I was in a nursery the other day and was intrigued by the number of plant species, this time of year, that show off flowers in purple (some colorists call it violet) and white. I think these colors are appropriate for Los Angeles area gardens since white, at this time of year, can impart a winter wonderland effect while, in warmer seasons, white and purple are blessedly cool colors, as opposed to more heated yellows, oranges, and reds. And also, however, if you must have pink roses (polls show that, when it comes to roses, pink is the preferred color), they will display splendidly when offset by blooms in purple and white. Bacopa (buh-KOH-puh), originally only in white but now in purple, lavender, and pink, too, solves the problem of finding long-blooming plants – other than ivy geraniums — for balcony containers and hanging baskets. It also does a magnificent job spilling over block walls. Use bacopa (Sutera cordata) as a ground cover in small entry planters or as a border around the perimeter of any planter. It thrives in half to full-day sun but will need more water as sun exposure increases. Should it get leggy, gently cut it back, a procedure you can perform several times i...