Hot Plants for Gardening Hipsters: Ornamentals


Are you a gardening hipster? Do any of these statements sound familiar?

  • You live in Seattle, Portland, Austin, or Brooklyn, or wish you did
  • You have songs from bands like Sons and Daughters, Flosstradamus, or Little Sister loaded onto your iPhone
  • You have one–and only one–Republican friend who you refer to your “one Republican friend.”

If you resemble any of the above, then you might be a hipster. Though you probably hate that term and prefer to think of yourself as original or an independent thinker. Uhm. Sure.

Anyway, if you’re a hipster, or just someone who likes to stay on top of what is up-and-coming when it comes to plants, these are some great ornamental plants to keep your eye on. Check back tomorrow for the hot edibles.

If you want plants that are so cutting edge, they’ll probably never be seen at Home Depot and you will have to hunt through the local independent nurseries to find them, then take a look at these. By the way, the first three were developed by Fitzgerald Nursery in Ireland. You can follow Fitzgerald Nursery’s head honcho, Pat (a pretty nice guy and fun person to follow), on Twitter: @PatFitzGerald.

Ceanothus ‘Tuxedo’

The lavender blue flowers of Ceanothus ‘Tuxedo’ are produced in the late Summer and the contrast between the flowers and the black foliage quite remarkable. Tuxedo is a large shrub but responds well to pruning and can easily be clipped to fit your space.

Phormium ‘Black Adder’

‘Black Adder’ is a fantastic, deep burgundy/black colored New Zealand Flax. It is easy to grow and tolerates most locations without affecting growth or ornamental appeal. Black Adder is ideal for containers and borders where a striking feature plant is required to set off lighter colored plants or ornamental containers. As it matures, it forms an elegant semi-upright mound. The glossy dark foliage becomes pendulous at the tips.

Carex Everest

‘Everest’ carex has distinctive white striped foliage. It is easy to grow, low maintenance and forms a neat, easily controlled mound.

Euphorbia ‘Ruby Glow’

‘Ruby Glow’ Euphorbia has a great habit, is very branched and compact, and looks great in a pot. Its foliage is ruby red in the fall, with virtually black leaves in winter. It is naturally branched and requires no pruning. The best part, however, are the bright green/yellow flowers. The contrast beautifully with the foliage.

Graceful Grasses King Tut

This exotic-looking beauty has pendulous leaves sit on tall, upright stems. It likes wet places like water gardens or waterside and is perfect for containers without drainage holes. This papyrus looks great with ‘Snow Princess’ Lobularia mounded all around it, or with a variety of coleus.

Petunia Pretty Much Picasso

Last Spring everyone was gushing about this plant after seeing it at the Proven Winners plant trials. It is a mounding petunia with magenta flowers edged in lime green. Apparently women love it and men kind of scratch their heads. What do you think?

Helianthus annus ‘Peach Passion’

These dazzling 4′ tall peachy-yellow sunflowers have petticoat-layered petals. A unique color in sunflowers, it has a rustic appearance that looks charming in cottage gardens, sunny gardens with blue or purple contrasting flowers, borders, and in cut flower arrangements where its lush 3″-4″ pollen free blooms last for up to a week. You can buy Peach Passion seeds from Botanical Interests.

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