This year, I added chocolate cosmos to my garden. Not only do they actually smell like chocolate, but their striking burgundy-black petals add some welcome discord to an otherwise harmonious landscape. Gardeners looking to recreate this dramatic effect need look no further than Paul Bonine's Black Plants, which showcases 75 stunning varieties of what Bonine refers to as the "dusky denizens of the plant kingdom." Recommended By Tove H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
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 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
"This little gem of a book packs a planter's punch ... If you never grow a single plant highlighted, it's still a fascinating read." Our Little Acre blog
"Someday, I shall create the black-and-white themed garden I have been dreaming of; when I do, Black Plants will become muddy and dog-eared." Pacific Horticulture
"Black works great for cocktail dresses and luxury cars, but in the flower garden? Absolutely." San Francisco Chronicle
"Your garden might never be the same." Akron Beacon Journal
"Black generally has a negative connotation, a signal that all is not well with a plant. Paul Bonine has set out to salvage black's horticultural reputation with Black Plants." Chicago Tribune
"Go ahead, open the cover, creep through the screeching gate. The plants inside are no nightmare. More like a dream." Oregonian
"Rather than cast gloom, these plants can add mystery, depth, and sophistication to the garden." Houston Chronicle
"Gardeners and plant lovers looking for ideas for distinct color schemes and exciting plant suggestions will appreciate this." Library Journal
"The addition of these striking shrubs, perennials and annuals will add depth and drama to the landscape."
About the Author
Paul Bonine is a garden writer, lecturer, and co-owner of the wholesale and retail specialty plant nursery Xera Plants, in Portland, Oregon. A lifelong plantsman, Paul has worked in the nursery industry for nearly twenty years and has consulted for NPR, the Sunset Western Garden Book, and the Oregonian.