EDUCATING ~ CONNECTING ~ ENGAGING ~ NURTURING ~ REVITALIZING ~ COLLABORATING ~ INSPIRING
As you are contemplating what to plant for spring consider the edition of a chocolate garden to your HT programming for 2015. Grow a chocolate themed garden near a window, pathway, entrance, a porch or outdoor seating where your HT clients congregate. Most “chocolate plants” grow well in either full sun or partial shade.
Chocolate Garden Plants
The best part of designing chocolate gardens is choosing the plants. Here is a selection plants that smell like chocolate or have a rich, chocolate color or taste equivalent:
Chocolate cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus) combines the color and fragrance of chocolate in one plant. The flowers bloom all summer on tall stems and make excellent cut flowers. It is considered an annual in our time zone.
Chocolate flower (Berlandiera lyrata) has a strong chocolate fragrance early in the morning and on sunny days. This yellow, daisy-like flower attracts bees, butterflies and birds to the garden. A Native American wildflower, chocolate flower is hardy in USDA zones 4 - 11.
Heuchera ‘Chocolate Veil’ (Heuchera americana) has dark chocolate-colored foliage with purple highlights. White flowers rise above the large, scalloped leaves in late spring and early summer. ‘Chocolate Veil’ is hardy in USDA zones 4 - 9.
Himalayan honeysuckle (Leycesteria formosa) is a shrub that grows up to 8 feet tall. The dark maroon to brown flowers are followed by berries that have a chocolate-caramel flavor. It can become invasive. The plant is hardy in USDA zones 7 - 11.
‘Chocolate Soldier’ columbine (Aquilegia viridiflora) has richly colored, purple-brown flowers that bloom from late spring through early summer. They have a delightful scent, but they don’t smell like chocolate. ‘Chocolate Soldier’ is hardy in USDA zones 3 - 9.
Chocolate mint (Mentha piperata) has a minty-chocolate fragrance and taste. For maximum flavor, harvest the plant in late spring and summer when it is in full bloom. Chocolate mint is hardy in USDA zones 3 - 9.
Some of these plants are hard to find in local garden centers and nurseries. Check nursery catalogs both online and offline if you can’t find the plant you want locally. A chocolate garden theme is a delight to the senses and would be a great addition to your HT garden. Making it a pleasure to tend, and well worth a little extra effort to obtain the plants.
For a source for chocolate garden seeds check out: http://www.chocolateflowerfarm.com/chocolate_garden_seed_kits