Black...good or yuck?

VerdunVerdun Posts: 23,348

Every time I see a black flower in someone's garden I have to ask why?   Yet the owner always puffs with pride when "showing them off".  Black geranium, what's that? Awful looking plant.  Black violas?  

I was near to buying a black hellebore but remain unconvinced.  Dark purple yes.    

Grew. Chili Black scabious but it wasn't really black ....more like morello cherry and it was a nice plant.

Black always looks like soil to me from a distance.  Close up not exciting.

Black!  Good for you? 



  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    With orange, yes.  It's all about what you plant it next to I think.  Have to say I don't much care for those black grasses you get though - always look like the leftovers after a forest fire. 

  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 7,111

    I only love black flowers when they are actually really dark purple - hellebores, irises etc

    Black centres (as in rudbeckias) are good - but guess that doesn't really countimage

    The Stone Age didn’t end because they ran out of stones ......
  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    I can't recall seeing any fully black flowers, but don't hunk I would be keen, not a black fan at all unless they are with another colour as Chicky said.

    I do however love very deep purple, and was thinking of buying a deep purple Lily but missed the offer (I think it was called Black Knight?).

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,194

    It dépends on what you associate them with - cream, white, orange, bright scarlet or something with silver foliage.

    The Vendée, France
  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,122

    I'm growing for the first time a black hollyhock. I have wondered myself and generally I wouldn't plant black of any description (maybe black bamboo), so I am to be persuaded.

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,194

    I use this stuff as ground cover in a  sharply drained bed at the top of a 3 feet high sleeper retaining wall.  It is spreading nicely now and looks fab with white crocuses in spring and then pink dwarf dianthus later on.    There are snowdrops, grape hyacinths, hellébores, verbascum phoenicums, bergenias, achillea and stachys all in a happy jumble to attract pollinators to my damson tree, autumn raspberries and tay berries which grow nearby, enjoying the same sunny position.

    The Vendée, France
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 14,221

    Verdun, try growing ophiopogon next to Milium effusum Aureum ( Bowles golden grass) they look stunning together. I grow the Milium behind so it gently hangs over, but doesn't crowd the Ophiopogon.

  • Ryan LloydRyan Lloyd Posts: 391

    I too have ophiopogon, but I'm growing mine on at the mo. Not really sure where to put it, maybe in my alpine bed image

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,111

    I really don't like ophiopogon. I know its very "in" but it just looks like dead stuff to me.

    I'm not fond of black flowers either, partly because they're not black, they  are usually dark purple or red, and I think that if you work in the day, and come home in the evening, you don't see them, because they disappear in the gloaming. However a pale colour or white will shout out at you in the evenings.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • lisa masseylisa massey Posts: 252

    I have a bed full of ophiopogon with a red barked acer in the middle, set into lush green lawn. It's quite striking. I like dark varieties, but I do like dark colours in all things(all the best bikes are black). They aren't for everybody, gardens wouldn't be so interesting if we all liked and planted the same things.

  • TonksTonks Posts: 54

    Black might go in a very modern garden.   But I'm not a fan of 'modern' gardens so it's a no from me!

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

    OKay I'm going to be the 'black' sheep here - I love my black viola 'Molly Sanderson' image

    I love very dark colours but you have to work them into your garden in a particular way to get them right.

    All colours can be insipid, dull, garish, ugly, disappointing etc etc. It depends what else you associate them with.

  • pootlerpootler Posts: 88

    I'm with Fairygirl, I have a Molly Sanderson viola in a pot and I am waiting with anticipation as it is just about to flower.  What I like about it is that it is unusual and striking.

    I really need to buy some more and plant them in front of euphorbia polychroma for maximum impact!

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

    They look great with acid green foliage pootler. Alchemilla's good with them too.image

     I had a little green heuchera which I'd obtained as a seedling and it looked good with that as well.

  • Tray14Tray14 Posts: 211

    Funnily enough I have just brought a  black grass "Blackbeard" put it in a pot with some light coloured gravel on top - sits quite nicely at the bottom of my cherry tree.  Don't associate it with anything maudlin - more striking and offers a contrast - in fairness it's not true black when the sun shines through it more of a deep blue colour. 

  • lisa masseylisa massey Posts: 252

    I bought some cornflower seeds today Verdun, they're called 'black ball'. They are actually very dark red and they'll go lovely with sweet Williams at the bottom of a pale fence. image

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

    I've just recently sown some of those lisa. They're in pots and will get slotted into spaces where I currently have Narcissus and Irises, later in the year.image

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,168

    I am not a fan of black at all; as a 'colour' it is simply an absence of light and what really annoys me is that the only single Hollyhock you can buy If they can do the black one, why can't they do all those lovely subtle hard to name colours that are so traditional to Hollyhocks?

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