Any Goths our there, thinking of getting married? Now would be a good time to plan a Goth wedding - no, I don't mean in the middle of a pandemic (well, hopefully, we are now past the middle of it? Hopefully?), I mean at this time of year - June, July, somewhere about then.
Because of a shrub called Cotinus coggygria (honestly, who makes up these names? Coggy-gria? Seriously?) and in particular, the purple-leaved cultivar, usually Royal Purple.
A couple of years ago (sorry, I was sorting through some old photos that hadn't been properly labelled, so that I could find them more easily if I wanted them), I was reducing one of these shrubs in size, aided by the Client, who was directing me from afar. You know, "Cut that branch, please. Now the one to the left of it. No, my left. Oh, and that one at the front. Great. That's lovely! Oh - you've missed one - can you just get that straggly one..."
When we'd finished to her satisfaction, she picked up all the branches, to carry them over to the waste heap, and just look!
Isn't that glorious?
What a perfect Goth bouquet that would make. The foliage would be brilliant at any time of year through the summer, but if you can catch it as it flowers, you get those lovely smoky, airy blossoms to fill out your bouquet.
There's a reason why it's called Smoke Bush!
I guess that black Sambucus nigra (Elder) (and no, that's not tautology - the common hedgerow tree, green-leaved Elder, is also Sambucus nigra) would also work, although I think the foliage would wilt quite quickly.
Another alternative would be my favourite shrub, called - are you ready for this? *draws deep breath*
Physocarpus opulifolia 'Diablo'.
Now there's a name to conjure with.
This photo - right - shows it in flower: but apart from those couple of weeks of flowering, it just has the lovely dark foliage.
It's not as "dark" as the Cotinus: you can see that there's a hint of coppery-gold in there, on the newer leaves.
And now, here's a photo of the posies for the bridesmaids:
Aren't they fun?
They are the seed pods of Nigella, commonly known as Love in the Mist: usually people grow them for the flowers, but I think that these seeds pods have a certain beauty all of their own, especially when presented like this, in a bunch.
(Whenever I say that, I can hear myself doing an impression of John Cleese, as Dennis Moore, the famous Lupin Highwayman. "Hand over your Lupins!" he demands.
"Lupins?" says the wilting token female. "We don't have any Lupins!"
"I happen to know," says Dennis/Cleese commandingly, "that this is the Lupin Express. Come on! Hand them over!"
The occupants of the coach mutter and grumble, but produce swathes of Lupins from under their seats, inside their coats, etc and hold them out.
"In a bunch!" says Dennis/Cleese, irritably, "in a bunch!"
End of digression, please drive on.)
So there you have it, that's my suggestion for the bridal bouquet and posies for a Goth wedding.
Oh, one last item: you might be tempted to go for the astonishing, dark
purple flowers of Dracunculus vulgaris, also known as Voodoo Lily: and I
bring that up, because I grow them in my own small back garden:
How lush is that?
And look at the size of them!
However, there is one teeny tiny drawback, and that is the smell... they absolutely stink.
Best not used in a bouquet then. *laughs*
Did you enjoy this article? Did you find it useful? Would you like me to answer your own, personal, gardening question? Become a Patron - just click here - and support me! Or use the Donate button for a one-off donation. If just 10% of my visitors gave me a pound a month, I'd be able to spend a lot more time answering all the questions!!