The dark part
A dark part. Who hasn’t one? Well, I realized the grasses garden has one too. I’m not crazy about purple leaved perennials most of the times but I have a thing for dark reds, browns and maroons and I think I am often using them without even knowing. Besides even though the grasses garden faces west the light is affected by the willow trees hedge and forms a kind of moving stripes of dark/light over the fine textures of the grasses, always ready to shine. There is a part on the main bed, facing the pool, which is particularly dark.
It barely looks like I set it up on purpose, this bed. It isn’t so. Other than the same old plantago there is a small rosa glauca (rubrifolia), a beautiful salvia ‘Purple rain’, a faded verbena hastata and a backdrop of dark green molinia ‘Heidebraut’ (another german named grass that disappointed me this year) and echinacea ‘Rubinzwerg’ black buttons.
Eupatorium atropurpureum has faded by now but its form and texture haven’t changed: the flower now are maroon. Pennisetum ‘Magic’ on the right is surrounded by other echinacea black seed heads and by the dried flowers of achillea ‘Credo’, which flowers pale yellow but fades (dries, actually) in a beautiful shade of dark brown. Lucky me I put a couple of white gaura lindheimerii that constellates this sepia bed.
I think this is the picture that inspired me for this post. Those black echinaceas heading menacing to the poor pale allium, cornered against the eupatorium.
I also like this mixture of sedums, still young though, they’re all cuttings made last fall and planted this spring. I planted some tufts of imperata cilindrica ‘Red Baron’ here and there, to emphasize the morning rays of light but it still is almost invisible, very slow growing.
It seems there can’t be a spotlighted character/plant/design without a dark backdrop, nevertheless it happens quite often in real life too! Don’t you think?