White in the Garden

While many of in in colder climates see plenty of white over the winter (usually!), the use of white in the garden can be extremely effective and deserves serious consideration.  Nice shot directly above of ‘Mount Everest’ ornamental onions (Allium) blooming in late May.  The top photo is the common (but beautiful) ‘Silverdust’ dusty miller (Senecio cineraria).  The recent cold snap has been tough on many folks over a wide region of North America and our thoughts will continue to lean towards the inevitable spring colors that arrive in a few short months.  The warm colors of yellow, red and orange offer lots of warmth and excitement after a dreary winter and the cooler colors of blue, maroon and green help offer visual depth and balance.  White and silver are often neglected or utilized as an afterthought.  White brings out the true hue of any color with which it is paired.  White and silver go with any color and offer a cooling and calming effect.  It is important to note that what is considered “white” in the garden is frequently not a pure white but a tone that includes subtle shades which should be taken in to consideration as well.  There are many bulbs, annuals, perennials and woody plants that have a contribution of white or silver offered from flowers, foliage, fruiting structures, stems and even bark (i.e. white bark birches..Betula).  The images in this blog are just a smattering of opportunities to consider for adding white in the garden.  Keep in mind that the duration of bloom for many of these is your “duration of white” in the garden so plan accordingly if you want to include the repetition and/or lengthy contribution of white/silver throughout the garden.  In shadier areas, any hint of white from flowers or foliage will offer a punctuation or “illumination” and brighten the space.  The use of white along walkways and entrances is a classic and effective use of this color.  White and silver will also glow at dusk and are invaluable components in the “moonlit garden.”  Don’t forget about the impact of white and silver throughout your garden and don’t let the winter doldrums steer you away from the valuable impact this color is poised to provide throughout the year!

‘Clearwater’ triumph tulip (Tulipa) – bulb

‘White Splendour’ wind anemone (Anemone blanda) – perennial tuber

giant snowdrop (Galanthus elwesii) – perennial bulb

white grape hyacinth (Muscari botryoides ‘Album’) – perennial bulb

Easy Breezy™ White sweet alyssium (Lobularia maritima ‘Balbeezite’) – annual

Sun Spun® White petunia (Petunia ‘Balspunwhi’) – annual

Sun Spun®  Silver petunia (Petunia) – annual

Cabaret® White million bells (Calibrachoa ‘Balcabwhite’) – annual

MiniFamous® Uno White million bells (Calibrachoa ‘KLECA17002’) – annual

Cadet Upright™ White verbena (Verbena peruviana ‘Balcadite’) – annual

‘Silver Falls’ trailing aluminum plant (Dichondra argentea) – annual (above and below)

Archangel™ White summer snapdragon (Angelonia angustifolia ‘Balarcwite’) – annual

Zahara™ Double White zinnia (Zinnia marylandica ‘PAS989994’) – annual

PowWow® White coneflower (Echinacea purpurea ‘PAS702918’) – perennial

‘Whoops-a-Daisy’ Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum) – perennial

Daisy May® Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Daisy Duke’) – perennial

‘Peter Cottontail’ sneezeweed (Achillea ptarmica) – perennial

New Vintage™ White yarrow (Achillea millefolium ‘Balvinwite’) – perennial

‘Wayne’s World’ false indigo (Baptisia alba var. alba) – perennial

sweet autumn clematis (Clematis terniflora) – woody/perennial vine

Dutchman’s breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) – perennial (spring ephemeral)

white bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘Alba’) – perennial

nice batch of foxglove (Digitalis sp.) – unknown variety – perennial

Cone-fections™ ‘Milkshake’ coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) – perennial

‘Bandit’ barrenwort (Epimedium grandiflorum var. higoense) – perennial

‘Prairie Moon’ rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium) – perennial

Summer Sparkles® baby’s breath (Gypsophila paniculata ‘ESM Chispa’) – perennial

white gayfeather (Liatris spicata ‘Alba’) – perennial

Regal lily (Lilium regale ‘Album’) – perennial (super fragrant!)

Amur maackia (Maackia amurensis) – woody tree (urban tolerant!)

Christmas Holly® crabapple (Malus ‘Chrishozam’) – woody tree

ghost bramble (Rubus thibetanus ‘Silver Fern’) – woody shrub (z6b hardy)

silvery foliage seen at Olbrich Botanical Gardens (Madison, WI) above with silver willow (Salix alba var. sericea) to the left and rosemary willow (Salix eleagnos) to the right