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Ideas for a Small White Themed Garden

Hello All!

This is my first posting so be gentle with me. I'm trying to do a small section of my small to medium size garden in this theme and id really like anybodys input into which plants ( either perennials, bulbs or small shrubs(Evergreen), maybe 60 to 90cm max height, that  they could recommend from their own gardens. I currently have some white camassia 'Alba', white narcissi, a lovely white/cream rose, geranium sanguineum 'Album', Anemone ';Sylvestris',  some hellebores, a euphorbia , a small deciduous vibernum, some sweet box and a Silver Queen holly in situ at the moment. The area to be planted is pretty flat, soil type is neutral to ever so slightly alkaline, quite well draining and quite windy at times. Fragrance would be an absolute bonus. Thanks to everybody in advance !image


  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,898



    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • chickychicky Posts: 10,376

    I’ve got white phlox that are good doers - called David I think.  And Japanese anenome Honorine Joubert is good too (although a bit rampant with some people it behaves itself here.)  Winchester Cathedral is a lovely white rose, that smells good too.  And hydrangea Annabelle makes a real statement.

    They say the most important thing about a white garden is really the green - so don’t forget to work on that too ......Sissinghurst’s famous one is actually a green garden with highlights of white

    Last edited: 23 December 2017 08:59:23

  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601

    They are lovely, DR. I'm quite jealous. Can't grow them on my alkaline soil!

  • CloggieCloggie Posts: 1,455

    I have a white patch and for contrast I planted a deep purple stemmed dogwood - why?  It has white berries!  I was really pleased with myself.  It's a new area so not photo-worthy yet but I hope next year to see this experiment pay off.

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 7,882

    I'd definitely have some snowdrops and white or cream crocus bulbs in there for an early show and perhaps a white hellebore as well. Hellebore flowers last for a long time and the leaves are there all year round.

    If the soil is not too dry a hosta would provide good green - or grey -  or green and white - or green and yellow (depending on variety) foliage from spring to autumn. If you planted the bulbs where the hosta comes up you'd have bulbs in the winter and spring followed by hosta foliage to hide the tatty foliage / bare soil. Hosta flowers come in a variety of shades including white and palest lilac.

    Other white plants in my harden - pulmonaria "Sissinghurst white" (good ground cover - nearly evergreen) - geranium nodosum 'Alba' (scrambles quite happily through lots of things - doesn't mind dryish soil) - Dicentra 'alba' - white penstemon and white foxgloves.

    Chicky is right that foliage is very important in a 'white' garden and also introducing a few very pale colours to make it less monochrome. Palest yellow (primula vulgaris?) and palest lilac / very pale shell pink help to show up the whiteness.

    Enjoy planning and planting!image

    Last edited: 23 December 2017 12:17:20

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699

    Reading your current list of plants, I think Armeria Maritima Alba and Viola Cornuta Alba would be nice for the edging or lower growing areas. Both quite easy to grow and divide up over the years. If you like a more naturalistic style, Lychnis Coronaria Alba will gently self seed itself in favourable conditions.

    With shrubs, for me anyway, nothing beats a mature Fuchsia Magellenica Va. Molinae. Will give you months of slender white slightly pink tinged flowers. The leaves and the mature bark are the perfect back-drop to the graceful flowers. Prefers to be planted close to a boundary.

    Last edited: 23 December 2017 12:19:54

  • Thanks Everybody !

    All of your pictures look amazing by the way. That Lonicera looks really great and I have looked at it as an option .The only thing is, could it be kept at a height of about 1-1.5 metres .I'm a little bit worried it'll turn into a monster!  Also chicky, I always have room for a rose as I have a bit of a soft spot for them. Winchester cathedral is a good shout actually. I dont have a single hydrangea in any part of the garden so its a good excuse lol. Again a good choice but could I keep it about 1mt. x 1mt. high and wide !  Those azaleas are super looking but my soil just wont let me have them( I have a couple of lovely purple ones in pots in a patio area , some camellias and skimmia keeping them company), all in pots ! The very first plant I ever bought for the garden was a beautiful rhododendron , after a week it looked sick and after a month I threw I it away thinking it was dead. This was before I knew anything about soil acidity or alkalinityimage. I have a lovely dogwood with white berries too, in a big pot at the side of the house. I think its 'elegantissima' but I could be wrong about that. I cut it right down last year but got hardly any white berries from it this year. Maybe its taking time to establish again. Food for thought from everybody. Appreciate the replies. Merry Christmas to you all !.

  • Thanks Topbird and Borderline.

    I do love snowdrops but don't have any. I'll definetely be getting some in the local garden centre when they become available in the new year. I've never really had much luck with penstemon or foxgloves but dicentra are very elegant and I do agree about the silver foliage plants for a bit of contrast !. The armeria and lychnis both look a good shout for front of my border and wouldn't mind a bit of wind I suspect. I haven't come across either before I must confess so wouldn't have thought of either. Top tips from everyone as usual, all appreciated. image

  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,898


    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • oooftoooft Posts: 191

    I like bulbs. You can have white tulips, daffs, lillies, dahlias, etc. Could get fed up with just one colour pretty easily though though, if it were me i'd maybe mix in some green flowers too like green hydrangea, bells of ireland, green gladiolas, etc. 

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