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Gothic Gardening

As spring starts to unfurl now is the perfect time to get out into your garden (before summer really hits and you risk exchanging that deathly pallor for a sun kissed shade of orange). And we all know goths secretly love being outdoors even the less witchy types will skulk around in mother nature’s bounty, just check out “Goths up trees” if you have any doubt! While I’m partial to the juxtaposition pretty pink and white flowers can make against beautiful black velvets – there are a number of ways you can bring a bit of darkness into your alfresco living space. The queen of goth gardening is undoubtedly Kat von D whose black garden is awash with… well, black. From black sunflowers to black heart vines, her Hollywood garden shrieks goth. But what of our slightly less clement climes? Dark plants were in vogue in Victorian and Edwardian times with plant breeders eager to pursue a rarity and bring out the black. Below is a list of some of my favourite black and dark purple plants.


Black Iris:

For the slightly more advanced gardener these velvety black petals veined with gold are the stuff of fairy tales. With variants like the Black Beauty, Black Knight and black out – you can’t really go wrong. Plus they are poisonous to eat. Don’t get much more goth than that – a deadly beauty.



Black Viola:

Violas are the flowers Persephone was collecting when Hades abducts her and steals away to the underworld. While most species of this flower are more purple Varieties, those such as ‘Black Jack’ and ‘Bowles’ Black’ and ‘Black Moon’ were created by repeatedly crossing the darkest wild violets creating a purple-black hue. These flowers are easily grown from seed and fairly easy to care for. Many of the varieties are even edible and can add some spring gothness to your salads!


Black Poppies:

With their opium connotations the darker variety of this is a sure statement in any goth garden. The ‘Black Single’ variety is crimson black with silvery-blue contrasting stems and leaves.



Or cobra lilies are stripy serpent-like flowers are quite striking and do well in shadier corners of your garden. While they are fairly easy to grow in summer, the bulbs can rot in the damp ground over winter so do need extra care, but are definitely worth it.


Bat Flower:

Otherwise known as the cat’s whisker or devil flower – the name alone is worth 100 goth points, and really is quite unusually spectacular. But like many goths, this bloom require special care and is best grown indoors in a glass house, so only for the serious goth gardener!


Forest Pansy:

This can either be grown as a shrub or small tree and adds a beautiful display which changes with the season. It unfurls in spring with an array of bright reddish-purple heart shaped leaves which then mature into a rich burgundy maroon in the summer and in its twilight months the autumn brings a mix of gold, orange, scarlet and crimson.


Midnight Rose:

This alum root shrub with evergreen (or rather ever purple) foliage will keep your garden goth all year round with dark pink speckled into the purple and pretty lace edged leaves, this is one for those girly goths.


Words by – Lady Amaranth



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