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Hey There! I’m Rochelle Greayer. I’m a garden designer on TV and IRL. I’m also an author and entrepreneur who thinks she can save the world by teaching everyone a little something about landscape design.



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15 Beautiful Black Plants For Your Garden


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 ceases 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. (You’ve asked for pictures… and I promise to someday show you, but they are on a defunct computer, and quite a project to retrieve).

Beautiful Black Plant Inspiration 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

15 Beautiful Black Plants that will add contrast and intrigue to your Garden

(plus links to shop for them!)
1. Frosted Purple Barberry, Purchase similar : Sunjoy mini maroon barberry.

2. Sambucas nigra – Black Lace, Purchased Similar: Sambucus Nigra Black Lace.

3. IMG_5129, Purchase: Chocolate Cherry Sunflower Seeds.

4. Oxalis, Purchase: Plum Crazy Oxalis

5. Black-Hollyhocks, Purchase: Alcea Rosea Seeds

6. Bees will notice, Purchase: Lauren’s Grape Somniferum Poppy (the prettiest black plant imo)

7. Helleborus16, Purchase similar : Winter Plum Double Lenten Rose

8. Cordyline australis ‘red sensation’, Purchase similar: Corydeline florida Flamingo

9. Oxalis triangularis, Purchase: Purple Shamrock Tubers

10. 27Paph.(Hsinying Web×Macabre) ‘Jamboree Black’, Purchase similar: After Dark Black Pearl Orchid.

11. Dark Sweet Potato, Jet Black Sweet Potato vine Ipomea

12. Black Daylily, Purchase similar: Applique Daylily

13. Tulip, Purchase similar Black Parrot tulip Bulbs

14. Dahlia, Purchase similar: Black Wizard Cactus Dahlia

15. Black calyces Purchase similar: Salvia Guaranitica Black and Blue

More Black plant inspiration

There are so many (too many to list!) varieties of black plants. If you are interested in these dark beauties, there are some great places for inspiration.  First, 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’s a small volume, but full of beautiful photography of these lovely specimens.  A great choice for inspiration or even a coffee table book….to fascinate even the non horticulturally minded among us.

I also have a collection of other posts about adding new plants to your planting design as well as advice for how to use black plants in your garden. They are esciting and interesting as singluar specimenis, but they also can help to elinven your whole design.

Learn more about black plants and foliage and adding them to your garden design here:

The Strange Seduction of Black Flowers – How to Use Them in your Garden

Adding more plants? How to evolve your garden’s flower bed design

Garden Design Advice for beginners – How to Think about Your First Garden

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  1. Nell Jean says:

    Black plants are fashionable, aren’t they? I blogged about my own black plants last week. judywhite’s husband will be writing soon about another author of a book about black plants, I forget her name.

  2. Dave Phelps says:

    I like the Sambucus ‘black lace’ the best. What a cool plant! I love putting these “black” plants right next to chartreuse and blue plants to really make the colors striking. Thanks for the pics, Susan!

  3. love it – will come back when i am in need of some black plants for my vertical gardens

  4. dana says:

    The color of death…. lovely …I’m DarkLady,,,
    ciao dana

  5. Gwen Aldrich says:

    Makes my mouth water for some reason. I’m wondering if there is a cultivar name for the black looking purple barberry, or if it is a random barberry that looks black. There must be hundreds of barberrys.

  6. louise garwood says:

    Stunning mosaic of mysterious looking plants, Rochelle.
    I particularly like the ephemeral foliage of the species of peony that is dark black/ purply-red as it breaks thru in the spring. Looks great with all the pastels and chartreuse. (P. mlokosewitchii, I think it is)
    Then the foliage greens up and flowers are single pale pink.

    Re: plants and winter: some of your readers may be interested in therapeutic garden/herbal gardens- this blog is interesting and inspiring for you..

  7. nicholas yoho-wikse says:

    i am not sure black is the color of ‘death & dying’… but very nice site & pics


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