Bonza’s purple reign

The Bonza Airlines Boeing 737 Max made a special appearance at Rockhampton Airport this week.

When planning home gardens, it is always good to look around for those Summer flowering shrubs, groundcovers and climbers. A drive around any town in the region will reveal a floral feast of blooming plants.

Especially the number of purple flowers, trees, shrubs and ground covers.

So with the right plant selection a future garden could have the colour features that will brighten the home garden even during the drabbest time of the year.

Wednesday I was fortunate to inspect the new Bonza Airlines Boeing 737 Max at Rockhampton Airport and just loved the purple colour scheme.

With flowers to match the Bonza colour scheme is the Scaevola aemula or Fairy Fan-flower. This is an extremely vigorous ground-cover with dense foliage. This groundcover will have small one sided fan-shaped purple flowers for most of the year which will contrast well with the dark green foliage, and you should expect it to cover about two square metres. The Fairy Fan Flower is one of those native plants immortalised by May Gibbs classic of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

One must for a purple garden is the Agapanthus Purple Cloud. It is a large variety of Agapanthus with one of the darkest shades of purple that I have seen.

These showy dark violet blue flower heads that are held well above the long arching strap leaves. It flowers best in full sun but will also grow in semi-shade provided it has good drainage. Agapanthus Purple Cloud is highly suitable for a wide range of garden aspects including edging a driveways or fence lines and for growing in large terracotta pots,

I have also seen beautiful flowering displays from some less known perennials like Centrantherum Purple Mist is an upright herbaceous shrub with lightly fragrant toothed olive green leaves. Purple fluffy button shaped flowers occur all year round. This plant makes a great gap filler for established gardens.

Having a prolific flowering season is the Osteospermum fruticosa purple or African Daisy. It is a fast growing sun-loving groundcover that will withstand adverse conditions. It produces masses of purple flowers that make great cut flowers. It grows to 30cm high, spreading to 60cm and can be grown with other annuals and perennials to create a truly colourful display.

A plant species that I was surprised to see making a floral display at the moment was the Melaleuca diosmatifolia or Rosy Paperbark. It is an open shrub with fine dark green foliage. Melaleuca diosmatifolia grows to 3m high in well drained soil and is bushy to the ground. Masses of purple brush-type flowers appear through the foliage in spring.

One plant that was popular more than twenty years ago but not used as much these days would have to be the Buddleia Fascination. It is an evergreen medium shrub with huge spikes of large fragrant deep-mauve flowers in summer. It provides good shelter and is resistant to coastal winds. Buddleia Fascination will grow in most positions in the garden, but likes good drainage and can attract butterflies to the garden.

Even groundcovers can make a bright Summer display like the Ajuga reptans variegate or Variegated Bugle. It is an evergreen groundcover with leaves of dark green variegated with a grey-green and cream colour. Spikes of blue flowers appear from late Spring through Summer. These flowers can be very attractive to Butterflies. The Variegated Bugle is suited to full to partial sun positions.

Have you seen the spectacular purple-flowering Duranta Geisha Girl? This very hardy evergreen bushy shrub has graceful weeping branches and soft shiny green foliage. Mass sprays of deep purple blue flowers with white centres bloom over the warm months of the year creating a spectacular show.

Duranta Geisha Girl prefers well drained soil but will adapt to almost any position tolerating even the strongest sea breezes to withstanding drought. Like most Durantas they do have thorns.

These are just a few of the blooming great plants that could change your garden into a Bonza purple wonder.