I'm not sure if these plants would qualify but I thought I'd throw them out there just incase: Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace,' Geranium pratense 'Midnight Reiter,' Geranium pratense 'Victor Reiter Jr.' I have the last geranium (although it looks more like the pics I see for the first geranium LOL) and love the dark purple foliage color. It's striking as a contrast in a bed. The first two plants are one's I'm considering getting.
Oh, great ideas, and I will check all of them out. It is going to be another year before I get it all together, so new ideas are welcome. I would like to see photos of yours when they bloom. Thank you.
It all sounds neat. I have a list a mile long. This might just turn into the biggest garden I have. Well, not yet, but in the future. If I could just do something about that poor Lady X.
Thanks Amy...hope you know you were an inspiration!
I am glad someone mentioned the black lace elderberry. This has become one of my all time favorite plants. We get lots of wind here and Japanese maples do not do well, this one looks like a dark leaf maple and will take wind and salt air. Its really beautiful and the blooms smell of citrus.
I do have a black bearded iris, I think the name is Superstition, supposed to the the darkest one. It has not bloomed yet, I am hoping its very dark.
Great article, I really enjoyed it. I first discovered the power of the black flowers when I saw a flat of pansys that were mixed black and orange for Halloween, I feel in love with the black of that pansy.
Thanks, Rebecca. I am finding more and more black blooms. I now have a list a mile long. I have a huge redbud tree, and last fall I looked at it from a distance. Its seed pods turn totally black before they fall, and I thought then that they looked striking. Then I found pennyblacks, and the more I looked the more I found. So this garden is an ongoing project. Glad to know about the pansies.
Thanks, Gloria. Black Poppies! A great idea and I love poppies. Thank you. It is going to take me a year to get this garden together, and by then it will be as much all of yours as it is mine, it sure is fun.
Glad you liked the article.
I think somewhere, somehow I have seen a black and white columbine. I know there is a black on called Black Barlow, but the black and white on one flower would be really nice. Oh I am going to look for a black poppy, that would be so pretty with all the bright reds and whites, I did not know there was one.
Sounds good, and I am on a search for it. I can already tell this is going to be an interesting year...but maybe with everybodys suggestions, it will be great next summer.
Again, thank you so much. My list is growing and growing and growing!
And this fall you can take a picture of everything and write another article to update us! I'll understand if you need to wait until next spring though. I forget that not everyone has a 12 month growing season.
I will do it for sure. I am still waiting for my black daylilies to bloom. Maybe in another week or so. It and the iris have been here for a long time, the iris is still in bloom, but the daylily will be soon. So I have the iris, the pennyblacks are about 2 inches tall, the hollyhock is maybe up about a foot, and so it goes. But by fall I should have everything together, and will have found all I can of what has been suggested. Oh, and must change my rose...maybe Sterling Silver. I think this garden is going to be bigger than I had originally thought, but that's fine, I have a nice big yard and a great place for a large bed in the side yard. I also have been thinking about another silver, maybe russian sage, and possibly a few ornamental grasses.
But..yes, for sure, you will see pictures.
It is going to be a group effort, a DG community project.
In T&Ms catalog there is a black pansy, black and white nemophilia "Penny Black", Dianthus "Black and White minstrels, Delphinium "Tall Black Knight," Scabiosa "Ebony and Ivory," black sweet pea, and poppy "Black Peony." I may have repeated some already mentioned.
I'll have to think on the silver plants. The only one I'm coming up with is the Artemisia ludoviciana 'Valerie Finnis' I have. But it does spread and should be in a container or have a barrier. We have it on a dry rocky slope where it spreads slowly but is free to spread all it wants. And it stays up year round which is nice. Some dianthus have greyish spikey foliage that is evergreen, too. DIANTHUS x Itsaul White might look good.
You all are certainly giving me some great information, and as I have said, my list keeps growing.
Now...since this is on its way to fast becoming my entire front yard, do you think you might be anywhere near this end of Ky anytime in the near future? If you are, please bring your gardening clothes...we can always set up the weeding schedule for later.
Seriously, I do have a list, and everything you say is on it. I know that I will never get the garden finished this year so it will be an ongoing project. Thank you for all your help, and please keep on adding to my list.
Everytime I write your name I have to smile. That has been the name of 4 of my critters over the years from the time I was 4. Pepper I, Pepper 2, Pepper...etc.
Thanks for the list. I love this...
Pepper, you enabler, you! And LoHo Silver...did you see it?? I love them all. I might have to break down and make an order, but just the bearded. I got into roses this year, and told myself I was not going to buy anything else. And then you and Gloria contribute to the madness with these websites. But it sure is fun!! Thank you again.
Oh My Goodness...
OK, I have all kinds of gardening tools and gloves, y'all wanna come join in the fun??
Seriously, this is so much fun, and maybe you might be inspired just as I am, now that we all have the lists.
Thank you...this will be your garden too.
I am thinking about an article on foliage plants, texture and color for gardens. Might be something for next year since it is getting so late in the season, and since I have a gazillion articles already scheduled.
Let me know what you do and and take pictures. I love playing around with color and texture, particularly watching the stages of growth, not shrubs, but plants. Example: hosta burns out here in August, so what could I put that would take that area through fall and still look good?
I sure am glad you liked this article, it has given me a lot of new ideas that I never thought of. Too many, actually since now I want to try everything everybody has suggested.
I do have some of what you suggested in your list above...whew!!! What a list.
I seem to remember buying some black Louisiana Iris last year. They haven't bloomed yet. That would give you some height if needed. I love this idea and it is fascinating how all the ideas started rolling in. Imagine what we could do if everyone did get together. If we all brought a flower we could plant a neighborhood.
And wouldn't that be an idea?? To plant a neighborhood? Funny how ideas can spread.
When I started to write this article I remember thinking that this might not be a good idea, and than no one would be interested. But it was fun to me and so I kept writing. Now maybe the idea will spread all over the country.
I hope we can keep this thread going and share photos because I think it has become contagious.
It would also be so much fun if we had an acre somewhere, and we could all meet and create a beautiful garden. Talk about an impact!! I'd volunteer my yard, but I am not sure I am going to have enough space left!
I have the Sambucus Nigra Black Lace (third year), which can be left to grow into a small tree or cut every spring (as one does with Buddleia or Caryopteris). I also have the Geranium Midnight Reiter. I had in the past a black Hollyhock (when the sun shone through it you could it it was actually a very dark burgundy). Another silver plant is Santolina, if you want a variation from Artemisia. Is Hemerocallis Ed Murray dark enough?
Color-themed gardens are fascinating. Black, silver, pink...sounds great.
Hi DK...this garden just keeps growing. And I love Ed Murray DL...
I will check into the Sambucus, not familiar with that one, but I am having fun finding more and more plants that will definitely work. You might have to take a little trip southwest just to see it about a year from now!
Thanks for all your suggestions. They are now on my list!!!
I love black tulips and grow Black Parrots every year. Black Hero is another favorite. There are many black irises; Before the Storm is spectacular. And then there's black grass--slow growing, but very dramatic. BTW, if you ever find a black geranium, please let me know!
There is a geranium listed above called Midnight Reiter that Dollykat tells us about. I am looking for it, too. Thanks for your suggestions, especially the black grass, had not even thought of that, and I do have some very dark red in an ornamental. It lightens as the season goes on, and I have had it so long I don't know the name of it any more. Silver grasses, too.
I forgot one-- Eucomis "Oakhurst." An unusual-looking plant, Eucomis is sometimes called pineapple lily, but it is neither a pineapple nor a lily. somewhat The vaguely pineapple-shaped flower grows atop a tall, thick stem. which grows out of a circle of sword-like,upright, fleshy leaves, . Oakhurst leaves are almost black, but not all Eucomis have "black" leaves. Each year, as the plant increases in width, more stems arise. Mine is going into its third summer, so I expect even more flowers this year. If you google Geranium Midnight Reiter, you might find a catalog source for it. I bought mine at a local nursery/greenhouse a couple of years ago, but I haven't seen it there since. It has nice purple flowers, and it is not as tall as Johnson's Blue. Whiteflower Farms has Sambucus Nigra Black Lace. You can see it on their online catalog.
Sorry to do this, but I forgot another one! Heuchera Midnight Rose, which is fairly new, I think. The leaves are very dark with rose-pink spots, which reportedly turn to cream in the summer. Mine is new, so I haven't seen the rose spots turn to cream just yet. I have it planted near a pink Carefree Wonder rose and rose-colored Rosy Returns, my favorite daylily.
Maybe it was mentioned in another thread here, but don't overlook ANNUALS. I always do, because I'm #@$% at growing from seed, but there are some *spectacular* annual plants that are black as sin. I've got a list around here somewhere. They are so good, the ones I've looked up so far, that I'm about to throw myself into the rigors of growing from seed, much as I dread it. Now to find that list...
Okay, here's another list that has many of the others mentioned, but also annuals on it. I messed up and lost the address of it, but perhaps someone else might recognise it from their internet rambles. Believe it was a magazine article...
(Amaranthus cruentus x A. powellii) 'Hopi Red Dye' amaranth
(Centaurea cyanus) 'Black Gem' cornflower
(Nemophila menziesii) 'Pennie Black' baby blue-eyes
(Papaver somniferum) Black peony poppy
(Perilla frutescens 'Atropurpurea') Beefsteak plant
(Scabiosa atropurpurea) 'Ace of Spades' and 'Chile Black' pincushion flower
(Strobilanthes dyerianus) Persian shield
(Viola tricolor) 'Bowles Black' Johnny-jump-up
this probably isn't strictly kosher, but I keep a folder of internet pics of black plants I'd like to get, purely as a guide for me to remember what I've seen and as a kind of visual wish list. I don't share it around, keep it only as a memory aid, but it really helps my (totally sprained and near non-functioning) memory. I highly recommend it as a way to keep track of what you want. I've got similar folders of roses, heucheras, companion plants and container groupings. Since I started doing this, my memory, at least as far as plants goes, got lots better.-M
Sharon, you've had about 5-6 months to work on your black garden, how did it go last year? Were you able to find and buy any of them?
I'd like to add some old fashioned herbs and a cereal grass to the list, aconite, sometimes called monkshood or wolf'sbane, and black cohosh, with a name like something=hill beauty, the shrub is all black and the flower shoots up long fronds with frothy white flowerets on it. Monkshood isn't so much a black plant as a regular plant that produces a really dark blue flower. The cereal was...I'll have to get back to youon the right name, but I think it was a millet, called something like purple fountain or something like taht.
Something else I found very inspiring was the 'Proven Winners' web site has a section of planted container recipes (lists of plants and a little plan to show where to plant them in the container) that give you EXTREMELY good suggestions for what plants to combine black/dark plants with to show them to their best advantage. I thought their dark/black arrangements were the best thing on their site. Spectacular. Steal the breath right outcher lungs!
yeah, I got most of my plants before I thought of the idea of black plants. I only have dark heucheras, some ajuga and several dark red roses. I'll have a few mt ore next year from seeds...I'm not very good at seeds...and I hope to get my hands on some of those red-black callas. I do plan on trying to buy a few things next year, but I don't have much room now.
O, I'm so poor this year, (husband's laid off at the mo. and we're working on remodelling our downstairs bathroom with the $$ I saved from last year) I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever get ANY of those beautiful black plants I crave...I really want that elderberry, and several black and red cannas, and those blackish poppies...mmm,... but I should probably quit dreaming. for this year anyway. Only frustrating myself.
*sigh* . . . maybe next year.
Melis (here's a beautiful arrangement of dark plants from a site I visited recently.)
I had a pot of black coleus last summer with vines of creeping charlie hanging down. I thought I had a pic of it, but if I did I can't find it now. Also used the yellow green sweet potato vine with the colelus, too.
I hope things get better for you. Maybe you could do seeds for a change. Winter sowing might give you a boost, and end up being great in the summer.