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5 Ways to Incorporate Weird Plants Into Your Garden

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5 Ways to Incorporate Weird Plants Into Your Garden

Okay, we admit that may have sounded a little judgy. After all, who’s to determine if a plant is weird or not? But whether you call them weird, oddball, non-traditional, or flat-out freaky, unusual plants are a fun addition to almost any garden. Not sure how to incorporate them? Ahhh, that is what we are here for.

5 Ways to Incorporate Weird Plants Into Your Garden

  1. Make it a focal point. We say go loud and proud by choosing an oddball plant that absolutely cannot be missed! One of the most obvious would be the Voodoo Lily with its giant flowers and 1-day fragrance that inspired its nickname, “Corpse Flower.” Another commanding example is Eremurus with up to 8’ flower stalks that are impossible to pass over.
  2. Create a theme garden. If you’re into the weird, then by all means, create an entire garden around it! Use strange-looking plants, ominous colors (see tip below), or plants with a theme (all poisonous, for example, but always use with care around people and pets.).
  3. Plant strange varieties of old favorites. Have you peeked at some of those alliums and fritillarias out there? They are not your traditional flowers! We’re especially intrigued by Allium Vineale Dready, Allium Schubertii, and Allium Bulgaricum. And about those fritillarias…if the bizarre is what your heart wants, add Crown Imperial Red, Checkered Lily Meleagris, and Crown Imperial Yellow to your wishlist.
  4. Sneak in some weirdos. We’re talking smaller plants that hide their freak flag behind all the “normal” plants, like Galanthus Giant Snowdrop. Although snowdrops aren’t typically known as weird, take another look at their little downward-facing petals that look like jaws, along with the intriguing-colored marks on the petals. At only 8” tall, they add a small but mighty strange factor to your late winter garden.
  5. Use a creepy color. Have fun with the dark purple-blacks, eye-opening oranges, electric yellows, and high-voltage purples. Check out Arum Italicum, Tulip Black Hero, Fritillaria Persica Plum Bells, Erythronium Dens-Canis Japonicum, and Eremurus Stenophyllus Bungei. 

Design Tips

We’re gonna go on record as saying that just because a garden is weird doesn’t mean it can’t also be beautiful with great design. In fact, to have the greatest impact, it should. Don’t forget your basic design elements when adding weird plants into your garden. 

Let’s take vampires and zombies as an example (bear with us, now): Both are weird, bizarre, and foreboding, correct? But vampires, with their traditional upscale dress and on-point (albeit creepy) makeup, are dashing and elegant. Now think of zombies — total trainwreck and repulsive to look at. Let your weird garden be the vampire, not the zombie.

  • Contrast. Whether it’s in form, size, or color, contrast is important in the garden. If you’re using a lot of purple-black in your weird garden, contrast by throwing in some silver foliage to make your oddball plants all the more dramatic.
  • Repetition. Avoid tossing together every type of weird plant you can find and calling it good. Choose the strange-o plants carefully, and repeat them throughout the garden in groupings to create cohesion.
  • Texture. If you opt for a lot of spikey texture, soften it with some ornamental grasses or even clipped boxwood. It’s this mix of textures that is so intriguing. We’re just saying, weird gardens should never be dull, darling.

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  • Jenny Peterson