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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dark Gardening

I love plants, and I really adore flowers. I'm even blessed enough to live in an area where you can have flowers all winter long! (Yes, really, you Northerners. I've seen pansies peek up through our infrequent snows, and just keep on going.)

But all the pastels! They make me twitch after awhile–especially the overload of pink. I want a garden that's unique, a garden that doesn't look like every other garden in the city. A garden that doesn't feel frilly.

Like one with this little beauty.

Isn't that awesome? It's a bat plant, or Tacca integrifolia. I couldn't actually grow it in my garden, but that's beside the point. I want plants with character! And preferably, plants with some darkness.

I don't even remember how I found it, but I stumbled across the black pansy yesterday. A bit of searching uncovered the Black Moon, Black Prince and Clearly Crystals Black varieties, all available from Hirt's Gardens. They also carry Bowles Black violas. (Violas, of course, are from the same genus as pansies.)

What's wonderful about these is that I can have them blooming at Halloween! Is there anything more appropriate? (Well, okay, black roses, but this is close enough…)

Hirt's also carries seeds for a few other gorgeous black flowers, including the black iris, King of the Blacks carnations, black bachelor button, and black hollyhocks. (Don't miss the selections of black vegetables, including tomatoes and corn! Hirt's also has seeds for both the black and white bat plants.)

But I hit the real motherlode when a link from a livejournal community led me to Chocolate Flower Farm! Are they not totally incredible?

I can't wait to place an order for the spring. I want to use lots of native or naturalized plants in my regular garden, but I think a few carefully chosen selections of "black" or "chocolate" plants would be a wonderful addition!

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