A Virginal Paradise: Creating the White Garden A Virginal Paradise: Creating the White Garden

Garden themes are nothing new these days; there are rock gardens, water gardens, Japanese Tea gardens and herb gardens. Another twist on the garden theme is color-schemed gardens. For a touch of elegance, innocence, simplicity and pure beauty, dress your garden all in white.

Planning for a white garden means choosing plants that maintain green or white foliage and blossoms. With the variety of plants available to consumers today at garden centers and through mail order catalogs, plant selection for color is easier than ever. Your white garden can be formal to match a well-manicured setting and large home or provide country charm to a simple cottage lane. In any case, it will be a stand out if you concentrate on a few other plant attributes like size and texture.

Most likely, you’ll maintain a green ground cover in your white garden; it’s simple as most lawns are green. Catlin sedge is a great choice for a lawn in both sun and shade. It is tough and durable, yet its coloring is vibrant and rich. It needs only occasional mowing which allows you to spend more time in the garden. It prefers a moist, fertile soil.

If you want to add a touch of white to your ground cover, try using silver spike grass. This is a great choice when grown in masses on hills or near streams where it can be a lovely focal point. It prefers fertile, moist soil with sun. Its fluffy blades may grow more than two feet high allowing it to droop and dangle its silvery white flowers in the breeze.

Cotton grass is simply the best choice for a white garden, though it does prefer wet, marshy areas. Throughout April and May, it sports fluffy cottony heads which are exactly similar to cotton balls. It grows in clumps of light green foliage. It loves a peaty soil and full sunshine. Keep it in mind for pots or tubs as well.

Another great choice for an ornamental grass is creeping variegated broad-leaved sedge. The broad green leaves are striped with white streaks along it margins and down its center. It grows best in a humus-rich soil with plenty of moisture and light shade. It may be planted alone or in dense groupings.

Creeping thyme is a great ground cover with its mats of tiny white flowers. It likes a dry soil that is very well-drained.

For height in your landscape, add the whitebeam; this hardy tree grows upwards of thirty to forty feet. When they are young, the lovely pale green oval leaves will be completely covered in a creamy white down. It is often found in seaside gardens as it is so tolerant of coastal conditions, but it tolerates a variety of soils and conditions well.

A lovely white flowering shrub is the dwarf flowering almond. It requires a moisture-rich soil with plenty of sun. The tall vertical stems of this plant boast a profusion of tufted white-petalled flowers.

The calla lily "Crowborough" type thrives in a moisture-rich soil. It is very hardy and also does well in fertile, boggy ground.

The "White Swirl" iris prefers a moist - even damp - soil with full exposure to sun. Each stem boasts several white flowers.

White baneberry is a lovely addition to any garden, but it's unique wand shape makes it a standout in a single color garden. It prefers a moisture-rich soil and some shade.

The mock orange is a perfect shrub for a white garden. Its gorgeous blooming clusters are terrifically sweet and its dark green leaves are the perfect compliment.

White Grecian windflowers prefer a chalky soil that is free-draining. These pretty little flowers look like daisies; they have a pale green foliage that resembles the fronds of ferns.

The Mount Hood narcissus is simply a must for a white garden. This daffodil has everything - poise, elegance, a lovely shaped flower, a beautiful shade of white and the best part—it is hardy enough to do well in many types of soil so long as it is somewhat fertile and stays moist through the spring.

The spring snowflake is a hardy bulb that thrives in nearly any moisture-rich soil. The white bell-shaped flowers bloom against rich, green leaves.

The Blanche Double de Coubert rose is a great shrub for hedging - it needs surprisingly little maintenance to be a beautiful as it is. It has semi-double blooms with a subtle clove-like scent. It does well in many types of soil - even those that are light and not fertile.

White rock cress are hardy perennials that need a soil with good drainage. It makes a nice ground cover, but is particularly attractive when planted in crevices and to fill niches.

Edelweiss is a wonderful hardy perennial to have in the garden. Its uniquely-shaped flowers are a grayish-white. It prefers a well-drained soil.

The possibilities are numerous when it comes to a white garden. Since all will be essentially green or white, be sure that you try to include plants with contrasting textures and sizes so that each plant will be noticeable for its particular attributes.

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