A white garden is a natural to plan for if you spend a lot of time on the patio, deck or terrace on your summer evenings grilling or entertaining. Light-colored blooms really stand out in the
evening light, and if you include scented things like gardenias, nicotiana and
jasmine you can make magic in the summer evenings. Use
White Garden at Sissinghurst Castle for inspiration when planning your garden. You don't have to have the same climate as southern England. The trick is to use plants that are
appropriate for your soil, rainfall and temperature conditions. There is a wide selection of annuals, bulbs, perennials, shrubs and trees
to choose from. Here are some great ideas.
Ammi majus, false Queen Anne’s lace or bishop’s lace.
Brugmansia, angel’s trumpet. These tropical plants have downward facing “trumpets”
Catharanthus roseus, annual vinca
Cleome hassleriana, spider flower, ‘White Queen’
Datura meteloides ‘Evening Fragrance’, also known as moonflower, night-blooming annual. Beware, however, that this is a prolific self-seeder so seedpods should be picked off before ripening. It is also poisonous, so should be kept away from children and pets.
Euphorbia x 'Diamond Frost,' hybrid euphorbia
Ipomoea alba, moonflower vine, fragrant annual vine similar to morning glories
Lobularia maritima, sweet alyssum
Mandevilla x, hybrid mandevilla vine, ‘Sun Parasol®’
Mirabilis jalapa, four o’clocks, fragrant, opens in the evening
Nicotiana alata, flowering tobacco, fragrant
Nierembergia caerulea ‘Mont Blanc’
Zinnia marylandica, ‘Double Zahara White’
Agapanthus africanus ‘Albus,’ white lily-of-the-Nile
Allium cernuum, nodding onion, ‘Album’
Allium tuberosum, garlic chives
Crinum americanum, American spider lily
Eremurus himalaicus, foxtail lily. Great for a vertical accent.
Eucomis autumnalis, pineapple lily
Gladiolus callianthus, Abyssinian gladiolus or peacock orchid
Gladiolus x hortulanus, hybrid gladiolus, ‘White Friendship.’ Plant every two weeks for a succession of bloom.
Hymenocallis maximiliani, Maximilian's spider lily
Hymenocallis narcissiflora, Peruvian daffodil
Lilium longiflorum, Easter lily. Commonly forced into bloom for Easter, the normal bloom time is summer.
Lilium orientalis hybrid, ‘Casablanca,’ highly fragrant. Indispensable.
Lilium philippinense, Philippine or benguet lily. A very tall lily for back of the border.
Polianthes tuberosa, tuberose, opens at night, very fragrant
Sinningia tubiflora, fragrant white gloxinia
Zantedeschia aethiopica, white calla lily.Zephyranthes candida, white rain lily
Astilbe x arendsii ‘Bridal Veil,’ ‘White Gloria,’ ‘Younique White’
Digitalis purpurea ‘Camelot White,’ ‘Dalmatian White’
Echinacea purpurea ‘Fragrant Angel,’ ‘Pow Wow White; ‘White Swan.’
Gaura lindheimeri, gaura, ‘Whirling Butterflies’
Hemerocallis ‘Gentle Shepherd,’ Heidi Eidelweiss,’ ‘Joan Senior,’ ‘Marque Moon,’ ‘Royal Frosting.’ While there are still no pure white daylilies, these are some of the closest to date.
Hibiscus coccineus, swamp hibiscus, ‘Albus’
Hosta plantaginea, plantain lily, ‘Aphrodite’
Leucanthemum x superbum, Shasta daisy
Liatris spicata, blazing star, ‘Floristan White’
Liriope muscari, lilyturf, ‘Monroe’s White’
Phlox paniculata ‘David.’ Pure white flowers, long bloom season and mildew-resistant.
Platydodon grandiflorus, balloon flower, ‘Fuji White’
Salvia nemorosa, meadow sage, Lyrical™ ‘White’
Stokesia laevis, Stoke’s aster, ‘Silver Moon,’ ‘White Star’
Veronica longifolia, long-leafed speedwell, ‘Icicle’
Veronica spicata, spiked speedwell, Magic Show® ‘White Wands’
Abelia grandiflora, glossy abelia, ‘Little Richard,’ ‘Prostrata.’ ‘Rose Creek’
Buddleia davidii, butterfly bush, ‘White Bouquet,’ ‘White Profusion’
Clethra alnifolia, summersweet,
Cornus angustata ‘Empress of China’
Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty,’ ‘Veitchii’
Hibiscus syriacus, rose of Sharon, ‘Diana,’ ‘White Chiffon,’ ‘White Pillar’
Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle.’ ‘Incrediball’
Hydrangea macrophylla Endless Summer® ‘Blushing Bride,’ ‘Madame. Emile Moulliere,’ ‘Soeur Thérèse,’ ‘Wedding Gown’
Hydrangea paniculatea ‘Bobo,’ ‘Chantilly Lace,’ ‘Little Lime,’ ‘Unique’
Lagerstroemia indica, crape myrtle, ‘Natchez,’ ‘Pixie White,’ ‘Sarah’s Favorite’
Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’
Magnolia virginiana, sweetbay
Nerium oleander, oleander. Nice as a patio pot plant above Zone 8.
Roses: ‘Flower Carpet White,’ ‘Iceberg,’ ‘Tranquillity’ ‘White Drift®,’ ‘Winchester Cathedral’
Stewartia ovata, mountain stewartia
Having all white flowers can become a bit staid, so try adding foliage plants with silver or gray variegated leaves to break it up and keep it lively with clumps of lamb’s ears, dusty miller and artemisia. It also doesn’t hurt to add a few plants with off-white, or pale-yellow flowers into the mix. Give it a try and have fun with it! A white garden is pure magic in the evening.
Anthyrium x hybrida ‘Ghost,’ silvery fern
Anthyrium niponicum, Japanese painted fern
Artemisia abrotanum, Southernwood, very aromatic
Artemisia absinthium, wormwood or absinthe
Artemisia x ‘Huntington Gardens’
Artemisia x ‘Powis Castle’
Artemisia schmidtiana ‘Silver Mound’
Brunnera macrophylla ‘Alexander’s Great’ or ‘Jack Frost’
Buddleia ‘Silver Anniversary’
Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Longwood Blue’
Eryngium giganteum ‘Miss Wilmot’s Ghost’
Helichrysum italicum, curry plant. Borrowed from the herb garden, curry-scented.
Heuchera 'Blackberry Jam,' ‘Glitter,’ 'Sugar Frosting,' ‘Venus’
Jacobaea maritima, dusty miller or silver ragwort (formerly known as Senecio cineraria)
Lavandula angustifolia, lavender
Lychnis coronaria ‘Alba,’ rose campion
Pulmonaria ‘Trevi Fountain,’ lungwort
Salvia argentea, silver sage
Santolina chamaecyparissus, lavender cotton
Stachys byzantina, ‘Helene von Stein,’ lamb’s ear
Plant of the Month