THE NEW BLACK

FIVE FAVOURITE PLANTS

The Simple Things - - NEST -

1 ALCEA ROSEA ‘ NI­GRA’

Tall, stately hol­ly­hocks are a sta­ple of the tra­di­tional English cot­tage gar­den. Sub­vert their easy charm by choos­ing the mys­te­ri­ously dark va­ri­ety, ‘Ni­gra’, with its glossy vel­vety petals. Avail­able from cro­cus.co.uk.

2 ZANTEDESCHIA ‘ BLACK STAR’

Send­ing their silky ma­roon spathes out from speck­led green leaves, these arum lilies add an ex­otic flavour to pa­tio con­tain­ers. They also make el­e­gant and long-last­ing cut flow­ers. From van­meuwen.com.

3 OX­ALIS TRIANGULARIS ‘ BUR­GUNDY WINE’

The pur­ple-leaf false sham­rock is ideal in a con­ser­va­tory or on a sunny win­dowsill. It’s lovely to look at, its deep-plum leaves fold­ing them­selves up at night.

From thomp­son-mor­gan.com.

4 SAMBUCUS NI­GRA F. PORPHYROPHYLLA ‘ EVA’

A stun­ning va­ri­ety of our na­tive el­der. Um­bels of pale-pink flow­ers stand out against its dark lace leaves in sum­mer, and you’ll be re­warded with deep, glossy ber­ries come au­tumn. Avail­able from cro­cus.co.uk.

5 TULIPA ‘ QUEEN OF NIGHT’

These grace­ful tulips make a bold state­ment in the gar­den, in pots or borders. Plant the bulbs over the com­ing weeks to en­joy their deep vel­vet blooms in spring. They also make ex­cel­lent cut flow­ers. Avail­able from sarahraven.com.

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