Saturday, April 15, 2006

Target's Design Democracy Rules

If you haven't seen Target's new catalog (copies came out in the Friday DMN and through the mail today), take a little detour to Not only does the new catalog look more like something from Restoration Hardware, the new products are beautiful and truly affordable. I'm not talking about what design magazines call "affordable," I'm talking about things you can afford if you skip Starbucks for the rest of the month (even if you're just a one-a-dayer).

Not all of the new catalog items are available online, including some adorable dinnerware in "Black Band" and "Damask," and the complete line of Riedel glassware.

If you are a Target junkie like me, you've probably seen some of these products appearing in local stores and online over the last 12 months, but here are a few of my favorites.

Clockwise from top left: Mission Armchairs. Set of 2. $179.99 (online only) Waverly Metro Decorative Pillow - Black White. $19.99 Brushed Nickel Column Table Lamp. $59.99 Lodge Enamel 3-qt. Apple Pot in Green. $99.99 (online only)

Friday, April 14, 2006

Online Obsession - Gothic Gardens

This week I've worn out my Google search bar scouring the web for black plants. I know it's not the first color that pops in to your mind when you picture a spring garden, but I was inspired by the lux leaves of the black elephant ears at Northaven Gardens and the images in Karen Platt's Black Magic and Purple Passion.

The best online resource for black plants is, which has a great list of black plants of all types. Here are some suggestions for what works in Texas:

  • Hollyhock - the Watchman (bi-annual): 6'-8' tall green stalks with large black flowers
  • Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine - Black Heart: dark purple foliage with lavender blooms
  • Coleus: an 18"-36" shade plant with varieties that range in color from lime green to black
  • Purple Fountain Grass: an 18" - 24" ornamental grass


  • Oxalis - Purple Heart: a shade-loving, large-leafed shamrock in deep purple
  • Purple Heart Spiderwort: royal purple foliage with lilac-colored flowers
  • Elephant Ears - Black Magic: deep black leaves, keeps its dark color best when in the sun
  • Chinese Fringe Flower: a dark-leafed shrub with pink flowers that look like bits of fringe
  • Black Knight Canna: 4'-6' dark green foliage with stalks of velvety red flowers
  • Calla Lily - Black Pearl: Green and white foliage with red-rimmed black flowers
  • Japanese Maple: color varies, but many varieties have deep purple leaves
  • Smoketree - Royal Purple: 10' - 15' ornamental tree with deep Burgundy foliage