Monday, June 16, 2014

Dark and handsome, for Foliage Follow-up

It’s no secret I have a thing for dark foliage, I love the contrast of the dark purple, burgundy, brown or almost black leaves with the green of the garden. Last week I realized I've upped the darkness in the garden quite a bit this year, so I thought for this Foliage Follow-up (hosted by Pam at Digging) I'd give you a glimpse at the dark side of the danger garden…

Aeonium 'Silk'

Aeonium arboreum 'Zwartkop'

Ajuga reptans 'Black Scallop'

Newly planted, Acaena purpurea. I've watched this ground cover in other gardens and decided to finally try it out for myself. (horrible photo!)

Canna 'Australia' (one of several) with Albizia julibrissin ‘Summer Chocolate’ visible at the top and Ricinus communis (Castor Bean) to it's right.

Another canna, perhaps Canna 'Australia' but I'm not 100% sure.

Ricinus communis (Castor Bean)

Albizia julibrissin ‘Summer Chocolate’

This is the year for the Cotinus ‘Royal Purple', finally! After 3 (4?) years in the ground it's finally decided to do something.

Cotinus ‘Royal Purple' with Eucomis oakhurst

Geranium maculatum 'Elizabeth Ann'

Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum 'Hindwarf'

Ophiopogon planiscapus (black mondo grass)

Pennisetum 'Vertigo'

Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Atropurpureum’

And look! It's the tiniest little black flower...

Leucadendron 'Ebony'

Rhododendron 'Ebony Pearl'

Only the new growth is dark on the Rhododendron sinogrande, but it's pretty fabulous...

Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace'

Thalictrum 'Evening Star'

Yucca desmetiana 'Blue Boy'

Zingiber malaysianum 'Midnight'

A bit of a cheat, but with that dark "V" it goes so well, Persicaria runcinata 'Purple Majesty'

Okay I'm in full on cheating territory now, what the heck! Aloe dorotheae..

Aloe marlothii

And finally the dark, peeling bark of the Arctostaphylos x ‘Austin Griffiths'...

Isn't it fabulous?

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

39 comments:

  1. It's like you read my mind--I was just googling for dark foliage plants. Thanks for the suggestions!

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  2. ¡Beautiful selection!
    I don't remember that Pittosporum! It's gorgeous.
    How do you keep Cotinus Royal Purple so bushy? mine sends long branches upwards and I would like it more bushy. Is it just pruning the main branches?

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    1. Lisa my cotinus simply froze and refused to grow for years, finally last year it sent a few long arms outward so I cut them back this spring. It responded well with dense new growth. I don't have the space now for it to get really big so I think an annual cut back will be the answer.

      I got that Pittosporum at Cistus, which we'll be visiting during the Fling so you can buy one too! Although I guess I don't know the rules of your taking plants home.

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    2. I don´t think it is allowed to take plants back...but I´ll investigate just in case :)

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  3. Thank you…you've just ID'd Thalictrum 'Evening Star for me :)

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    1. Don't you love it when that happens?

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  4. They're all fabulous Loree! Great selection and so many plants new to me! I also like the way you've grouped the foliage according to a colour theme and you're definitely not short of purple foliaged beauties.

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    1. Thank you, I just wish more of them were evergreen!

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  5. Ah ... my favorite foliage color, too! Especially like Aeonium 'Silk'. This must be "The Year of Cotinus"; mine has put on 5 feet of new growth since being chopped back in January, as has the Euphorbia cotinifolia.

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    1. I've never grown Euphorbia cotinifolia but have considered it, such a beauty but alas not hardy for me.

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  6. Fabulous! Where did you get that Thalictrum?

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    1. At Bark & Garden in Olympia, but I've seen them recently at Portland Nursery.

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  7. AnonymousJune 16, 2014

    You're garden always has the craziest plants! I just moved to a town an hourish away from Portland and was wondering which nurseries you'd recommend for finding some rare/unusual plants when I pass through?

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    1. Oh gosh, there are so many! Cistus Nursery of course, and if you're out that way you might enjoy heading a little further out to Joy Creek. Xera is in town and has great plants. Both Portland Nurseries have treasures and I usually find something to get excited about at Cornell Farms. If your south of town you need to check out Dancing Oaks.

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  8. I'm a fan of the dark side, too. I just got a Cotinus 'Grace' from Means and I've been thinking of trying Acaena purpurea and 'Blue Haze'. Maybe I'll wait to see how yours does, or maybe not. If I had to pick a favorite from this post it would be the rhododendrons, leucodendron, and pittosporum. One equals four, right? Who am I kidding? I love everything in this post!

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    1. One does equal four when doing garden math.

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  9. Wowza, that's a lot of dark foliage. I love your photos--perfect even light. That makes it even easier to enjoy your beauties vicariously.

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    1. P.S. I've been looking for the perfect cotinus all summer. I've bought two now, both labeled 'Royal Purple,' but I find that they green up very quickly unless they're in full sun all the time. What is your experience?

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    2. I think of mine as being in full sun but in reality the neighbors big old dogwood blocks a lot of sun. I looked back at pictures from last August (http://dangergarden.blogspot.com/2013/08/sleep-creep-leap-or-something-like-that.html) and see the older growth was greener but the new growth is still dark. I'm sure I've been of no help.

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  10. Lots of beauty here, but Zingiber malaysianum 'Midnight' -- WOW.

    (Remember that dark plants look best when you have lots of green for contrast. Don't go exclusively dark -- but that's probably not a real possibility, is it?)

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    1. Nope, definitely not a possibility, but fun to think about.

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  11. The Dark Side; Noirish; Tall, Dark & Handsome; it goes by many names, but whatever you call it, I'm with you all the way.

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  12. Is the Leucadendron hardy? Your cannas are so far ahead of mine. And my seedling castor plants only have 4 leaves so far. Sheesh. Great post.

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    1. No it's not, it's in a container. A couple of those cannas were just purchased this year, so there's a little greenhouse magic behind their size. Same for the castor beans, the seedlings I got from Alison (because I'm too lazy to start my own) are much smaller than the one I photographed which came from Rare Plant Research.

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  13. What a great collection! I have some but nothing like yours. Why have I missed out on that Aeonium 'Silk'? Where has that Pittosporum been hiding? The nurseries are swimming in 'Silver Sheen' but I've never seen 'Atropupureum'!

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    1. Oh Kris I wish you were coming to the Portland Fling, you could shop your heart out! Cistus Nursery does mail order, which is where I bought the pittosporum. The aeonium came from Rare Plant Research who also does mail order.

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    2. I wish I was coming too but it was not to be this year. I couldn't decide what to do about Ming so I dithered too long on the decision. I hope Portland will host again someday.

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  14. Oh my god, that pittosporum! That rhody! And how can I get my ginger to look like yours? Whew, that was good stuff.

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    1. Thanks Heather, do you move your ginger outside for the summer?

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  15. That Ginger ! And will you get a flower too ? Crikey.

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    1. A flower? Now you're just talking crazy talk.

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  16. You HAVE gone to the dark side, and it works so well with the danger theme too. I like that you included dark bark in your post -- that's something I don't see often.

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    1. I've meant to photograph that bark forever, so glad I finally remembered as it's amazing!

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  17. Oh LOVE LOVE LOVE them, all of them are so gorgeous! Thank you for sharing and great photos!!!

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  18. You sure have some glorious deep purple foliage! Thanks for showing us your dark side!

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  19. Wow, that Aeonium Silk photo is stunning! And the acaena is not so purple in winter! http://www.etilth.com/pacific-connections/

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  20. My heart beats a little faster for dark foliage too, and good heavens you have some great ones! That pittosporum with its black flower is great, and I've never seen a black Rhododendron! But, can you believe it - my Chocolate mimosa died a couple of years ago. It just started crumbling, so I took it out. I think it might have been verticillium wilt, which definitely puts a damper on things. They are such beautiful trees, I might try again some time.

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