"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wow, that's a lot of white!

I've always felt like I have so much pink and purple in my garden that I have been trying to branch out and add some more color.  I've been working on adding more reds and yellows over the past couple of years.  What I didn't realize was how much white I have.  Maybe I don't really notice white as much in the summer because the only white flowers I can think of blooming then are my pure white 'Iceberg' rose and the mildew resistant 'David' phlox.  But, now I've realized how much white I have blooming in the spring.  Maybe because in the spring everything feels fresh and pure, and that's kind of what white represents to me.   Or maybe there are just a lot of spring flowers that happen to be white. Either way, I've come to realize that white flowers can add a lot to a garden, brightening up a shady area is a major feature.  
I've also noticed just how difficult taking pictures of white flowers can be.  Here are just a few of the white bloomers in my garden right now.
Sweet Woodruff (galium odoratum) a great ground cover that will grow just about anywhere.  Be sure you like where it is, because it really will spread.  It has a nice scent to it.  After it blooms it sort of fades away until next spring.

White bleeding heart (dicentra spectaiblis) a beautiful spring bloomer just like the pink one. I've never found any volunteer plants from the white ones though, like I have with the pink.

In spring you can't stop me from appreciating the individuality of the columbines.  Maybe that's why I like them so much.  Like people they're all different and have something special and unique about them.  I just love the purple tips on the spurs of this one.

A bit of a beat up looking begonia.  This one is in my shady porch planter.  It has pretty bronze foliage.  It's mixed with fuchsias, impatiens, lamium and I will add a couple more trailers as well.

Leatherleaf Viburnum (v. rhytidophyllum) has plain looking white flowers until you look up close at them and see the reddish center to each one.  I'm still not sure how I feel about this shrub overall, the leaves are large and do almost have a leathery look about them.  I thought it would eventually "grow" on me, but it really hasn't yet.  It's in a corner near the cedar tree and so it doesn't really stand out much, but eventually it should get fairly tall.  I guess I should decide soon if I like where it is or if it needs to find a new home.

Now here is the prettiest white of all.  Gracie, our little white dog, with a fresh haircut!  I wonder how long it will last this time!
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  1. I'm seeing all these beautiful white plants (still drooling at your white dicentra) and then I get to Gracie. Yes. The prettiest white. A what a knockout with that fine haircut!

  2. Awww...isn't Gracie the cutest? Poodle or poodle mix? I had a black miniature poodle when I was growing up.

    I love white in the garden, but yes, they are very difficult to photograph. You have the pink bleeding heart throw up volunteers? I wish mine would do that!

  3. I agree, white adds a lot of 'sparkle' to a garden. I also get into a rut with the same colors, but when I add a new color I seem to come back and say, "What was I thinking?"

  4. I have just come to realize the beauty in white flowers this year myself. The white caladiums, the white impatiens just popped out at me when I put out the gold mulch. Yours are very nice.

  5. Gracie is a sweetheart! I love all your white blooms. I bet at dusk, the whites really show up in your garden.

  6. it is funny how we unintentionally do something in the garden, then we look back and think "why did I do that?". I have started several beds intending only to plant certain colors, and trypes in each bed....and that has gone way out the door!

  7. The white bleeding heart is so gorgeous and of course Gracie is pretty too.

  8. You do have a lot of white and it's all very pretty. I do love that white bleeding heart. My pink one haven't given me any babies. Probably because last year Bob fell on it and broke it - guess I'm lucky it's alive and blooming.
    Gracie looks very nice.

  9. Somehow I knew we would not post on the same things today:), but I do have a white problem as well-it'll come later. It IS so hard to get good pics! Your camera did awesome. I can even see petals. On mine-nothing but a blur. I like white all year, so easy to match anything with it. That and gray.

    Thanks for your very nice comment on my blog today. I really enjoy chatting with you each day. And one of these days when I get the two houses all combined satisfactorily and we can see the floor, I'm going to look at my book and think of you-hopefully soon! So I better get off here huh?:))

  10. White bleeding heart is beautiful- what a great photo of it. And the white columbine too. Oh, and I love leatherleaf viburnum. Mine hasn't bloomed yet. I think I need to move it to a better spot.
    Ahhh, Gracie is lovely.

  11. My white bleeding heart is just starting to bloom - very exciting! Our neighbor's dog is named Gracie, and she looks a lot like yours except her fur is grey :-)

  12. Love that white columbine but even tho I'm a huge gardener, Gracie is the cutest white of all. Well, her and my white Lhasa Apso!! ;-)

    I have a hard time adding other colors too. I always gravitate toward pinks but it doesn't bother me because I love that color!

  13. Ellie Mae says hello to Gracie! She looks so cute with her new haircut! I love white flowers. You can mix them with everything. -Jackie

  14. Prospero - Isn't that dicentra pretty? I agree that Gracie is the prettiest though!

    Kylee - Gracie is actually a Bichon Frise. They look very similar to poodles, especially with their hair short.
    I do have a bleeding heart that has given me several volunteers, one is giant now. They have only come from one plant though.

    Sheila - It seems we must naturally be drawn to certain colors. I still love pinks and purples the best.

    Darla - It really does pop doesn't it? I really like what it adds to the garden.

    Mildred - Those whites do stand out in the evening. I've thought about doing a moon garden with whites and flowers that give off their fragrance later in the day.

    Dirt Princess - I do the same thing, it's just too tempting when you see other pretty plants that happen to be a different color.

    Lona - I've got two of these white ones now, it's fun having different varieties.

    Linda - Poor Bob, sorry your bleeding heart broke his fall. Maybe once it recovers you'll get some babies from it.

    Tina - I've hardly picked any white flowers on purpose, most just make their way to the garden because they smell good or have interesting flowers.
    Glad you have you husband home! That would've been weird if we posted that today :)

    allenaim photography - Thanks, she's a great dog!

    Aerie-el - It took awhile for the viburnum to bloom about 2 years. Maybe yours will bloom next spring.

    VW - The bleeding hearts stay in bloom for a pretty long time. Glad yours is about to bloom.

    Kathleen - Aren't our little garden dogs great? I think every gardener needs a helper out their to keep them company. I know you love pink, I have quite a few pink flowers that bloom in the summer.

    Jackie - And Gracie says hi back. White does seem to go with everything and sometimes really make the plants stand out around them too.

  15. Your whites are pretty Catherine including Gracie. Cute pic!

  16. Love your pictures of the White Bleeding Heart and White Columbine. I, too, have come to appreciate white in the garden -- it looks fantastic in shady places.

  17. Very pretty, and I noticed how well it matched the picture of the dog before I even got to it. Will you dye her blue later in the year, to match some other plants? Well, maybe not...;->

  18. Susie - Thanks, she likes to lay on the chair by me while I read blogs :)

    sweet bay - I never used to buy white plants, and now I've got so many. They really are stand outs amongst all the foliage now.

    Town Mouse - That would be funny! I'm sure my daughters would think it was great.

  19. Yes, white flowers are definitely tricky to photograph. But you've done very well. I particularly like the shot of the white bleeding heart. Really gorgeous!


  20. I think white is one of the easiest colors to work with. Color echos are aplenty too. Hostas, Ornamental grasses and many shrub and perennial cultivars have green and white foliage that works wonders with white flowers.

  21. I love white flowers:especially near to the house where they shine in the evening. A friend and I recently found that we had planted "moonlight" gardens without even realising how very clever we had been! LOL

    I love your dicentra :mine have disappeared. You have inspired me to renew!

  22. Hi Catherine, I agree, Gracie is the prettiest white of all. What a sweet face. I love white in the garden, but it is hard to photograph. That viburnum is used in this area for hedging of fancy housing developments and has a real presence en masse. Good for the bees, isn't it? I have a couple that have given seedlings to spread about, another plus. Don't you think white helps tie all the contrasting colors together? It is the mediator for the all that shouting! :-)

  23. I am taking a perrenial gardening class and the instructor said some people design and want an "all white" English garden, so you would be envied by many!
    That little pup is a cute little "flower" too!

  24. I'm adding more and more white flowers every year. They really lightens up the darkest corner and it feels so fresh. I love that Colombine of yours, hoping mine will look that great to, soon showing there true colour for the first time / gittan

  25. Cindy - Thank you! I read once that the camera has a hard time focusing on white, maybe that's the trick, not to use auto focus.

    Grace - You are right, I do have a lot of variegated green/white foliage and it does look pretty with white flowers mixed in.

    My English Country Garden- You are clever! I'd love to have a moonlight garden. Something I've tried to do before, but never finished.

    Frances - I bet it would look nice in groupings. Maybe that's the problem I have with it, it really stands out and doesn't really flow with the other shrubs near by. This is the first year it has really flowered, so I hope the bees will come to it.
    White is the mediator, I like that!

    The Retired One - I have heard of an all white garden. That would be a pretty design. I wish I had the space for more individual types of gardens in my yard.

    Gittan - I hope your Columbines will bloom for you soon. They are such pretty flowers, I love how they can vary so much.

  26. I'm with you on the leatherleaf vibernum! We've got one in our front garden under the flowering cherry and it does nothing for me - but it'll have to stay until I get round to doing a project on that bit of the garden!

    I'll have plenty of time to work out what to replace it with. :)

  27. Gracie is definitely the cutest white flower in your garden, lol ;) I love the White Dicentra, it was added to my garden this spring. There are tons of the pink ones already growing there. I don't think you can ever have too much white, it gives your eye a nice resting spot between all the bright colors. :)

  28. I've never seen a pure white columbine like that before - very lovely!
    Plant Lady


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