Come to the dark side…

… we have cookies! No, seriously… I wouldn’t be able to explain the reason for this, but for years now, I have been helplessly drawn to rich, dark, jewel tone colors. I don’t really have a favorite color, per se, but there is something about the rich, luxurious tones of really saturated colors that really appeal to me. Right now, my garden has plenty to offer in that regard, so I thought I’d share.

One of the darkest purple Clematises I know of. And it's a viticella, so it blooms later, meaning I can enjoy it now.

Negritjanka – one of the darkest purple Clematises I know of. And it’s a viticella, so it blooms later, meaning I can enjoy it now.

Clematis Roguchii lived up again, after a serious bout of powdery mildew. You can see the crispy leaves in the background.

Clematis Roguchii lived up again, after a serious bout of powdery mildew. You can see the crispy leaves in the background.

A close-up of that wonderful bell.

A close-up of that wonderful bell.

Love the little creamy center...

This one is more of a rambler – Clematis durandii – here draped over a Hebe. Love its little creamy centers…

Liriope 'Royal Purple' - wonderful dark purple color. And of course those strappy leaves...

Liriope ‘Royal Purple’ – wonderful dark purple color. Love the dark stems too, and of course those strappy leaves…

Deep purple bells with a yellow throat.

Supposedly an annual in our climate, I’m really enjoying these deep purple bells with a yellow throat –  Thunbergia battiscombei.

Not sure what exactly caused the normally blue-green leaves to take on this purple tint. I wouldn't be surprised if it was all the heat we've had.

Not sure what exactly caused the normally blue-green leaves to take on this purple tint. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was all the heat we’ve had.

The dark purple of the Twilight Zone rose is a great color echo for the purple leaves of the Melianthus.

The dark purple of the Twilight Zone rose is a great color echo for the purple leaves of the Melianthus.

This rose has the most scrumptious color - 'Twilight Zone'

This rose has the most scrumptious color – ‘Twilight Zone’.

Euphorbia 'Blackbird' looking extra dark in the evening light.

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ looking extra dark in the evening light.

The airy foliage of Bronze fennel as silhouetted against a mystery plant I have forgotten I planted. Funny how that works. Hopefully it will open up so I can see what it is...

The airy foliage of Bronze fennel as silhouetted against a mystery plant I have forgotten I planted. Funny how that works. Hopefully it will open up so I can see what it is…

The black Colocasia is making a comeback after almost perishing in my care. Oops...

The black Colocasia is making a comeback after almost perishing in my care. Oops… I will treat it better from now on – I promise! Here, it is competing with Ajuga ‘Black scallop’ in who is the glossiest and darkest.

Pretty black leaves with purple undersides - Eupatorium 'Chocolate'. It's flowers are white.

Pretty black leaves with purple undersides – Eupatorium ‘Chocolate’. It’s flowers are a nice, contrasting white.

It doesn't get much darker than the Sweet potato vine - Ipomea 'Blackie'.

It doesn’t seem that way judging from the photo, but it doesn’t get much darker than the Sweet potato vine – Ipomea ‘Blackie’.

Love the new foliage of this Eucomis. No flowers yet - I still have to find it a sunny enough spot.

Love the new foliage of this Eucomis. No flowers yet – I still have to find it a sunny enough spot.

A salvaged Echeveria nodulosa is coming back.

A salvaged Echeveria nodulosa is coming back. For good reason also called Painted Echeveria. Love the red stripes.

Pennisetum 'Vertigo' and Coleus 'Redhead' in my red pot. There is an Abutilon in there too, but I recently cut it back pretty hard.

Pennisetum ‘Vertigo’ and Coleus ‘Redhead’ in my red pot. There is an Abutilon in there too, but I recently cut it back pretty hard.

Dark purple leaves, turning crimson with colder weather - Vitis purpurifera, or purple ornamental grape.

Dark purple leaves, turning crimson with colder weather – Vitis purpurifera, or purple ornamental grape.

I was afraid I had killed it, but thankfully it is coming back - a red Abutilon I bought earlier this spring.

I was afraid I had killed it, but thankfully it is coming back – a red Abutilon I bought earlier this spring.

I've talked about how I like how the Hot Cocoa rose fades to almost black toward the petal edges. This gradation has been difficult to capture in a photo, but you can get at least a small sense of it on the petal near the bottom left of this photo.

I’ve talked about how I like how the Hot Cocoa rose fades to almost black toward the petal edges. This gradation has been difficult to capture in a photo, but you can get at least a small sense of it on the petal near the bottom left of this photo.

Rounding out the set is a leaf of this beautiful Elephant Ear. I bought it not too long ago (at the friggin' grocery store - can you believe it???) and I can't wait for it to get bigger. Love the dark sumptuous green and the contrasting veining of this one!

Rounding out the set is a leaf of this beautiful Elephant Ear. I bought it not too long ago (at the friggin’ grocery store – can you believe it???) and I can’t wait for it to get bigger. Love the dark sumptuous green and the contrasting veining of this one!

 

 

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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30 Responses to Come to the dark side…

  1. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous…..! Wow.

  2. Kris P says:

    Beautiful rich colors! I’m on the hunt for that Liriope.

    • annamadeit says:

      It was my friend and workmate Gina who clued me into its magic. Not only is it much darker, but it is also more compact. So far, I really like it! I hope you find it. If not, let me know and I’ll send you a start.

  3. Alison says:

    Looking good! I especially like the shot of the black Colocasia and the Black Scallop Ajuga.

  4. Glenda Curdy says:

    I always love your posts. Lovely lovely lovely September photos

  5. annamadeit says:

    Thanks Alison! Can you believe I almost killed it? That would have been such a shame…

  6. mattb325 says:

    Stunning – I can see why the deep rich colours appeal (I’m the same). I think that of all the colours that can stand up to the glare of the summer sun, these are the ones that do it best without being ‘hot’ themselves. I’m in love with that Clematis durandii

    • annamadeit says:

      …”do it best without being ‘hot’ themselves”… Funny – I’d never thought of it that way, but you are right. They are too suave and sophisticated to be “hot”. Maybe just cooly elegant. C. Durandii is new for me this summer, and so far I love it!

  7. rusty duck says:

    Beautiful colours, the deep purples are a real fave. Love that first clematis.

  8. linda says:

    I love that ‘Negritjanka’, where did you get it ?

    • annamadeit says:

      I bought it from work last year – at Drake’s. I’m not the buyer, but we all have our favorites, and she does a wonderful job in honoring our faves – and more. It’s pretty nice to be able to find your favorites at work. We don’t have any more now, but if you’d like a cutting, you are more than welcome, Linda!

  9. FlowerAlley says:

    You must add a Thomas Edison Dahlia to your dark collection. Ooh la la.

  10. Evan says:

    I love ‘Hot Cocoa’ roses, and I’m not really into roses. Still, that one has me thinking of where I could incorporate one into my garden. You’re right, the color gradation is so hard to capture on camera. I often find myself saying I don’t like jewel tones, thinking of clothing colors, but plants pull them off much better. I love amethysts and rich burgundies, smoky colors, sapphire blues, emerald and peridot. But I also love playing with more subtle colors, olive, old gold, greys, plants that blend colors like Carex testacea…
    Your Euphorbia Blackbird reminded me that I was regretting not buying a few more for a bed I’m redoing. I may need to hit a few nurseries to hunt a few more down. What a shame. 🙂

    • annamadeit says:

      Oh no – you have to go to nurseries??? Poor you… 😉 Just kidding – they shouldn’t be hard to find. As for colors – I really don’t have a favorite – it is all in how they are combined. I realize that even more after this summer’s experimentation with pink – a color I’m normally not drawn to. But after seeing the results, I really just have to come out and say I love and need them all! You are more than welcome to take cuttings of my Hot Cocoas, if you like.

  11. rickii says:

    With posts like this, you will be luring more gardeners to the dark side. I’m already there so I’m just picking up tips.

  12. I like deep purples and blues such as the Rogoochii, but anything darker than that I don’t find appealing.

  13. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Gorgeous deep colors! I’m ready to come over to the dark side! Now, about those cookies…

  14. These colors are just delicious. I love all of your concentrated shades of Violet from violet red to violet black. That Colocasia is outrageous. Do you remember its name? It looks beautiful against the Ajuga. Your Clematis shots are some of my favorites, though. Bet you loved to read Anne Rice back in the day… 🙂

  15. rindymae says:

    Beautiful photos, Anna!!!

  16. Pingback: Looking Good | Forest Garden

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