Whites in the Garden

About once a week I grab my camera and explore the garden, documenting the changing nature of it all. While out this week I let my instincts do the walking and so shot what looks good and plants I may not have previously photographed. After going through the finished product, I noticed there are lot of whites and silvers in the garden right now - an abundant amount. So without even trying, the blog post almost wrote itself this week. Voila, that's this week's theme. I give you the white and silvers in the garden the third week of June.

I have tried Eryngium giganteum, a.k.a. 'Miss Willmott's Ghost' several times from potted plants and from seed and failed. Now I have seedlings all over that I never planted in this garden. Huh? Maybe she's visited me recently on the wind. At any rate, these "volunteers" are in a terrible spot, right in the middle of a gravel path, but I love them, so here they stay. Thank you, Miss W.




Simple Penstemon digitalis is a favorite, a parent of P. digitalis 'Husker Red'.


I have it planted in a meadow area and on the edge of the labyrinth, hoping for some seedlings to fill in gaps one day.


Marrubium incanum or horehound is a Mediterranean plant for sun. Planted last summer, it has already given me a seedling. It's so easy, great for a really well-drained, sunny site.


Beautiful and super fragrant Philadelphus lewisii, our native mock orange. These were already in place when we bought the property and I'm happy they are here.


Itea virginica 'Henry's Garnet' is a superb shrub. It has great spring foliage followed by what you see, white flowers borne on long racemes. I have three of these along the berm garden, they add texture and wonderful color in autumn. Definitely an easy care addition.


Leptospermum namadgiensis is a Xera Plants purchase, this is their description of this wonderful evergreen shrub for sun:

Rare shrub that is destined to gain popularity. From the highest elevations of the Australian Alps this large evergreen tea tree is beautiful in all of its parts. Known locally as alpine downy tea tree the fuzzy silver small leaves crowd the stems densely. In early summer masses of 1″ white flowers deck the boughs like snow. To 8′ x 8′ quickly it can also be trained as a small tree which highlights its incredible exfoliating trunks. Silver, copper, green and tan are all present after the bark sheds in mid-summer. Full sun and virtually any soil. Totally summer drought tolerant when established. Great hedging candidate. If sheared it becomes immensely dense. And cutting does not mangle the tiny leaves. Moderate deer resistance. So far undamaged at 5ºF.

Sounds great to me.


Lychnis coronaria, catchfly or rose campion. Seeds must have been everywhere in the soil here, for this is another plant I never planted. I allow this to go on until the flowers are done then I mow it all down to prevent two acres of hot pink flowers coming up next year.


Two sweet white flowers, a white form of Guara on the right and Veronica longifolia 'Charlotte' on the left which has white leaf margins and pretty white spikes.


Clematis recta 'Purpurea' starts off with deep purple foliage that turns green as the season progresses. After this bloom if I cut it back hard, new foliage growth will also be purple.


An unknown little salvia.


While the flowers are technically whitish pink, the foliage is silver of Dorycnium hirsutum or hairy canary clover. This low-mounding, spreading plant has given me many volunteers in the surrounding gravel. It's such a great plant for this super hot (reflected heat) site, I'm thrilled with it. At the end of the bloom cycle when the seed pods appear, you can literally HEAR them popping as you walk past, especially if water hits them. Oddest thing.


I have many cistus in my garden. We had a huge throw-away party a few years ago at work and I couldn't let them all go, so many came home with me. Many also lost their tags. This could be Cistus 'Elma'. Somewhere in the garden shed are about 50 cistus tags all mixed up. Someday I'll sort them all out. For now just enjoy the pretty pictures.


This could be Cistus corbariensis. Whatever it is, I have three or four in this area, they are about 3' high by 4' or so wide and are super floriferous, covered in small white blooms.


Another no idea one. Feel free to chime in, Cistus experts. 


 No idea, but it's petite with curled leaf margins and very felted leaves.


 One I know for sure, Cistus 'Blanche' is one of my favorites, a beefy gal at over 6' high, she flowered prolifically the earlier part of June and late May.


Another I know for certain, Cistus 'Paper Moon'. This is what the Joy Creek website says about it:

Although Cistus x argenteus 'Paper Moon' is reported to be the all-white form of this cross, our plant occasionally produces flowers with pink stripes. Flowers are quite large and showy with central golden yellow stamens. The narrow gray green leaves are lightly hairy. May to June bloom time.  20 in. x 15 in., White flowers, Sun, Zones 8, 9, 10


Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers' is a petite oak-leaved hydrangea whose flowers turn to shades of pink as they age.


An astilbe I brought with me from the old garden, A. 'Deutschland'. I've had difficulty with them in this garden, which is primarily a dry garden - we all know they love water. I think I've finally found the perfect spot for them, however, which is at the base of the berm garden against the low retaining wall in the shady section. This soil is nearly always wet and heavy.


Fatsia j. 'Spider's Web' was planted last year and has grown considerably for a first-year plant. Goody!



Athyrium niponicum or Japanese painted fern with Oxalis oregana, another white-flowered plant in my garden.


The grand white daddy of them all, Aruncus dioicus, goat's beard. I have many of these in shady locales and I think I've been spying seedlings here and there.


Aren't they fluffy? I adore these. After the flowers finish, the foliage looks smart and clean the rest of the year. Completely deciduous.


White speckled flowers? Do they count? I rarely if ever buy annuals, but at our local garden fair I spied these and decided to give them a try. Petunia headliner series - 'Starry Sky Burgundy'.


I end with this charming photo of my boy Hobbes showing absolutely no dignity and squishing the catnip against his face as hard as he can. The boy loves his nip. He has nothing to do with white in the garden, but it's his garden to enjoy and one of our favorite times together is taking him out to do just this. The garden is for everyone, after all.

That's a wrap for this week at Chickadee Gardens. As always, thank you so much for reading and commenting, we love hearing from you all! Happy gardening.


Comments

  1. Lovely as always!

    I have two different Eryngiums - one with bright yellow foliage - that (I think) I planted last year. Same general area, but not planted at the same time. They bloomed last year, but this year neither one of them has put forth any sign of their flowers, all just foliage. Hmm....

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    1. Hmmm....I wonder. Some, such as Miss Willmott is often listed as a biennial. Maybe you'll have seedlings? I hope so!

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  2. Wonderful post, T! Your garden is so beautiful, and has so many fabulous plants, it's hard to pick a favorite. Miss Willmott is always a contender, though - I was thrilled to see it bloom in my garden this year - for the first time! Hooray! Love the Hobbs photo! xoxo

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    1. Aw, thank you Anna Bean. Miss Willmott - hooray!

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  3. You have a marvelous and wide-ranging collection of white-flowered and silver-foliaged plants. I never seem to have enough white in my own garden. I may take a few clues from your playbook and find myself a white Cistus or two (almost all of mine are pink for some reason). I also need to try Marrubium again - I killed one and haven't tried it again, although it should like conditions here. However, I do have lots and lots of Dorycnium and you're spot-on about the popping seedpods.

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    1. Those white cistus are mighty rewarding! Oh, the Dorycnium, and thank you for the seeds! Wonderful plant, one of my favorites! :)

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  4. Hobbes has white whiskers and cheeks. He is an asset to the garden.

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    1. A completely logical statement, Lisa. I agree. Hobbes counts as white in the garden ;)

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  5. Anonymous1:10 PM PDT

    I'm surprised by all the white, as that is not my impression of your garden at all. Love it...your garden has many personalities, all of them winning. All of the Cistus throwaways that came home with me turned out to be brilliant, deep pink (not generally a color I covet but I'm learning to love it. All it needs now is a splash of orange to make it mine)
    rickii

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    1. Thank you Rickii, so very kind of you. Oh, that deep pink. You can make anything work in your gorgeous garden, my dear. xo

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  6. I am so enjoying the Goat's Beard you recommended to me at Joy Creek. It is still small with just one bloom but so pretty!

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    1. Hooray! I'm so thrilled! It will get larger, mark my words ;)

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  7. Becomes apparent when looking closely at the garden what colours you migrate towards. It wasn't until I took lots of pictures that I realized yellow and blue appear a lot. I tend to pass up on white preferring more colourful selections but after seeing how lovely white is in your beautiful garden might have to sneak in a few white plants to break up all that blue and yellow. Glad to see your garden is doing so well.

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    1. Interesting! We do tend to migrate towards particular colors subconsciously, don't wee? It's fun to mix it up, too, I agree.

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  8. I've failed to get Eryngium giganteum to take hold in my garden, sadly. They're such beautiful flowers. Congrats on having it take show up in yours!

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    1. Ah, Danger, I am surprised, but then again, plants have a will of their own. Maybe like me one day you'll spy a seedling and think...Miss Willmott's has been visiting secretly. I hope so.

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  9. I remember Cistus 'Blanche' in my garden as having blooms nearly as big as matillija poppies. I really like the white cistus over the pink. I think that's incredible that plants just seem to jump into your garden without you having to bring them in like the lychnis and eryngo MWG! I think this summer is unfortunately going to be eryngium-less in my garden, though I'm seeing small seedlings around, probably of E. planum. Also a big fan of the Spider's Web fatsia too -- so many great plants!

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    1. Blanche, good ol' gal that she is, does have ginormous flowers. White over pink, that's generally my preference, too....maybe that's why I have so many white cistus around - natural selection - I only take the white ones home.

      I'm sorry you are eryngium-less this year, how very sad...but maybe they will surprise you. That Fatsia is amazing, why I never had it before is baffling.

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  10. I love white and you do it so well! How does 'Ruby Slippers' do for you? Mine gets only morning sun but still gets sunburned. I don't want to move it. Maybe it needs more water. Marrubium incanum is still on my wish list. And your kitty, be still my heart!

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    1. Aw, thanks Grace! Ruby Slippers does great! It's on the western end of the garden - but it does get high overhead shade from a large fir tree that has been limbed up. I'm baffled why yours gets sunburned...odd! Keep me posted. And thanks for the sweet kitty comments. Hobbes totally has my heart, for sure. xo

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  11. i find myself drawn to white, so i enjoyed this post thoroughly. i can't wait for the goat's beard i just planted to grow as lush as yours. + gosh, if it would self-seed... one question for you - are pollinators at all interested in your clematis purpurea?

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