Once again an awesome gathering of items curated by my sistrah – and this time in my two favorite colors!
Of course it’s in my own personal favorite color scheme – black/grey.
I love this argyle ribbon! It contains pink, but in a small enough amount that it doesn’t bother me. And I really like this lace – it’s a nice accent without being very frilly. I’m also pleased with how the pleats in front worked on on the skirt. I tried to line them up with the edges of the argyle ribbon, and I think it worked.
And finally, the tall plants, things that are four or more feet high. With the plants I’ve been looking at (of all heights), I am going to have to make some choices – not all of them will go in, at least not at first. I’m sure that along the years I’ll also find new things to add.
And we’re on to the medium plants, things that grow to be between one and four feet tall. I’m also still just going for perennials – annuals and bulbs will wait for me to figure out the rest of the primary plan.
Purple and white : Purple snakeroot : (Actaea simplex) Atropurpurea Group : up to 4′ : part shade : clumps : blooms late summer
Purple and white : Spiny bear’s breeches (Acanthus spinosus) : 2-4′ : full sun to part shade : clumps : blooms mid-summer
I’m finding that there are a lot of black plant options to choose from. It’s going to be a challenge to narrow it down, especially when I consider all the options in the other colors I’d like to include.
Herbs are definitely a big part of the plan for the front yard. Some of them will be annuals I’ll plant from seed, while others I hope will stick around year after year. One of those that I think will be an annual will be this Basil Dark Opal:
Not only will it look pretty, it should also be pretty tasty. I love the idea of flavoring olive oil with it. Mmm.
I’m not focusing too much on flowers at this point, but this Classic German Iris Sambuca is gorgeous:
I’m thinking that against a backdrop of something with white or silver foliage, that would be very striking.
Currants are a berry I’m not very familiar with but am interested to learn more about.
This Currant Consort Black will fit right in and will hopefully provide some tasty snacks (apparently you can dry them).
I’m not sure if I have a spot for something this tall, but this Black Magic Hollyhock would be stunning.
I wonder if it’s the kind of thing you can train or prune to make it fit in a not-so-tall space?
Okay, so apparently the Black Elephant Ear I mentioned last post won’t be hardy here in zone 6, so that’s out. I’m not willing to dig things up and winter them indoors, so whatever I plant had better be able to live on its own all year long.
This Black Beauty Sambucus, Elderberry, has gorgeous black foliage and while I’m not so much into the pink flowers, they wouldn’t be a deal-breaker for me. This one can get pretty big, but it appears that I could trim it back each year and keep it in check.
This Green Wizard Coneflower is sort of strange to me – it looks like the part of a flower that is left after the petals have fallen off – but I do like it.
It’s weird, but I like weird.
I’ve had very good luck with Asiatic lilies in the past and this Landini Lily will be a perfect addition to this color scheme.
This type of lily is so self-sufficient and willing to spread and be more impressive every year. A winner for sure. I imagine I’ll throw in some white lilies, too.
Since I’m going for a purple/black silver/white color scheme, I think this Salvia Caradonna will fit in nicely.
It will also offer some medium height (20″) and apparently blooms twice!
Now that it’s the new year and the hope of spring is on the way, it’s time for me to really start figuring out what our front yard re-landscaping project will look like. This past year we undertook the Summer of Smother, during which we covered the entire front lawn in newspaper and mulch so that this spring we can till and start all over with a blank slate. (I’m actually hoping to hire someone to do the actual tilling since it’s not the easiest task and I am a major wuss.)
With the help of my awesome sistrah, I’ve created a basic layout for the yard – the plan for what shape the beds will eventually take. I recognize that the whole thing is way too much to do in one year, so my next step is to figure out a general idea of what plants I want where and then decide what portion to tackle this year. I’ll fill in the majority of the space with thyme and/or other herbs and then remove what I need to when I’m ready in future years. I’ll still be putting in a veggie garden in the back yard beds, so I need to be realistic about how much I can accomplish altogether.
My general color scheme for the front landscaping is black/purple/white/silver. Our house is off-white brick with a black roof, and we hope to eventually paint the trim and shutters black to give the exterior a more cohesive look (right now the shutters and trim are an icky rust color which we definitely do not want love). I’ve read that keeping a limited color palette will give the garden a more professional look, so here’s hoping.
So, for black plants, here are a few thoughts.
I do want to include edibles where I can, though for the front yard I’d like to stick primarily to perennials so that will limit the edible options substantially. I love blackberries, though the plant would only fit into the color scheme when the fruit is ripe.
This Ebony King Blackberry is thornless, which is a bonus (though perhaps since our front yard is unfenced, thorns would be helpful to keep critters from stealing the fruit?).
With the whole colony collapse disorder thing resulting in fewer bees hanging around, I’d like to include plenty of plants that attract pollinators.
This Black Knight Butterfly Bush would definitely do that and while, again, the foliage wouldn’t fit into my color scheme, I think it would be worth it.
With a name like Dark Lord Geranium, how could I not include this one?
I mean, seriously, a plant with purple-highlighted foliage that also has purple blooms AND is a Star Wars reference? No question.
We don’t have too many spaces out front where we need a lot of height, but there is the awkward little side area that runs next to our neighbor’s driveway and is right outside our bedroom window. I think a screen of this Black Bamboo would be perfect:
It would provide some privacy as it got taller, and would also help define the boundary between the neighbor’s property and ours. The only hitch is that it is theoretically for zone 7-10, and we’re zone 6. I’m not sure how big an issue that might be.
I’m really seeking some plants with lots of beautiful foliage, now we’re cooking:
This Black Elephant Ear is great! I love the large leaves and the way the veins are slightly lighter in color. I could see this taking a significant role in the new front yard.
I do also want some flowering plants, and this Black Barlow Columbine is striking:
It supposedly attracts hummingbirds, which would be neat to see.
These are just a few of the plants I’m considering. If anyone out there has experience with any of these particular plants or has any other suggestions, I’m all ears.