Archive for Garden

Gothic Styles

Posted in Gothic gardens with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2007 by ena

gothic-house-1.jpgGothic Styles

The heyday of Gothic styles in architecture was about 1180-1500 or possibly 1550ish in some regions.

Gothic styles – and the movement was above all architectural – became increasingly ornate and elaborate after about 1380-1400. The style was most fully developed in Northern and Central Europe – France, Britain, Central Europe (as far east as Transylvania) – and also parts of Italy, Spain and Portugal. Key features included: flying buttresses to support the walls and roofs. This allowed for large stained glass windows. Another key feature was the pointed arch (as opposed to the round arch inherited from ancient Rome); also large areas devoted to the choir, screens shutting off the choir and sancturary from the nave; spire (on top of towers).

Gothic architecture (except perhaps at the end, when it became playful) tended to make churches dark and mysterious places of awe, sometimes even with a whiff of the uncanny.

In painting, ‘Gothic’ art sometimes tended to be two-dimensional.

Note that the term ‘Gothic’ was first used after about 1530 and meant something like ‘barbaric’.

From about 1770 onwwards there was a ‘Gothic revival’, with Gothic and pseudo-Gothic styles again popular. Two outstanding examples in Britain are the Houses of Parliament and St Pancras Station. Continue reading


The Victorian Style.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2007 by ena

1victorian_urns.jpgThe Victorian style provided for  a garden of seclusion
and natural beauty, a created
segment of nature.

A good Victorian garden  would have a luxurious
lawn and in addition, flower beds,trees and shrubs.

Shrubbery and flowering plants came into vogue in the
Victorian garden as people began to recognize the
 beauty and wonder of nature  and wanted
 a closer union with it.

The terrace walk was incorporated into the more
 intimate house gardens.
The walk was generally  a paved area between house
and the garden beyond.

 ccd-vic-birds23.jpgThe Victorians had started to enjoy nature, it is true, and
they wanted a closer contact with plants
 but they still wanted some remnant
 of separation between themselves and the
 unknown, and the terrace provided
 this. Continue reading

Black Flowers.

Posted in Gothic gardens with tags , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2007 by ena

 holly.jpgWhat is it about black flowers? Why does everyone get
 excited about them?

 I really don’t think that the appeal for black flowers  has
 anything to do with mourning flowers at funerals.
 I used to work in a flower shop, and we hardly ever got
asked for black flowers in a wreath.

I think the rich color and the soft and velvet feel of these
blossoms are what attract us. Many have lovely shadings
of burgundy and red, and are so elegant in their color
schemes, each petal seems to have a different texture.

The gardener’s desire for black in the garden, does not
stop with the flower color but also applies to foliage.
When thinking of that, who can overlook the wonderful
coleus” Inky Finger” and ” Black Dragon” .

Annuals also present some lovely and exciting black
flowers, there is;

Amaranth            ” Hopi Red Dye”
Cornflower          ” Black Gem’
Baby Blue Eyes  ” Pennie Black”
Poppy                  ” Black Peony”
Artropurpurea   ” Beefsteak Plant”
Scabiosa              ” Ace of Spades” and” Chile Black”
Strobilanthes     ”  Persian Shield”
Viola                   ” Bowles Black”

There are many many more, perennials, shrubs and other plants
that would also fit in  a Gothic Garden,  so if you would like to find
a few, just get in touch with me.

 moon-at-night.jpgBlack Flowers are beguiling and bewitching, does that mean that
 we are under a spell?  Who knows?  

I don’t. do you

meet you on the dark side.

Design Your Gothic Garden

Posted in Gothic gardens with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2007 by ena


When you design your Gothic garden, remember
to include a few pumpkin seeds in your vegetable
Pumpkins were used as lanterns at Halloween
as the best containers for holding candles.
In Ireland and in northern parts of England, 
turnips were hollowed out to light the way of
late night travellers, so you may also want to
consider the lowly Rutabaga as a vegetable
 in your Gothic garden.

There were other plants associated with ill luck
or death, take for instance, cacti ( in Hungary)
lilacs, and any flower that is usually associated
with funerals, these being mostly chrysanthemums
and of course,lillies.
It is deemed unlucky ( I don’t know why!) to pick up flowers
that have fallen to the ground, and any flowers that bloom
out of season are considered to be “touched by the devil”
so you may want to keep a track of those, in your Gothic

Black Dragon Coleus, is a must, for Gothic Gardens.

Since Alexander Dumas published ‘The Black Tulip’ in 1850  the
lure of black plants doesblack-tulip.jpg not seem to have waned, although, as I
 have mentioned before, they are really not black
 but a very dark maroon.

 You can let your imagination run riot
 with a Gothic garden theme as there
are no rules.

You could have a skull as an ornament,
or maybe many dark blooms planted together,
you can go wild and just enjoy your Gothic garden,
as gardening should not be a grave thing!

Meet you on the dark side!

A Victorian Cottage Garden.

Posted in Victorian gardens with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2007 by ena

my-garden.jpgIn the days of old England, many of the workers in small villages
were called peasants, and they owned small houses with very small gardens.
A Victorian cottage garden would have to supply the family with all of
their gardening needs.
The kitchen garden would consist of vegetables and mixed fruits.
In amongst this array of produce they would also grow flowers.The most popular flowers would be hollyhocks, delphiniums, daisies
and also an array of herbs – mint being one of the most popular.
With their mystical charm and abundance of scents, Victorian
cottage gardens
exhibited a style that evolved through the necessity of the times.Many families would have gone hungry if they had
not had the benefit of home-grown produce.

Unlike the peasant garden, the gardens of the landowners,
or gentry, were very formal with box hedges, straight lines,
stone paths, and many with wonderful statues depicting
the gods of ancient

They would also have fountains with water flowing into a lake or pond.
They were considered by some to be classic with their order and discipline.

When the more romantic influence came into being,
plants were considered to affect us emotionally,
and the cottage garden was born out of this movement.

One of the most famous cottage gardens was designed
by the French impressionist painter Claude Monet.
The cottage gardens with their abundance of roses,
growing over fences, and their vine-covered arbors
with flowers climbing towards the sun, are now emulated in North

Their informal style of tall wonderful perennials battling it out
for space in the back of the borders, creating a profusion of
textures and substance, and the smaller plants in the front
of the borders determined to lift their heads to the sun,
not to be outdone by their taller cousins, all this creates
a palette of color, that would be very hard to outdo.

The other advantage to having this kind of garden
is that it reduces the amount of weeds that grow,
as the branching out of the plants hides the sun from
getting through to the ground and therefore snuffs
out the chances of weeds germinating.

To create a cottage garden, don’t be afraid to plant
seeds close together as this creates the effect you
are looking for. Go for a variety of shapes.
Plant feathery plants amidst spiky ones; use bold leaf
plants with delicate ones. Put a sprawling plant next to an upright one.

The best rule of thumb is to plant tall at the back
and short in the front of your borders.

In most cases, try to plant in odd numbers of three, five, etc
and in very large borders try groupings of up to seven or nine
of the same plant. This method gives depth and structure to your borders.

Also keep foliage in mind. Some gardeners say that foliage
is more important than blooms, but the sight of colored blossoms
nodding in the breeze and turning their faces up to the sun
can be more satisfying.

In the end it all comes down to personal taste, but whether
you like straight line gardening, formal gardening, or cottage gardening,
get your hands dirty and have fun.

oh to be in England!

More Gothic Plants For Your Garden.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2007 by ena

 cosmos-black-swallowtail.jpgCosmos have a wonderful burgundy-black flower that is a great plant for the Gothic garden. It has a slichocolate-cosmos.jpgght chocolate scent so  it can be used in a fragrant garden ( not for eating!.) It is a  wonderful plant and although an annual, it does self-seed.  You may also like to try another Gothic type plant, the  sunflower. They are an easy growing plant and they come in many deep reddish colors , all with dark centers.
Although we are used to daylilies in lovely bright colors, they also come in dark colors such as;
Smoking gun
Midnight Magic
Night wings
Cairo Night

 I just love ” Buddleias” in all colors , but for my Gothic garden I chose ” Black Night” with it’s blue black flowers, and this plant attracts Butterflys, with it’s lovely fragrance.
There are also ornamental plants that have a sinister appeal, Black Mondo grass is another favorite for the garden , it gives quite a dramatic effect, Nigrescnes is not actually a grass, it has purple-black leaves and small pink flowers, which are followed by glossy black berries.

 The Ornamental Sweet Potato has a lovely cultivar called “Blackie” , this Gothic plant, has black leaves and stems. I use it extensively in my hanging baskets and containers, or you may use it on a trellis or garden arbor. You can sit under your arbor and enjoy the lovely leaves that cascade down, from this plant.

 The last plant, but not the least, is Carpet Bugle. It has a  variety called “Royalty” which has midnight purple leaves and can be used as a ground cover.

It is hardy enough for the dead to walk on it!!

‘meet you on the dark side.

Gothic Gardening Roses.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2007 by ena

rose-balck-baccara.jpg In the world of those experts in rose gardening, there is
 really no such thing as a ” Black Rose”

 The closest one can really come is to this rose.
‘The Rose Black Baccara ‘or ‘Taboo.’

 Other dark roses are;

Ink Spots
Ingrid Bergman
Black Jade
The Squire
Deep Secret
Kentucky Derby
Black Tea

If you would like to grow other Gothic plants then try
some of these;

The Black hollyhock( Althea nigra) known as “the Watchman” it can
be quite spectacular in the garden, and many people do not
know that it has been around for quite some time, in fact
this plant was one of Thomas Jefferson’s favorites!

Snapdragons have a cultivar known as the ‘Black Prince’, the
blooms here are a rich dark velvety crimson, they are
very striking in the Gothic garden.

You can’t leave out the statuesque Canna lily called
‘Black Night” it has not only deep red blooms, but
burgundy foliage.
This is a must for the ‘Gothic garden’

Gladiolus have several varieties that are dark,black- red
rather than true black. These are;

Black Stalliontyrone-power-blck-rose.jpg
Black Swan

Does anyone remember ” Tyrone Power”
in the ‘Black Rose?’.

meet you on the dark side!