A bit of regular clipping intensifies the dark, shiny, bronze-black colouring of Myrtus ‘Black Beauty’, a native shrub adored by floral artists and gardeners alike. The foliage is superb for picking, making a great backing for bright flower colours, and it’s this same effect which can be achieved in the garden, by planting ‘Black Beauty’ as a background to colourful perennials, annuals and low growing shrubs.
Imagine how good it would look behind some of the amazing new perennials such as the fiery flowered Dahlia ‘Scarlet Fern’, butter yellow, dark bronze foliaged, Dahlia ‘Knockout’ and the yellow foliaged, blue flowered, cold hardy Geranium ‘Rozanne’ for a great show through summer and early autumn. Where there’s a little shade from the afternoon sun nearby, add the sensational new Ligularia ‘Britt Marie Crawford’, with its big, chocolate coloured leaves which are at their best from early spring to late summer, and you have a satisfying combination of flowers and foliage.
The dark foliage of Myrtus ‘Black Beauty’ also looks well with the beautiful blue flowers of Dichroa ‘Blue Sapphires’, an outstanding shrub which blooms for month after month. It’s also intriguing to grow with a mixture of foliage shrubs, such as Coprosma ‘Rainbow Surprise’, dark foliage flaxes including ‘Black Rage’ and light green and yellow-green, low growing natives such as Coprosma ‘Mangatangi’ and Cassinia ‘Greenhills’.
Green foliage also makes an excellent partner for this dark foliage shrub. Try it with the dark green, very fine, weeping foliage of the small shrub Acacia ‘Limelight’, one of the outstanding native Corokias such as ‘Geenty’s Green’ or as a foreground to the light green, lush foliage of Griselinia ‘Whenuapai’.