Plants for the white garden

new_dawnA good choice for planting near the very fence is Cornus alba `Elegantissima` , weeping silver pear (Pyrus salicifolia pendula) or profilic spring bloomers such as Spiraea cana `Grefsheim` or Spiraea x vanhouttei,  while smaller Abelia grandiflora `Confetti`, Buddleja davidii `Harlequin` and cultivars of  `Zebrinus`, `Strictus` miscanthus would look great planted in the middle of the border.    Euonymus fortunei `Emerald Gaiety` and various variegated sedges, such as Carex ornithopoda `Variegata`, would soften the edges of the flower bed nicely, provided the growing conditions are suitable. You could also consider growing carpet sedum (Sedum lineare) and Geranium macrorhizum `Variegatum`.

A shady spot would be perfect for the variegated cultivars of Hosta, such as `Patriot`, `Fire and Ice`, `Fireworks`, Pulmonaria `Roy Davidson`, `British Sterling`, `Excalibur` and `Silver Streamers`, the sunny one – for variegated Polemonium `White Ghost` and `Carol Wallace` and also tiny  Euonymus fortunei `Silverstone`.

You could also consider including conifers as accent points for your white garden – Chamaecyparis pisifera `Snow`, Chamaecyparis lawsoniana `Snow White`, Tsuga canadensis `Moon Frost` or Cryptomeria japonica `Albospicata`.

lubinaiWhen planting the white garden, select plants with at least two different types of flowers that would flower at the same time. For example, some of white tulips, lilacs and bleeding-hearts (Dicentra) bloom in early to mid May, while columbines (Aquilegias) start flowering in mid to late May. June stars with Potentilla fruticosa ‘McKay’s White’,`Abbottswood`, `Farrers White`,`Mount Everest` and continue with the candles of Lupin `Noble Maiden` and `Polar Princess` (dwarf), `Fraulein`, `Gallery White`, peonies `Festiva Maxima`, `Auten`s Pride`, `Avalanche`, `Charlie`s White`, `Cutie`, `Elsa Sass`, `Laura Dessert`, `Florence Bond` and also irises (Iris).

Come July, Delphinium `Innocence`, `Double Innocence`, `Green Twist`, `Lightning`, `Centurion White`, `Green Twist`, `Pure White` and roses `Boule de Neige`,`Mme Hardy`,`Vierge de Clery`,`White Jacques Cartier`,`White [banner] New Dawn`,`Lykkefund`,`Snowdon`,`Iceberg` mingle with sneezewort (Achillea ptarmica), lilies `Casa Blanca` or white cosmos. A great many plants flower in summer so unsurprisingly this is the time when the white garden is brimming with blooms – butterflies hover around Buddleja `White Profusion`, while spires of tall perennials – hollyhocks, goat‘s beard (Aruncus) and veronicas – reach for the sky.

If you remove spent delphinium flowerheads, they will rebloom in autumn, alongside Anemone hybrida `Honorine Jobert`, `Whirlwind`, `Andrea Atkinson`, large flowered japanese windflowers and Echinacea purpurea `Jade`, `White Swan`, `White Double Delight`, `Pow Wow White`, `White Luster`, `Meringue`, `Lucky Star`.

Filler plants with grey or bluish foliage make perfect companions in the white garden. Silver artemisias (almost all of them), such as `Powis Castle`, `Valere Finnis`, `Silver Brocade` always look pristine, while blue lyme grass (Leymus arenarius) adds some cooling blue tints. Ornamental grasses, such as Panicum virgatum `Cloud Nine`, `Dallas Blues`, `Heavy Metal`, Stipa pulcherrima, Sesleria nitida, hostas `Blue Angel`, `Hadspen Blue`, `Halcyon`, `Krossa Regal`, also Eryngium giganteum are great fillers.

© Giedra Bartas, 2011

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