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Come to the Dark Side...

Create a container garden even a vampire could love by utilizing plants with dark folige and flowers.

Contributors: Amanda Thomsen

I can’t flip a channel without running into something that features vampires, pirates or zombies- and that’s just on the evening news.  Vampires are super on-trend right now, currently inspiring romantic fashions, chocolate nail polishes and bloody lip colors. So why not your container plantings, too?

I understand that dark and moody colors aren’t for everyone-- But for those that dare, here are a few things to keep in mind; If you’re planting in a full to partially sunny spot, think about lightening up the look with silver foliage, bold variegation or by mixing in white flowers so that it glows in the moonlight. For shadier spots, dark plants can be used as accents with bright limey chartreuse they positively throb with plush velvety goodness.

For height in your so-good-it’s-evil container, try Elderberry Black Lace, Pennisteum Graceful Grasses® Vertigo® (photo, left), Alocasia Jurrasic Dark or fashion a 3 part trellis out of wooden stakes (just in case!) for a luscious Lophospermum Lofos® Wine Red to prop itself up on.

Next add a layer of opulent, rich colors with plants like Cosmos Choco Mocha, Dianthus Cinnamon Red Hots, Heliotrope Marine, Arctotis The Ravers Cherry Frost, Ornamental Pepper Black Pearl, Ageratum Artist® Purple or Scabiosa Barocca. Hey, they don’t call ‘em “Thrillers” for nothing!

To bleed over the edge of your pot, choose a combination of rich burgundy and deep purple and add some dark foliage for good measure. Try Calibrachoa Superbells® Blackberry Punch or Superbells® Grape Punch, Sweet Potato Vine Illusion® Midnight Lace or Sweet Caroline Raven, Supertunia® Royal Velvet, Superbena® Royale Red or Lysimachia Midnight Sun for the desired effect.

If you’re in the shade, throw a chocolatey Coleus like ColorBlaze® Dark Star (photo, below) in a pot with an Oxalis (I like Zinfandel or Black Prince) and add Pegasus® Begonia and you’re darkity dark! For spikes of color try New Guinea Impatiens in a throbbing shade of purple like Infinity® Blushing Lilac.

I’m pretty sure that if vampires gardened, they’d be into succulents. Watering just doesn’t seem very vampirely and they could use that dry, dusty native soil their coffins are filled with. Perhaps a container with Aeonium Zwartkop and Sedum Rock 'N Grow® Popstar would look good next to that coffin.

Perhaps being “on-trend” doesn’t mean much to you-- Or maybe you’ve never been bitten by a vampire.  Perhaps you don’t even like chocolate?  I can promise you these plants and combos are chic and fabulous- And who doesn’t love that?

Author Bio:  Big, loud and fun- Amanda Thomsen landscapes by day and blogs at night. Her blog, Kiss My Aster!, has been around for over 6 years, She currently also blogs for Amanda is also the less popular half of the podcasting team, Good Enough Gardening, which makes her feel like the "Roy" of Siegfried and Roy, but without the mauling. She lives in Chicago with her tiny family in a pup tent in the parking lot of the Chicago Botanic Garden and does not EVER put ketchup on hot dogs.

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