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When you think of a gothic aesthetic, you likely think dark and moody colors, low lighting, all-knowing crows, and a dusty collection of antiques. The style probably doesn't make your mind automatically go to a flourishing garden—but that could change in 2024.
Natalie Carmolli, public relations with Proven Winners Color Choice Shrubs, told PureWow that goth garden designs full of burgundy, dark purple, and black flowers contrasted with green foliage are on the rise this year. Janet Sluis, the director of the Sunset Plant Collection, told Gardenista the same, reporting that goth gardens are trending because our garden aesthetics are moving back in time.
“As far as hardscaping goes, there has been growing interest in all things old: crumbling stonework, rusted wrought iron, repurposed art," Sluis said. «In general, gardening trends are moving away from straight edges and formal shapes to more winding paths and wilder-looking plantings.»
To make goth gardening work in your landscape, the first step is to make some dramatic, maybe slightly unusual plant choices. Go for black roses, pansies, tulips, calla lilies, bat flowers, black mondo grass, burgundy peonies, dark purple dahlias, black hollyhocks, and purple smoke bush.
Along with your blooms, incorporate dark foliage plants for varying texture and height—black heucheras, black elephant ears, and ornamental grasses with dark tones.
A garden aesthetic goes beyond flowers and plants though, and themed outdoor decor takes it to the next level. Add a touch of drama and mystery to your space with wrought iron furniture like benches, tables, and chairs with intricate designs. Some designers use that iron to create grand entrances or pathways in their gardens, too.
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As the sun dips below the horizon, transforming the sky into a canvas of twinkling stars, your garden becomes a magical setting for an enchanting night picnic. The allure of dining al fresco takes on a new dimension when the moon casts its gentle glow on nature's stage. This celestial soiree explores the art of crafting an unforgettable night picnic under the stars, where the ordinary transforms into the extraordinary.
Away from the Show Gardens on Main Avenue, the Sanctuary Gardens offer plenty of inspiration and often on a more achievable scale. A garden that honours 200 years of the National Gallery, a family space that can bounce back from heavy rainfall, and a sensory haven that supports the emotional wellbeing for children undergoing cancer treatment, feature in 2024’s line up.
The colors chosen in the planning of a garden are very much a matter of personal taste but there are particularly pleasing combinations.
The fall is the perfect time to plant garlic in your garden. Compared to spring-planted garlic, fall garlic produces larger bulbs, matures earlier, and often has fewer disease problems. Additionally, certain types of garlic, mainly hard-neck types like Rocambole, will not mature in time from spring planting.
The news has been awash with UK Environment Secretary Owen Paterson’s issues in relation to the badger cull. There has been fierce opposition to this issue. No one seems certain whether this strategy will help make a positive impact on the reduction of bovine tuberculosis in cattle. With fierce protests and ongoing issues yet to be resolved, it seems this is far from over.
As a kid, I remember the magic of seeing clouds of fireflies on a warm summer night. Nowadays, I get excited if I see one or two floating around our yard. Also called lightning bugs, these special little insects are an important indicator of environmental health. And they’re also good for our gardens. So, how does a gardener support them? What do lightning bugs eat? What’s the difference between lightning bugs and fireflies? What about glow-worms? (Are those even a thing?!) It’s easy to find confusing or conflicting information about these bioluminescent marvels online. In this article, I’m going to share some tips on what these special creatures need to survive, how we can help sustain them, and why we should make the effort.
Courtesy of White Flower Farm
We are constantly aiming to make our homes smell welcoming and warm without being overpowering. This leads our cabinets to overflow with candle collections or a constant simmering pot always on the stovetop.
I planted some climbing roses into pots at either side of our garden gazebo and have trained them to grow up over it. I’ve been careful to feed and water them, and they did brilliantly for a couple of years, but last summer they looked miserable. Any suggestions as to what I’m doing wrong? TJ, Co Kilkenny
Living deep in the Irish countryside as I do, surrounded by a centuries-old patchwork of farm fields, hedgerows and leafy pockets of ancient native woodland, a clear winter night sky is a thing of profound beauty. It is filled with the otherworldly shimmer of a host of constellations, familiar to me from my childhood.