April 23, 2010

Black & White flowers

In the world of horticulture, black, or true black, is about as rare as true blue. But this evening, as the spring sunshine was fading fast, I decided to find some black ( blackish) flowers in the garden, and some white ones too, since, I felt I had to take the cliche route. Above, one of my favorite dwarf German Bearded Iris, of which I have lost the label of. It is very close to black, if one could describe dark smokey violet as black. Sitll, it is quite special, isn't it?

It's hard to tell from this photo, but the white exhibition daffodil called 'Gull' is stunningly large. Only available from a couple of regional small growers, it is worth seeking out as a landscape variety. I got mine from David Burdick Daffodils. I saw it once at the Seven States Daffodil Show, and had to have it in my garden. Show daffodils are so much nicer than the common Dutch varieties. Look for field grown, American varieties or New Zealand ones for extraordinary  varieties that will blow away your neighbors.
Black Hellebores are another fav. Here, a cultivar called 'Starling', is close to black.

Bleeding Hearts are as common as, well, daffodils, but I still love them if only for the nostalgia. As a child in my garden ( remember, I was born here in this garden!) I can remember my sister showing me the pink bleeding hearts that my mom had planted, and I thought that they were the most special things. This white cultivar is equally nice. Sometimes, common is OK, right? Gardening is as much about experience as it is about rarity.

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