Tag Archives: Purple

In a vase on Monday – purple power

Purple pansies in a little spice pot - 30 March 2015

Purple pansies in a little spice pot – 30 March 2015

The weather has been horrible this weekend – very wet and windy.  The flowers were looking distinctly bashed about so I decided to pick some purple pansies for my ‘In a vase on Monday’.  There were only three that looked even vaguely OK so it’s a mini arrangement.

The jar usually has my safety pins in – it’s a spice jar.  I’ve got draws full of little pots full of bits and bobs so I don’t lose things – doesn’t always work though – oh well.

I’ve always loved the colour purple and have a lot of purple clothes.  In the past, it was the colour of royalty and the ruling elite because purple fabrics were very expensive to produce. The purple dye was made from the shells of a particular mollusc – 9000 shells were needed for one gram of the dye. The Phoenicians in the city of Tyre, in modern day Lebenon, discovered the process in about 400BC as the mollusc was native to their part of the Mediterranean Sea.  It helped make the town an important trading port.

It wasn’t until after 1856 that the colour became much more accessible to the masses, when 18 year old  William Henry Perkin discovered a synthetic purple dye which he patented – it made him a fortune. He was actually looking for a way to make synthetic quinine to cure malaria so it just goes to show things don’t end up the way you expected.  Certainly, that’s the case with gardening.    Eventually, the colour became known as mauve but this new dye, along with many others, helped make the 2nd half of 19th century much more colourful – whether clothes for the middle classes, wall papers, paints and paintings too.

It won’t surprise you to know that I’ve got quite a few plants with purple flowers in my garden but I’ll write more about them another time. I’ve written about my love of lavender before

These little purple pansies have really cheered me up this week – I hope they brighten your day too.

Cathy over at https://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/ hosts ‘In a vase on Monday’ where people pick plants growing or flowering in their gardens and do a flower arrangement.  This week she’s got a lovely little vase full of blue and white flowers – do have a look….