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‘Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas’ ~ Elizabeth Murray

I’ve been a bit disappointed in my late Spring garden because I couldn’t really see anything flowering. After the cacophony of colour in September, everything looks very green at the moment and then I realised what the problem is. I have way too much “white”! Why do I do that? Every time I go flowering-plant shopping I come back with white flowering plants. I wasn’t consciously aware that I was doing this, until I went shopping this week and again came home with a white flowering plant (a lovely white Fuschia). Not that there is anything wrong with white – I love white – but in the garden it seems to be a bit flat when there is no other colour mixed in with it (at least that’s my impression). So that’s another “Gardening Lesson Learned” for me.

So what are all the “whites” flowering in October my garden? We have … white Gardenias, Roses, Dianthus, Ornithogalum, Freesias, Gaura, two different Jasmine types, Murraya Exotica, Alyssum, Makhaya Bella, Asiatic Lilies and Lilium Longifolium, Impatiens, Petunias, Cuphea, Brugmansia, Delphiniums, Ranunculus … and on and on.

Here are all my current white blooms …

[one_half]White Murraya ExoticaWhite Murraya Exotica[/one_half]

[one_half_last]White Iceberg RosesWhite Iceberg Roses[/one_half_last]

[one_half]White OrnithogalumWhite Ornithogalum[/one_half]

[one_half_last]White Jasminum MultipartumWhite Jasminum Multipartum[/one_half_last]

[one_half]White Star JasmineWhite Star Jasmine[/one_half]

[one_half_last]White GauraWhite Gaura[/one_half_last]

[one_half]White AlyssumWhite Alyssum[/one_half]

[one_half_last]White Dianthus (Sweet William)White Dianthus (Sweet William)[/one_half_last]

[one_half]White Mandevilla splenensWhite Mandevilla splenens[/one_half]

[one_half_last]White Makhaya bellaWhite Makhaya bella[/one_half_last]

[one_half]White Lilium LongifoliumWhite Lilium Longifolium[/one_half]

[one_half_last]White ImpatiensWhite Impatiens[/one_half_last]

[one_half]White CupheaWhite Cuphea[/one_half]

[one_half_last]White BrugmansiaWhite Brugmansia[/one_half_last]

[one_half]White DelphiniumsWhite Delphiniums[/one_half]

[one_half_last]White FreesiasWhite Freesias[/one_half_last]

[one_half]White RanunculusWhite Ranunculus[/one_half]

[one_half_last]White blossoms on the Lime treeWhite blossoms on the Lime tree[/one_half_last]

[one_half]White Cherry blossomWhite Cherry blossom[/one_half]

[one_half_last]White blossoms on the Lemon treeWhite blossoms on the Lemon tree[/one_half_last]

[one_half]White crabapple (isn’t it beautiful?)White crabapple[/one_half]

[one_half_last]White PetuniasWhite Petunias[/one_half_last]

As it is my first real year as a “gardener”, I’ve been observing (and critiquing) my garden on a monthly basis to see what I can do better – What have I learnt about October? Plant some COLOUR that will flower in October to lift all the white blooms!

Happy Gardening

By Christine

Dominated by large trees on a medium sized property, my garden is very shaded. With no “full sun” areas I have to plant shade and partial shade loving plants. I love shrubs and flowers including camellias and azaleas but Roses and Irises are my favourite and getting these to thrive is a challenge …

19 replies on “White”

Well, all I can say is what AMAZING beautiful flowers you have ….I get the white!! 🙂 It is so YOU! I love the cleanliness and almost angelic look of the flowers you have chosen for your garden. Just GORGEOUS!! 🙂 Thank you – LOVE your photography!

Finding colorful flowers for a shade garden is a challenge. Even though white would not be my first choice, I would rather see the beautiful white ones that grow in your garden then have no flowers at all. The photo composition you created with them, for this post, is delightful.

I love your white flowers probably because I have a white garden near the gazebo. It is a bit shady so the white flowers are beautiful. I would love some of those whites. I also have a red garden outside the fence. I love themed color gardens. I think we all have our favorite colors and plants we subconsciously buy. I can’t stop buying lavenders or echinaceas…

Hi Janet – No I hadn’t seen Sissinghurst – spent some time now googling and looking – how beautiful! Maybe all my “whites” are not such a bad idea after all 🙂

Hi Christine, your whites look fabulous and Myra also favours white. I know what you mean though, I sometimes think too much of it can end up looking like paper litter scattered over the garden. alistair

Well all those white flowers are lovely! I’ve heard of lots of people that plant a white garden – maybe you just need more structure in the garden or something to hold them together? Or pick another color like purple to add in with the white?

I have the opposite problem – I tend to have too many colors sometimes going together that don’t quite work together 🙂

White is always pleasant to look at. I think we may be attracted to certain colors depending on our mood. That’s ok. White flowers tend to have better fragrance. I wish I have more whites in my garden.

I tend to do that, too, but it’s more because there are so many more white-flowering, shade-loving plants. Colorful blooms are more dramatic and vibrant from a distance, but the white flowers are lovely and enchanting close up. Your photos do the blooms justice, too!

Now who was it, had yellow mixed in with her white lilies? Oh yes that WAS you. Looks stunning. Perhaps you need to seek out a particular colour to spark the white. Not a fruit salad but a deliberate … and white garden. What would be your second favourite colour? The blue and purple of the Iris?

Great suggestion – Blue is a favourite colour for sure! I have lots of blue Agapanthus about to bloom in the back so that will help “lift” the back garden, and I will look for more “blues” to add in there. The yellow lilies in the side garden were a very welcome “mistake”, I think I’ll add a few more next year, it kinda worked well, didn’t it? Then I have lots of pink too, just none blooming right now – seems in winter my garden is all “pink” and in summer it is “white”. Learning all the time 🙂

Dear Christine

I am sorry to read about your loss.

Your garden is looking great.

If you want some bright colour, look out for Weigelia plants. These deciduous shrubs reach about 2m and have pendulous red or pink flowers. The variegated form is particularly beautiful.

As Alan suggested, you could try Petunia “Phantom” – an unusual black petunia with yellow stripes – it is new to the S.A. market.


Dear Harry – Thank you, you are very sweet. I appreciate it a lot.

I’ll have to come and look at what you have in the nursery – I’m liking the idea of black petunias. Black and white would look very elegant indeed!

Don’t fight it — you like white flowers. Nothing wrong with that! The nice thing about lot of white is you can just add a non-white plant here or there for a punch of color — like with your yellow lily (that you didn’t choose yourself).

Maybe that’s the key: let other people choose some of your plants for you.

Or perhaps you can mix in a bunch of “black” bloomers. You’ll have the most sophisticated flower garden around. 🙂

Hi Alan – I really like the idea of black with the white. I think I’ll try this in one of the beds. I went and bought some red penstemon and red salvia today to get some colour going in the back garden. Think I’ll try the “black & white” in the front.

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