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The Gardening Coach

Catharine Howard is the Gardening Coach. Contact her for gardening advice and visit www.thegardeningcoach.co.uk for more information.

August 12, 2014 | Black List: Good old Ophiopogon gets a little jazzy

or even snazzy.  Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘nigrescens’ looks great in paving gaps.  Thrown into the limelight by the mullein skeletons.

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September 11, 2011 | Black List

Aeonium schwarzkopf  has wierd twisty stems and succulent slabs of leaves in polished black.  The  cauliflour inflorescences of acid yellow are produced in early summer.  These mount up like crazy towers above the rest of the plant.

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August 8, 2010 | Black List

What is it with the Bishops?  There is a run on ecclesiastical dahlia naming.  We have got the Bishop of Llandaff in two flowerbeds and the sister in law has just had Bishop of Auckland foisted on her.  Could it be something to do with cassock colours? Anyway, the point of singling out black as [...]

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July 19, 2010 | Black List

It’s a fantasy, I know.  Unseasonal and a  leftover from May’s Chelsea but this combination of colours, pinned together by Aquilegia vulgaris  Black Barlow cannot be left sulking in the corner.  Co-planted  with the  blue Himalayan poppy and Stipa tenuissima.

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July 2, 2010 | Monthly black list

A snazzy cultivar of the black elder.  Since I last looked it has aquired a new name, possibly lifted from a dusty cabinet at the back entrance to the British Museum.  Unspellable for any but a serious spelling bee, certainly unpronouncable.  I’m sticking to Sambucus nigra Black Lace. It looks great planted with Calamagrostis x [...]

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June 8, 2010 | Monthly black list

I am almost heading for the weird and wild lands with the genus Arisaema, known as Cobra lilies.   They are such strange plants, but now that I have joined the Blotanical network,  no doubt someone will post me with the message that the cat scratches its back on them by the kitchen door.

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May 12, 2010 | Monthly Black List

Paeonia delaveyi

Paeonia delaveyi makes it into May’s list for its tempestuous dark foliage.  For this month, just right now in the black or darkest maroon leaf palette there are some cool perennials.  Heuchera obsidian is, I think, the darkest of this genus.  Grow it with Dicentra spectabilis ‘Alba’ behind it) Anthrisus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’ [...]

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