Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Almost ‘Wordless Wednesday’

A post from me without some chat I should say is probably not likely! I have never taken part with 'Wordless Wednesday' where only photos are usually posted – which is a great idea by the way. However, last Friday Nan at Gardening Gone Wild posted on white in the garden just as I was preparing photos to post on white too. Her post is excellent and has gone down a storm and there is no way I will attempt to compete with it. So, just for today, I will leave you to enjoy seeing white flowers from my garden. Ah… a calm and quiet post for change.

Nope, nope sorry I just can’t keep quiet! Garden designers are often heard decrying the use of white in the garden saying it must be treated with extreme care or completely avoided in some schemes. Well, yes if you are entering a competition perhaps or want the 'perfect' garden. However, if you are a gardener like me then you probably won’t let rules limit how and where you use a plant. I also move my plants around quite often too - that's the fun of gardening for me!

White is often seen as stark and a distraction to other shades of colour in the garden. However in my garden I have lots of foliage plants so I treat any flower colour as dots dancing amongst the foliage – that is the way I like to garden anyway.

The Shasta daisy and the Japanese Anemone in the first two photos show how beautifully white can blend with lighter shades of yellow/green. I love the different shapes of white flowers I have in my garden from daisy to double, bell to trumpet, globes, stars, clusters and garlands of the wisteria. I also love the perfume of the wisteria and choiysia and so do the bees!

Partial shade for me is the place I particularly love to see white flowers. In fact my earliest memories of plants are of the very humble tiny white wood anemones on woodland walks. I now have some under planting my small yak rhododendrons – they look just perfect there. I grew the wild flower white campion from seed and probably saw it on my woodland walks too as it self seeds pretty freely.

However, I have no early memories whatsoever of the beautiful bell flowers of the fritillaries. I love this plant. It is a bulb and I will have white ones which will grow through my lawn by April where it is mixed with smaller species daffodils including ‘paper whites’.

Ranging through shrubs, climbers, perennials, bulbs and annuals I enjoy white flowers in my garden. Some have pale tinges of other colours and I particularly love when green comes through the white flowers as it does in the clematis ‘Miss Bateman’.

Much is said about when the perfect white flower no longer looks fresh. My answer to that is the same as for the Hosta leaf that is full of holes after the slugs have been dining on it. I cut them out - after I take a few photos! The montage above shows one flower that can fairly quickly go over in my garden – the magnolia. However this to me is such a stunning flower that I completely forgive it – it is generous in replacing these blooms anyway.


‘Wordless Wednesday’ – no chance! The final photo above shows the tiny delicate white flower of the arabis which is still has flowers yet. I am guessing it began flowering last April so it will be interesting to see if it can have flowers for a full twelve months!

I don’t imagine for one minute that everyone will agree with my love of white flowers in the garden. But hey that’s what makes gardening interesting – we all have different tastes and see things with different eyes.

All photos in this post have been taken in my garden with the exception of two – can you spot them? Sissinghurst is world renowned for its white garden so I had to include a couple of photos in this post. I particularly love the photo of my daughter (age nine at the time) taking her own photos!

14 comments:

Jim/ArtofGardening said...

Sissinghurst would be the photo of your daughter and the one to the right of it, with the stone chimney sticking up in the background.

I like your description "dots dancing amongst the foliage," that was a feature of Monet's Giverny garden I noticed - he liked the "sparkle" or "shimmering" that small white flowers brought to the garden.

Chookie said...

Gosh, garden designers decrying white? Why? Is there another set who hate red? Reminds me of the enmity of the Bigendians and the Littleendians.

Jayne said...

They are simply beautiful in their simplicity Shirl. Thanks for sharing this beautiful mixture of cool white!

Nan Ondra said...

Nice try at the "wordless" thing, Shirl - but I'm glad you weren't able to resist adding some commentary. If I had seen your post first, I'd have never claimed that white flowers were anything but perfect. And may I say again how much I love the way you present your photos in groups? I wish I knew how you do that!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Shirl, I too love white in the garden. In my shade garden it is the best way to draw the eye to an area. People just love white. They are just scared to use it because it does demand your eye's attention. Lovely post. Your little girl look darling in this photo. So intent.

I wish I had been to Sissinghurst and could say Oh yes this is there. Maybe some day.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Those are stunning whites! My daisies always look so dingy, never crisp and white.

shirl said...

Hi again, Jim, Chookie, Jayne, Nan, Lisa and Robin :-)

Jim – You are quite correct with the photo ID. Thank-you – it was a very wet day when we visited Giverny so no sparkle or shimmering that day. I will now think of Monet’s garden when I look out on my small white flowers – thank-you for giving me that thought :-D

Chookie – I’ve heard this more than a few times! Ah well, we don’t all follow the rules anyway :-D

Jayne – that is exactly what I love about the white flowers in my garden too :-D

Nan – well Nan, you know I had begun the prep on my photos but hadn’t decided quite how I was going to write about white. So this post would probably have been quite different if I hadn’t seen yours first – I’m only glad I did see it!! Ah the photo montages thank-you! I love doing them but they can be time consuming especially if I use a lot of individual images. I am happy to tell you how I do them – email me and we will go from there :-D

Lisa – I had a feeling you would love white too. Thank-you! Yes, my little girl is now a tall teenager who still looks intently with things she does! I will give you a laugh about my visit to Sissinghurst. We had an early flight to London, hired a car and visited it on our way to a holiday cottage. My husband was exhausted after having a particularly busy time at work – he fell asleep in the car in the car park as I went round most of the garden with my daughters. We have a photo of that too! I hope you manage to go one day too and your husband stays awake :-D

Robin – there aren’t they. As these flowers don’t get full sun they last longer and don’t get so marked. They do eventually, but I get to enjoy them for a while first :-D

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Thanks for this very wordful wednesday post Shirl! Like you I love white flowers and am not afriad of using them in my garden. On the contrary, I have a white (front) garden during Summer and I love it to bits.

Thanks for sharing all those beautiful pics of gorgeous white flowers!

BTW I've been to Sissinghurst and spend quite a lot of time in the White Garden there.;-)

The Black Rabbit said...

I like the idea of "Wordless wednesday" Shirl!

I have no idea what "Words" over on "Everything is permuted" (See my comment on your 'blog awards' post would do though!!!

shirl said...

Hi again, Yolanda and Doug :-)

Yolanda – Thank-you! Oh yes I do remember seeing the wonderful photos of your white front garden too. Sissinghurst was a great place to visit wasn’t it? I have just photographed white crocus for my (late) GBBD post they are simply perfect :-D

Doug – It really is a great idea. Sounds like ‘Words’ is a bit like me – I look forward to reading the chat there. I doubt I can ever leave a post without any words :-D

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Shirl - was very amused about the comment on Garden Designers and I guess it's like anything to do with Design - yes there are rules but at the end of the day I prefer to think of a design as something that will "work" for the customer not something that follows a series of rules!!! (unconventional maybe!?) Having said that I'm sure there are plenty of people who do work like that - being a lover of the more natural garden you really have to go more on your gut instinct I think! The photos of the white flowers are quite beautiful.

Miranda

shirl said...

Hi again, Miranda :-)

Sorry I wasn’t trying to be controversial with my comments on designers. I’ve just heard a number here in the UK mention this in the past.

I like the sound of the way you design for your customers and I agree instinct is often the way to go. Thank-you, the white flowers were beautiful for a long time in my garden :-D

Miranda Bell said...

Shirl - there's absoultely no need to be sorry at all - I really agree with what you've put and I guess it was somewhat refreshing to read.... there are obviously certain things that do work better and not so well in design terms but a lot of this is in the eye of the beholder! For me all your white flowers are really delicate and pretty... Have a fun day... Miranda

shirl said...

Hi again, Miranda :-)

Okay, good to hear from you and I am glad you understood what I meant. I completely agree with you about the eye of the beholder.

I plant what I like and I completely appreciate it is not to everyone’s taste. It would be no fun at all if our gardens looked the same anyway! Hope you had a good weekend :-D