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Black Flowers for a Gothic Garden

Updated on April 2, 2015
Paula Atwell profile image

Paula Atwell is a freelance writer with WriterAccess, webmaster, member of Pinterest Party on FB and the owner of Lake Erie Artist Gallery.

Black Flowers for a Gothic Garden
Black Flowers for a Gothic Garden | Source

Join One of the Hottest Trends | Create a Black Flower Garden

One of the most intriguing new trends in gardening over the last few years is to create a garden using dark hued or black flowers. Some of those gardens are created in a gothic style, using only the black flowers and gothic figures and accessories. Other black flower gardens are using the black flowers as accents in a brightly hued garden.

More and more black flowers are being created by botanists due to their popularity and rich coloring from hybrids of existing flowers. Some are purely black or near black, while others like the Penny Black Nemophila pictured to the left are black with other colors combined.

Black Barlow Columbine
Black Barlow Columbine

Black Barlow Columbine

A stunning addition to a gothic garden

If you like columbine, the Black Barlow Columbine is a lovely addition to a gothic garden, or any garden. It adds depth of color to your plants.

Grow Columbine plants in partial shade. They will do well in average soils and tolerate dry soil conditions. Soil should be well drained. Water only during extended droughts. To help growth, add a general purpose fertilizer once or twice a season. New Columbine plants will bloom in the second year. They look good in flowerbeds, containers, as edging, and in rock gardens.

Columbine plants are one of the flowers that attract hummingbirds. Columbine will grow all season long. As a hardy perennial, they should survive light frosts.

Black Nigra Hollyhock
Black Nigra Hollyhock

Black Nigra Hollyhock (Alcea rosea)

Tall stately plants

The definitive old-fashioned cottage plant, Black Nigra Hollyhocks, indeed all hollyhocks conjure beloved memories. Placed along fences, barn walls or the side of a house, their stately spires define summer for gardeners.

Black Nigra Hollyhocks are a dramatic addition to any garden. These shiny black flowers, 4 inches across and sporting a creamy center plus a hint of burgundy toward the base, are a distinctive addition to the garden. They are easy to grow in full sun and almost any well-drained soil.

Black Cloud Papaver Somniferum Black Poppy

Papaver paeoniflorum. Black Cloud. Huge, tightly packed, Lacy, dark purple-almost black colored blooms. Up to 5 inches wide. Most poppies are very easy to grow. They are a favorite of gardeners in every state for rock gardens, flower beds, containers, and most anyplace that you want color. Since poppies are self-sowing, if you allow them to go to seed you may only need to plant them once.

Black Devil Pansy
Black Devil Pansy

Black Devil Pansy

Deep black blooms

The Black Devil Pansy is a new pansy for pansy enthusiasts. They grow best in full to partial sun. They prefer cool to warm climates, and wilt in mid-summer heat.

Pansies tolerate a variety of soils. But, soil should be loose and hold moisture. The plants need plenty of moisture to fuel their fast growth. Add a general purpose fertilizer at planting time.

Bowles Black Viola - Beautiful small blooms

Bowles Black Viola
Bowles Black Viola

If you like smaller blooms, the Bowles Black Viola, is a wonderful addition to a gothic garden.

When in bloom, the viola plant will almost overpower the color of its leaves and stems, giving the appearance of sea of midnight black flowers blowing in the breeze. Viola also has a delicate scent. The Bowles Black viola will happily self seed in cool, moist soil. Dwarf plants produce numorous velvet black petite flowers with a distinct bright yellow eye.

This flower is an annual, and flowers from June to July-September.

Black Knight Kniolas Morning Glory
Black Knight Kniolas Morning Glory

Black Knight Kniolas Morning Glory

Morning glories are always a beautiful addition to a garden, and the Black Knight Kniolas Morning Glory (Seeds By Seed Needs) is no exception. The Black Knight Kniolas is a Morning Glory with black flowers that have pinkish red centers.

The flower blooms heavily and grows very fast. Black Kniolas Morning Glory plants are great for gothic gardens and grow great on fences.

Black Peony
Black Peony

Black Peony (Papaver Paeoniflorum)

The Black Peony has huge, velvety double blooms of dark maroon to dark burgundy which are 4 to 5 inches across.

These beautiful and unique flowers are packed with ruffled, whorled petals that glow in the summer sun. Indescribably elegant, the blooms on this peony are just incredible in a large garden planting or indoor arrangement.

Blooming begins in July, and is followed by handsome seedpods that are superb ornaments in dried arrangements. Peonies are extremely easy to grow. The grow best in areas where summers are cool or dry; not a good choice for humid regions.

Black Hollyhock Blue Larkspur - Georgia O'Keefe

Black Hollyhock Blue Larkspur, 1930
Black Hollyhock Blue Larkspur, 1930
Close window Black Plants: 75 Striking Choices for the Garden
Close window Black Plants: 75 Striking Choices for the Garden

Black Plants: 75 Striking Choices for the Garden

Learn more about these beautiful varieties of black flowers

With one of the newest and most fashionable garden trends, creating gardens full of lovely black and dark purple flowers, a new guide has come along that will help you getting started making a gothic garden or just adding several accent plants to your existing garden.

These dark lovelies are naturally black or dark purple, and they just exude dark, deep mysterious color. Cast among the greenery of a spring, summer, or fall garden, black plants add a new range of color to work with for gardeners.

Paul Bonine is co-owner of the wholesale nursery Xera Plants Inc. and has worked in the nursery industry in Oregon for almost two decades. His experience with real customers is helpful in choosing the black plants and flowers to outline in this book. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the black flowers, this is an excellent resource to start with.

Here is what is written on the book's dust jacket:

"Striking, mysterious, sinister, and strange all describe the singular appeal of plants with black (or near-black) foliage, flowers, or fruit. For some gardeners, they are curiosities that yield a special thrill. For others, they are invaluable for providing contrast with brighter elements. Whatever the source of their somber magic, these dusky denizens of the plant kingdom are irresistible to anyone drawn to nature's more unusual manifestations.

In this compact, accessible volume, Paul Bonine profiles 75 of the most alluring black annuals, perennials, bulbs, and shrubs. Some of the plants—like agapanthus and lilies—are darker versions of familiar favorites, while others are rarities that will appeal to the most discerning collector. Each entry describes the plant's essential features and details the requirements for growth and care.

Whether your taste runs to pansies, columbines, and sweet williams or to obscure orchids from the Andes, you'll find a host of intriguing choices in this beautifully illustrated, entertaining book. Black Plants: 75 Striking Choices for the Garden is sure to haunt your dreams."

"Black is not the first color that comes to mind when you think of plants. But as this beautiful guide makes clear, dark-hued leaves and flowers, from perennials to tropicals, have enormous appeal in a garden." (Martha Stewart Living )

Victorian Black Gardens

Victorians were very fond of creating garden designs with dark-hued plants and flowers. The resurgence of this trend goes back to Victorian times (similar to the Gothic style trends).

© 2011 Paula Atwell

Would you put black flowers in your garden?

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    • Claire Waters profile image

      Jamie 2 years ago

      The Black Viola and Peony look beautiful. I've only just started gardening and I can't wait to add one of those to my collection.

      Thank you for sharing this hub. :)

    • KimblyWimbly profile image

      KimblyWimbly 3 years ago

      I have black hollyhocks and black lace dianthus in my front flower garden.

    • Jim Houston profile image

      Jim Houston 3 years ago from Wilmer, Alabama

      Hi Paula,

      Beautiful lens you have created. I especially like the Black Knight Morning Glory and the Blue Larkspur. Neat stuff. Jim Houston33

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 5 years ago from USA

      No, but some of them are lovely. I had know idea there were so may black flowers.

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 5 years ago

      I didn't know there were so many black flowers. I can see how they could be a stunning accent in a garden.

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 5 years ago

      I picked this lens for my water a flower quest. I like the dark looking flower and rose plants the best.

    • profile image

      Ruthi 5 years ago

      I have always liked black flowers and what a beauty of a collection you have here. I must try growing the Black Viola! Blessings and a bit o' sunshine for your black beauties!

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      I've long wanted to make a black garden. I have a beautiful black iris but haven't got around to doing much other than talk about it. Thankfully I have friends of action who are furnishing me with black stemmed plants, black grasses and black flowers.

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 5 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @WhiteOak50: Glad you liked it. It has been fun researching black flowers. :)

    • WhiteOak50 profile image

      WhiteOak50 5 years ago

      I have NEVER seen a black peony before this page, that was amazing! Stopping by to let you know that I have featured this page on my new The Peony Flower lens. I am also dropping off a ~Blessing~ for creating such a beautiful page.

    • MadHaps LM profile image

      MadHaps LM 5 years ago

      Have not heard of the all black garden but so many types of flowers have tried to get as black or dark a color, deep purple, blue or burgundy, I can see this as a logical next step. I grow orchids, see my lens Orchids of the Americas and in many of the different varieties there is a so called black orchid. I guess you just gave me the ideal for my next lens, "Black Orchids". Nice lens, thanks.

    • Steph Tietjen profile image

      Stephanie Tietjen 5 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      Very intriguing. I didn't know there were so many black flowers!

    • GreenfireWiseWo profile image

      GreenfireWiseWo 6 years ago

      Yes! They are very different and striking. Thank you for the info.

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 6 years ago from New York

      Definitely. Very dramatic accents.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      What a unique gardening idea. Goth as I am, I don't think I'd do a whole garden in black, but I would certainly consider a few of these as surprising accents. Blessed by an angel.

    • Hooks and Needles profile image

      Hooks and Needles 6 years ago

      I did't realize so many were available. I'm mostly into daylilies and they have several blacks available. My garden also contains a lot of asiatic lilies, but I haven't seen one of these available yet.

    • tiff0315 profile image

      tiff0315 6 years ago

      I can just see it now! I want to make a garden full of black flowers just to be different. Great lens!

    • RubyRavn LM profile image

      RubyRavn LM 6 years ago

      A Midnight Garden is a dream of mine! I love the dark beauty of these plants.