Strange IndiaStrange India

So many of us are people who throw seeds about the garden, hopeful for whatever springs up. After a while, you might start to lean into a colorway you enjoy (for instance, I no longer buy pink or white flowers; there are just too many of them). But for some of us, the allure and uniqueness of a dark space resonates, and in those cases, a goth garden is the perfect solution. 

An antidote to the solid white of a moonlight garden, goth gardens exalt the growing number of black flowers and fruit that are being cultivated. There are legions of flowers, both annual and perennial, that can bring darkness to your landscape. Paired with the greenery they grow on, the effect is rich, gothic, and mesmerizing. With a growing fan base, you can spend endless hours on Instagram admiring the lush landscapes of aficionados like Chloe Hurst and Kat Bauer

It’s not just flowers anymore either. While black peppers and tomatoes have become popular in the past few years, this year, black pumpkins were introduced. Imagine these on a trellis alone, or paired with white pumpkins. Imagine them growing amongst black nasturtiums. 

The key to a successful garden is always considering a hearty base of perennials so there is something that returns year after year, and annuals, which will produce a scene for the summer and then die when winter arrives. Consider also the heights of what you’re growing and how much space they’ll need, whether they are evergreen, meaning they’ll have foliage over the winter, or will appear bare. You want taller items at the back or in the middle of a space you can walk around, and then gradually scale down the size, closer to the walkway—this way you can see everything. You don’t have to solely focus on black either, but can embrace mahoganies and deep purples to augment the black. In any case, be sure you place your goth garden somewhere it will be lit well, so you get light on the curves and shapes and can see all the details of the dark flowers. 

Black perennial flowers

Between the earliest tulips and irises to the late-blooming dahlias, you could fill an entire spring and summer with dark blooms. Spanning heights of four feet all the way to ground-cover sedums, you can create an entire wall of interest where hues of black interplay with green stems and leaves. Of particular note, Black Magic elephant ears are large black leaves that will anchor a space, and I dream of a pond-side garden filled with the endless number of black irises.  Remember, perennials are going to come back, so they’re worth a little investment. Here are some of my favorite options:

Black annual flowers

Annual flowers have the benefit of impressive blooms for a short while. Filling an entire trellis with Black Knight sweet peas will create a wall of sweet smelling, delicate black blooms. There’s a certain dark humor in knowing that snapdragons, as they die, look like small skulls, and Blackdragon snaps will pack an extra morbid punch. Let black sunflowers grow up towards the sun for a beautiful feature that will grab attention. 

Black fruits

Don’t forget to intersperse some fruit in your goth garden. Obviously, most eggplants will fit the bill, but in particular, large lobe eggplants like Gaudi will really stand out. There are endless black peppers to be grown, and even blackberries and boysenberries are dark and delicious. However, it is black pumpkins like Black Bear I look most forward to this year, growing on an arch alongside white pumpkins, so you can walk under them.

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