Garden inspriation from around the world
Agapanthus campanulatus ‘Back in Black’ is the star attraction in my garden. The large heads of dark blue flowers are complemented by dark almost black stems. As the flowers fade they are followed by black seeds heads that create a dramatic, architectural effect. These last well when cut or dried for the house. Grow in a sheltered location on the south side of a limestone wall in a sunny spot they flourish. In fall a thick layer of mulch protects the crowns from the harshest winters of Zone 5. It is important to avoid winter wetness that will rot the roots. Alternatively, they can be planted in large pots and move to a sheltered spot during bad weather.
Bold and architectural, agapanthus are strikingly beautiful plants originating in South Africa. Often called African lilies, their sword like leaves and statuesque stems, topped with balls of intensely coloured flowers, fit easily into a modern garden setting or a traditional mixed border.
There are two main types of agapanthus – deciduous and evergreen – although only the deciduous are suitable for colder gardens. Two new strains reported to be extremely hardy are a white bloomer called ‘Cold Hardy White,’ and the other is a more traditional blue-blooming ‘Kingston Blue Strain.’
Agapanthus combine well with other sun-lovers. A few suggestions include: Achillea millefolium ‘Rose Madder’, Coreopsis verticillata ‘Moonbeam’, Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘Emily McKenzie’, Hemerocallis ‘Janice Brown’and Kniphofia ‘Little Maid’.