November 25 2020
As I lay awake one night, thinking garden thoughts (I don’t imagine I’m the only one who does this) I realized I had inadvertently put a lot of white flowering plants around the corner of our house by my bedroom. It occurred to me that I could and should carry on with the white theme, this time on purpose! It’s rather delightful to look out on a full moon night and see white flowers glowing in the dark.
One early reference to white gardens is from India, about a garden by the Taj Mahal. It was called “The Moonlight Garden” and was built in the early 1500’s. White gardens became popular in England and the US in the 1920’s and 30’s and were apparently considered somewhat snooty-maybe because a lot of the white and scented flowers were grown in glass houses which only the wealthy could afford. Luckily, things have changed and anyone can have a white garden. Personally, I do have trouble limiting colors in any garden, so a few others will be allowed.
My area is enclosed on two sides by six foot tall wood fences and somewhat shaded by two old juniper trees. There is also an iron gazebo I’m planting around. The white flowering plants that were there already are Viburnum ‘Mohican’, anemone, white iris, pheasant’s eye narcissus, lily of the valley, lilac ‘Fiala Remembrance’ and alyssum and guaranteed in pots. Not yet blooming in early June are white coneflower and a ‘Festiva Maxima’ peony.
Since this little epiphany of mine, I have added white catananche, ‘Morden Snowbeauty’ rose, ‘Klehm’s Bechtel’ crabapple, ‘Mt. Baker’ lilac and a ‘Spring Snow’ crabapple. This fall, I will plant white tulips -well, I get ahead of myself.
I also noticed that there were plants out there that had partially white foliage and these could fill in the gaps if nothing was blooming, though my answer to that potential calamity is sheer volume. Plant enough stuff and the odds are in your favor. A few white foliage plants in my moon garden are hosta, brunnera, lamium, ‘Ivory Halo’ dogwood, and ‘Overdam’ feather reed grass.
There are many more trees, shrubs, and flowers growing in my yard that would work, but not everything will fit. I’m calling it Luna’s Garden and I shall sleep out there on a full moon night; so I don’t forget that the world is a magical place. Oh, yes! Daisies, I need daisies.
Viburnum lantana ‘Mohican’, 6’ tall and wide, zone 3