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21 Oct 2019

Plants with scare-factor

BBC Gardeners' World Live

Plants don’t usually terrify us here at GWL HQ, but with Halloween around the corner, our thoughts have turned to the supernatural. What plants might a ghostly ghoul select when browsing around the garden centre?

There are wondrous spooky named varieties that we think might catch their eyes, and could be great additions to your garden too.

Aronia Autumn MAgic

Aronia 'Autumn Magic’
Sometimes called ‘Chokeberry’, this deciduous shrub is perfect for all round interest, especially in a small garden. The flowers grow in clusters, like a puff of smoke surrounded by a deep green, waxy foliage. It casts a spell on the bees too with its pollen rich flowers.

Another easy grower, it’s hardy and does well in a range of soils and can handle full sun or dappled shade.

Narcissus 'little witch'

Narcissus 'Little Witch' 
This punchy daffodil shows off with a long lasting display of flashy yellow petals that curl backwards. A great little number for adding some sorcery to your spring containers (just keep them well watered), or try them naturalised in grass or peppered across the front of your borders.

eryngium 'silver ghost'

Eryngium giganteum 'Silver ghost’
This self-seeding biennial has a ghost-like silvery sheen. A hardy sea-holly, Silver Ghost flowers in summer with fleshy green leaves in its first year with wonderful mathematical flower heads. 

Rudbeckia ‘Green Wizard’
This is a real stunner for the back of a border – it grows high, up to 150cm, with bright green sepals and a near-black central cone – just like a wizard hat! It has a long life as a cut flower too, making an unusual addition to your tabletop displays. 

It’s easy to grow too, just make sure it doesn’t get too dry, so give this magical plant a go!

Hydrangea paniculata Phantom

Hydrangea paniculata 'Phantom’
Nowhere near as creepy as it sounds, this ummissable deciduous hydrangea features one of the largest flower heads of all Hydrangeas, with a ghostly pallor of pale pinks and white. The massive blooms are stunning as a cut flower and, blooming well into September, are a sight to behold in any border. 

Grow it in sun or dappled shade with a bit of shelter from the wind and this phantom will give you joy year after year. 

Zantedeschia 'Black Magic'

Zantedeschia 'Black Magic'

The contrasting colours of this zantedeschia make it stand out from the crowd - the yellow flower, black centre and glossy green foliage. Great for growing in the boggy margins around a pond, it'll need protection in autumn and winter. Alternatively, grow it in pots and containers which can easily be moved indoors when the temperature starts to drop.

Allium ''Pinball Wizard

Allium 'Pinball Wizard'

What a plant! Try planting it in drifts, with ornamental grasses and other allium varieties for a wonderful effect. It's large silver/purple flowers will be sure to turn heads!

For a show-load of plant inspiration, book tickets to BBC Gardeners' World Live 2020. You'll be stunned by the variety of plants in the Floral Marquee and Plant Village, with over 100 places to shop for plants.

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