Gardening in Dark Mode:
How to Use Dark Leaf Plants
in the Garden

Eclipse Bigleaf Hydrangea in the garden surrounded by other plants

Welcome to the world of gardening in dark mode! Just like with screens that can turn to dark mode, your gardens can too. You just need the right plants to make it happen. That’s where First Editions® Eclipse® Bigleaf Hydrangea comes in. Eclipse® is the first true dark-leaf mophead hydrangea, and the newest Rock Star to join the First Editions® collection in 2024. With dark purple, almost black leaves and cranberry or amethyst-colored hydrangea flowers, Eclipse® is a must for gardeners looking to use dark-leaf plants in their space. Keep reading for more ideas and inspiration on how to use dark-hued plants in your garden to bring dramatic flair that can’t be missed!

What is Dark Mode Gardening?

You might be familiar with goth gardens as those that incorporate Victorian aesthetics to create a dark beauty in the garden. For us at First Editions®, dark-mode gardening refers to the idea of celebrating dark-leaf plants in the landscape. The idea is simple: use dark-hued plants in your space to bring dark, dramatic vibes to celebrate all that dark-leaf plants can do!

Plants to Use When Gardening in Dark Mode

To make the perfect dark-mode garden, all you need are dark-leaf plants, and Eclipse® Bigleaf Hydrangea is a favorite! This dark-leaf hydrangea brings stunning shades of dark purple, almost black, to the garden with dark leaves that stay dark season after season. Whether planted in the landscape or a pot on your patio or porch, Eclipse® will elevate your dark-mode garden. But that’s not all! A few other go-to dark-leaf shrubs in the First Editions® collection are Fireside® Ninebark, Lunar Magic® Crapemyrtle, Shadow Magic Crapemyrtle, and Sparkling Sangria Fringe Flower.

Dark Mode Garden Inspiration

Looking for examples to learn how to use dark-hued plants in your space? Here are a few favorite ways to design a garden in dark mode using Eclipse® Bigleaf Hydrangea.

Eclipse bigleaf hydrangea surrounded by light colored plants

Dark Leaf Hero

Treat Eclipse® as a dark-leaf hero by surrounding it with bright-colored plants. Pair Eclipse® with other shrubs like Lucky Devil® Ninebark and Iceberg Alley® Sageleaf Willow to get this effect. The bright chartreuse leaves of Lucky Devil® and the silver leaves of Iceberg Alley® will make the dark hues of Eclipse® stand out.

Eclipse bigleaf hydrangea planted by other dark-leaf plants

Moody Monochromatic Pairing

If you’re looking for something a little bit more dramatic, pair Eclipse® with other dark-hued plants to create a garden that celebrates all things dark mode. To get this effect, pair Eclipse® with other dark-leaf plants like Northern Exposure Black Coral Bells and Bleeding Hearts False Sunflower. The dark hues of all three plants are sure to bring a celebration of dramatic hues to the garden.

Turning Your Garden to Dark Mode

Now that you know how to turn your garden into dark mode, it’s time to make it a reality in your space! Use our Find a Retailer tool to locate garden centers near you where you can find Eclipse® and other dark-leaf plants. Or shop the First Editions® collection online during our shipping season. For other inspiration, care tips, or design ideas, be sure to follow us on social media and sign up for our monthly newsletter. We can’t wait to see your gardens turn to dark mode!