Garden Design 101: Dark Garden Elements
Dark colors are synonymous with formality, sophistication, and simplicity. No matter what style of garden you have, you may be surprised how some dark elements -- chocolate brown, slate gray, midnight black -- help raise the bar a bit. Here are several reasons to consider dark elements in your landscape and garden.
Dark colors are beautiful backdrops
Think of the inky darkness of a theatrical stage. When an actor steps onto the stage, the spotlight illuminates the actor. Everything else is background. In the same way, a dark backdrop, such as a slate gray wall, helps push forward plants into the spotlight. For example, a black wrought iron fence helps illuminate the brilliance of flowering climbing vines, such as roses, clematis, and jasmine.
Dark accents appear in all styles of gardens. From gray-weathered statuary in Asian-inspired gardens to contemporary furniture in Midcentury modern-inspired patios, dark colors offer unmistakable high style.
Dark colors are quiet
If you want to draw attention to a plant’s finest asset, such as a bloom color or a leaf texture, a dark container does that. For example, the sculptural shapes of succulents look stunning in slate gray pots. (Pots from West Elm.)
Grow plants with dark foliage
Dark foliage is a trend. Discover the popular ‘Raven’ ZZ plant for indoor and outdoor containers. Edge a chartreuse fern with chocolate brown mondo grass for a container that banks on beautiful contrasts. There are dark purple-black flowers, too. Look for dark varieties of pansies, hollyhocks, and petunias.