Grow It

Of co­coa of­fers rea­sons to linger.

Country Woman - - CONTENTS - BY JOANN EARLY MACKEN

Head to the gar­den for a choco­late bou­quet.

Treat your­self to a gar­den of desserts with plants that look and smell like choco­late. Warm brown leaves and flow­ers show off shades from tan to dark pur­ple to nearly black. Choco­late plants can com­ple­ment—or pro­vide a lus­cious con­trast to—deep, bright or pas­tel col­ors. Choose a pro­fu­sion of choco­laty rich­ness and your senses will be de­lighted.

Choco­late Shogun Astilbe

If you’re look­ing for a hardy peren­nial to plant in moist soil, go with Choco­late Shogun astilbe. It makes it­self right at home in damp, shady ar­eas. Plus, it’s re­sis­tant to deer and rab­bits. Pale pink flower spikes curve over dark, lus­trous leaves. Find it: white­flow­er­farm.com

Choco­late Ruffles Coral Bells

Choco­late Ruffles is one of many coral bells hy­brids in an ar­ray of tempt­ing col­ors. Cop­pery leaves with pink un­der­sides change to choco­late with bur­gundy be­low. Slen­der stems hold del­i­cate white flow­ers above fo­liage mounds. Plant in part shade. Find it: cal­gar­y­plants.com

Hot Co­coa Flori­bunda Rose

Add a flash of or­angey choco­late to the gar­den with the Hot Co­coa flori­bunda rose. Dark, glossy leaves set off large, ruffly dou­ble flow­ers. You might no­tice a hint of laven­der color in the rose as well.

Find it: heir­loom­roses.com

Choco­late Cos­mos

Tall, slen­der stems carry cup­shaped choco­late cos­mos flow­ers well above the green­ery. Deep ma­roon blooms make gor­geous cut flow­ers. They look like dark choco­late and smell like it, too. Plant them in full sun. Re­move spent flow­ers for a non­stop sup­ply from sum­mer into fall. Find it: dutch­gar­dens.com

Choco­late Mint

Plant Choco­late Mint in a cool spot with morn­ing sun so you can sa­vor its de­li­cious scent. Sa­vor the fla­vor in sooth­ing tea. Use it to pep up baked goods, fla­vor ice cream or gar­nish cock­tails. But be sure to keep this pep­per­mint in a pot—it spreads! Find it: moun­tain­val­ley­grow­ers.com

Choco­late Mint Coleus

An easy-to-grow an­nual, Choco­late Mint coleus thrives in full to part shade. Bril­liant green edges line its dark bur­gundy leaves. Start with plants, seeds or cut­tings. It grows well in a pot, a win­dow box or a flower bed. Find it: burpee.com

Choco­late Scented Daisy

If aroma is what you’re af­ter, try this South­west na­tive also known as choco­late flower. This lit­tle gem’s fra­grance is strong­est in the morn­ing. Later in the day, its petals close or drop. New bright yel­low blooms open at night. Find it: moun­tain­val­ley grow­ers.com

Choco­late Sol­dier Columbine

Pur­ple-brown and green blos­soms nod on the arch­ing stalks of Choco­late Sol­dier columbine, and its blue-green fo­liage forms a ferny mound. Plant this sweet-smelling heir­loom in sun or part shade for a de­light­ful look in ei­ther bor­ders or beds. Find it: nichegar­dens.com

Karma Choc Dahlia

Dark flow­ers, stems and fo­liage add up to one en­tic­ing plant. Karma Choc dahlia also has a light choco­late scent. Large, long-last­ing blooms make mag­nif­i­cent cut flow­ers. Float one in a dish to cre­ate a sim­ple yet stun­ning cen­ter­piece. Find it: long­field-gar­dens.com

Milk Choco­late Carex

Al­though it looks like or­na­men­tal grass, Milk Choco­late carex is ac­tu­ally a sedge. That means it’s more tol­er­ant of shade and mois­ture. Its soft, arch­ing leaves dis­play a hint of pink that turns to orange in fall. Find it: choco­late­flow­er­farm.com

Shogun Astilbe A beau­ti­ful, dark-hued plant that deer and rab­bits don't like is a real plus.

Choco­late Ruffles Coral Bells Try a ruf­fle of choco­late in your gar­den. Choco­late Cos­mos Th­ese flow­ers smell like dark choco­late.

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