1. Frosted Purple Barberry, 2. Sambucas nigra – Black Lace, 3. IMG_5129, 4. Oxalis, 5. Black-Hollyhocks, 6. Bees will notice, 7. Helleborus16, 8. Cordyline australis ‘red sensation’, 9. Oxalis triangularis, 10. 27Paph.(Hsinying Web×Macabre) ‘Jamboree Black’, 11. Dark Sweet Potato, 12. Black Daylily, 13. Tulip, 14. Dahlia, 15. Black calyces
Black plants are fascinating to me. The color of death and dying is the antithesis of the green life of the garden. The black-ness of an eggplant (aubergine for you Brits) never seizes to amaze me, I truly could marvel at its blackness and lose minutes in the garden. I have always been fascinated with black plants – I even used them extensively in a show garden I designed for Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in 2002. (I know you have asked for pictures… I promise to someday show you…but they are on a defunct computer …and quite a project to retrieve).
Anyway, there are so many varieties and if you are interested in these dark beauties, there are some great places for inspiration. Flickr has a group for black plants that is populated with about 300 pictures; all the images above are from there. Additionally there is a new book, Black Plants: 75 Striking Choices for the Garden by Paul Bonine. It is a small volume, but full of beautiful photography of these lovely specimens. A great choice for inspiration or even a cocktail book….to fascinate even the non horticulturally minded among us.