White is Cool

Some of you may know that I have quite a liking for white flowers. This being the case a good number of years ago, 25 to be precise, I started to gather together lots of interesting white flowering and variegated plants. These were dotted around the garden and then got lost in the mayhem. So we turned an area behind the greenhouse into what has now become my sort of white, blue and yellow garden.

I have read over the years lots of books on white gardens and visited several, including Sissinghurst. I soon realised that you cannot have a white garden featuring all white flowers, this ends up looking too washed out and lacking interest. So with this in mind I have tried to bring together plants with this limited three colour palette. It’s very hard to be strict here as not only do you have to think about the colour, but the seasons also play a big part in here, for instance, I have Rosa Glauca here and I know it has pink flowers , and I tell myself, they are on the blue spectrum, but it’s the foliage I love. In any case during the autumn months when I am slowing down in the garden the birds can have the hips. Back to keeping the faith I also love plants that grow in more moist conditions, so I have dug out and lined the middle of this area so as to accommodate lots of primula alpicola, florindae and denticulata, along side specie thalictrum via Plant World and Elizabeth Macgregor plants, eucomis and spring specials like actea, iris and polygonatum verticillatum. Viola cornuta in it’s white and blue shades cover some of the edges along side geranium kashmir white and phlox may breeze.

It’s a very challenging area being quite small, getting all the morning sun and again in the late afternoon, positioning delicates takes patience. I would say that this area and my ponds and rill are my most challenging and I call them my life’s work…

The following pictures are from this area.

Top left is an unknown Gentianella I have grown from seed collected by Ray Brown at Plant World Seed on his 2014 Nepal Expedition, the flowers of Actea pachypoda or dolls eyes, white Galega, Dierama Guinivere, a seed grown turks cap lily, Phlox May Breeze, Rosa Banksiae and the lovely buds of Thalictrum delavayi purple stem form.

I hope that I may have helped to encourage you to try a limited palette area in your garden, it’s challenging, but isn’t that what gardening is all about.

By the way I am going to Sissinghurst and Great Dixter this month can’t wait…. Sue

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7 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized, White Flowers Challenging Gardening

7 responses to “White is Cool

  1. Congratulations on growing the lily from seed! A job for the patient! Looks like a white martagon. The gentianella is an odd thing!

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    • Thank you.I love growing things from seed, it’s quite a challenge really. At the moment I have my 2 yr old Gloriosa lily in bud with 3 lovely long stems. It had 1 flower last year looks like quite a few this yr. Also still waiting for Podophyllum hexandrum to flower only 16 yrs. The gentianella is a strange flower it’s very small on 30 cm stems, has a few buds !! Great satisfaction when things finally reach some sort of maturity. Q. Are you still going to write your blog, if so from where ? Sue

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  2. I have always liked the idea of having your favourite colour for a border or flower bed but I feel it is too far for me to reach at the moment. I think I would probably choose white too as so many of my favourite flowers are white. Amelia

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    • Hi, thanks for your comment. Why not try a corner with pots that might work and not be too much to do. A white flowered shady corner would look lovely in the early evening as the sun goes down…..oooo I might try that myself. Sue

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  3. I remember this area when I visited last year – looked lovely. That dierama looks stunning – I suddenly have my first one ever in flower, although not as pretty as your white one! Enjoy your garden visiting 🙂

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  4. I admire your restraint. I love white flowers when planted with predominantly green foliage and little else. Sissinghurst and Dixter is a wonderful combination. Enjoy.

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