Dark Beauty

Zantedeschia ‘Hot Chocolate’

~

Are you drawn to nearly black foliage or flowers when designing your garden?  Many new cultivars have come to the market in recent years sporting very dark shades of purple, burgundy, green and bluish black.

I like them.  My partner doesn’t.

~

~

We were shopping together this spring, and I was ready to buy  a Colocasia ‘Black Coral.’  I must admit that I was seeing the poor little start as I expected it to look in July.  My partner saw the pitiful dark little thing in its plastic nursery pot and didn’t like it at all.  We had words.  And I chose to keep the peace by making a different selection.

~

Colocasia ‘Black Coral’ with coleus, petunias and peach verbena

~

But I always admire dark leaved Colocasias, especially shiny ones like C. ‘Black Coral’ or ‘Black Ripple.’  And I find them stunning when they are planted near chartreuse or burgundy tropical foliage.

~

~

And so when we returned to the shop some weeks later, I asked my partner to trust me, and bought my C. ‘Black Coral.’  Once I planted our little Colocasia in its new blue ceramic pot with a peach verbena, some coleus and purple petunias, it looked completely different.  Once it was planted up with contrasting plants, he liked it, too.

And that is the key, I believe, to using very dark flowers and foliage:  create contrast in the planting.

~

Heuchera ‘Melting Fire’ with Oxalis

~

The Heath’s catalog describes their Zantedeschia ‘Black Star’ this way:  “…this is close to the illusion of shadow…”  Our garden vignettes are composed of light and shadow, form and emptiness.

~

~

As we design with plants, we splash color against a backdrop of green; or perhaps the backdrop of our home or other hardscape.  As we work with colors, it is sometimes energizing to create contrasts as well as harmony.

~

~

And I enjoy the rich dark colors of some leaves and flowers for the beautiful contrasts they create.

~

~

Try mixing these dark plants with clear bright color in nearby foliage and flowers.  I especially like pairing dark foliage with chartreuse or grey.

~

Begonia Rex with fern

~

Create a hot tropical feel by using dark Colocasias with  orange or bright pink flowers.  Harmonize by pairing with foliage or flowers a few shades lighter or brighter.

~

petunias

~

Choosing dark flowers and leaves for your garden needn’t make your garden drab or mournful.  Rather, use these unexpected and unusual plants to energize and excite.

Let them inspire you to create a beautiful space uniquely yours.

~

Colocasia ‘Mojito’

~

Woodland Gnome 2017
~

 

Wordless Wednesday

July 5, 2016 pots 002

~

“The world is changeable,

and its ability to change is so fragile

that a single person can be responsible for it.”

.

A.J. Darkholme

~

July 5, 2016 pots 019

~

 

“Think not of the fragility of life,

but of the power of books,

when mere words have the ability to change our lives

simply by being next to each other.”

.

Kamand Kojouri

~

July 5, 2016 pots 001

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2016

Late Summer Purple Haze

We’re a week into September, and finished with the holidays of summer.   Everyone is back in school, from the kids at the College to the home schoolers. You can almost here the hum of brain activity between the diesel rumblings of the school busses each morning and afternoon. Our  mornings are cool and brisk, with … Continue reading

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 684 other followers

Follow Forest Garden on WordPress.com
Order Classic Caladiums

This Month’s Posts

Topics of Interest