Simple Ways to Use White in The Garden

After a long winter of snow, even in parts of the county unaccustomed to it, it may be hard to savor the idea of creating “white gardens” or even using white flowers this summer.  There are some nice advantages to using white in the garden though, and so here are few ideas and suggestions.

White garden

Creating a White Garden can be fun and easy!

Why White? 

One of the nice thing about white is that it goes with everything, and actually  enhances the colors of the plants surrounding it.

White is also a very calming color – either on its own or when paired with soft pastel yellows, peaches and pinks blossoms We’ve seen some all-white gardens that serve as small retreat gardens that provide a sense of coolness and calm the soul.

White gardens also stand out at night and as a bonus, many white flowers are particularly fragrant in the evening. For example, Moonflowers – fragrant night-blooming species of morning glories – are a lovely addition to any White garden, as are some of the old fashioned white varieties of Nicontiana (Flowering Tobacco) which are also incredibly fragrant at night.

Simple ways to use white in the garden

1) Used as a border white plants can make a small yard look larger, or a walkway wider.

Snow Storm and Flower Carpet standards

Snow Storm agapanthus along walkway, flanked with Flower Carpet White “standards” or tree roses.


White in the garden

A hedgerow of Flower Carpet White helps to give the appearance of a wider yard.


2) Looking for a way to make a particular plant really stand out?   Plant a white-flowered plant nearby and watch the colors pop!

white gardens

White Flowers like these Snow Storm agapanthus can make other color stand out more than if they were alone.


White in the Garden

Volcano phlox ‘White’ help make the other colours in this bed really stand out.

3) Mixing white flowers with similarly colored foliage such as the soft grey/blue of plants like Lambs Ears or Artemesia  is another way to create a soothing environment.

soothing gardens

Shades of white and silver create a soothing atmosphere in any garden.


4) White-flowered plants pair well with evergreens too.  Rather than detracting from the various textures of evergreens,  simple white blossoms seem to enhance the textures, adding interest to the garden with minimal effort or expense.

Volcano White Phlox

The bright white blossoms of Volcano phlox against the rock and Blue Spruce enhance the total look of this simple corner bed.


rock garden

A simple rock garden punctuated with Flower Carpet white and blue spruce evergreens.


 5) White can also be used to break up what otherwise may be clashing colors, allowing all of the colors to stand out on their own.

White in the garden

White blossoms can break up what could be otherwise clashing colors, making them all stand out nicely.

6) Swaths of white-flowered or white/silver-foliaged plants carries the eye through the garden, inviting you to look beyond the first few feet.

white gardens

Swaths of white carry your eye through the garden.


white gardens at Wisley Gardens

White shrubs and silver-colored plants also add a sense of calmness to the garden.

7) Create a simple container filled with a mix of white-flowering and silver/white foliage plants for a quick and easy White Garden. 

Easy care container plants  include Bacopa, Dusty Miller ‘Silversdust’, Petunias, Verbena, Impatiens, dicontra ‘Silver Bells’, Snapdragons, Begonias, Angelonia and Alyssum.

Spring blooming bulbs

Simple container filled with spring blooming white bulbs on display at the Keukenhof.


Japanese beetle control

White Geraniums are thought to help in Japanese beetle control. Photo courtesy of

As an added bonus, adding white to your garden doesn’t have to be an expensive undertaking. Easy-to-grow annuals like Sweet Alyssum, Dusty Miller, Stock, Cleome, Nicotiana and Petunias and can be grown from seed or picked up as inexpensive 6-packs.  White Geraniums are also rumored to help control Japanese beetle infestations.

Perennials garden plants like Volcano Phlox,  Baby’s Breath, Daisies, Astilbe, Delphinium, Dicentra (Bleeding Hearts) and Echinacea are all available in white, are easy to grow in most climates and come to size quickly.  Choose early, mid and late bloomers for a summer-long impact.  And don’t forget old-fashioned favorites like  white tulips, white roses and clematis.

For more ideas on creating a white garden, see Marie Iannotti’s article on Using White and Silver Flowers  and Foliage to Light Up a Shady Nook.

White garden plants

A peaceful sitting area filled with Flower Carpet White


, , ,

One Response to Simple Ways to Use White in The Garden

  1. Marilyn Bryan November 6, 2015 at 5:53 am #


Leave a Reply