, however it's fairly green and soft to walk on so what the ..... I have far to many other jobs to do than trying to get my grass to bowling green standard.
           
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          • redstar

            redstar Total Gardener

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            Make sure when you select these, it reads, naturalizer , which means they will pop seeds and spread. not all crocus do that.

            I have drifts of yellow in one area, drifts of white in another area, and big drifts of blue in another area. All of which come up at different times, and BEFORE I have to cut the grass. its all about timing.
             
          • noisette47

            noisette47 Total Gardener

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            What about 'red' clover? More purple than red, ideal in a lawn and feeds the grass at the same time.
             
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            • redstar

              redstar Total Gardener

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