Ready to gear up for football season, K-State fans? What better way to cheer
on the Wildcats than by featuring plants with purple accents in your
landscape. As you know, there are several categories of plants from which to
choose including annual bedding/container plants, perennials, bulbs and
woody shrubs or trees. Depending on your level of commitment to
K-State-themed gardening, there are multiple ways to celebrate our beloved
For instant color, consider a container combination with any purple
(angelonia, petunia, etc.), white (petunia or vinca) or gray (lambs
ears) plants. Make sure they can all be grown in the same sun and water
conditions. Check out www.prairiestarflowers.com for more ideas and cultivar
recommendations. Go shopping at your local garden center and see what you
For those of you who like to plan ahead, there are many woody plants that
may take a few years to mature in your landscape, but are well worth the
investment. Most feature purple blooms or purple leaves (specimen plants!).
Download the new “Deciduous Shrubs for Kansas” publication
(http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/pubs/MF3116.pdf), open it on
your computer and run a search for “purple” in the document. This should
give you plenty of options.
One of the gardeners in my neighborhood celebrates Big XII football every
year by painting a small wooden slate in the colors of the teams we will
play. He places the blank slates on his fence and, after each game, he
paints the score on the no-longer-blank slate. It’s a great visual reminder
of something that is important to him and of interest to lots of folks
driving by. It also makes interesting and relevant garden art.
How about container gardening in the colors of the Big XII? If you think
about it, throughout the 10 teams in the conference, the same colors are
used in combination: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, white, gray
and black. You could grow containers that each feature a plant with one of
these colors, then move them around in different combinations depending on
which teams are playing at any given time. Sound like fun?
I had one more thought on Big XII gardening: plant a small arrangement along
a fence or in a planting bed for each team in the conference, featuring
their colors. Maybe with a scoreboard above it? Well… I suppose it wouldn’t
be a particularly great reminder if those flowers were still living long
after the results of the game were available.
Hmm… Roundup® the plants when we beat them? Ha! JUST KIDDING!
By: Cheryl Boyer