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White Flowers And Plants For Dull Areas In The Garden
by Jennifer Moore
by Jennifer Moore


Jennifer Moore is the owner and operator of Moore Landscaping based in Elora, Ontario. Jennifer is a talented writer and landscape designer providing unique landscaping services.

Her website can be reached here...

August 15, 1999

In last week's article, I described various plants available for gardens that have white blossoms or a white sheen to their leaf. The main advantage of having white flowers or plants with white on them, is they brighten up any spot. A dull and dark area of your property can be improved with the addition of white. In the evening hours, white takes on a luminescence and the planted area glows, all on it's own.

White flowers throughout the entire garden can also give a formal and pure look. Yet, at a closer glance, all white flowers have an underlying colour hue; mainly pink or blue. An entire white garden makes the visitor focus more on plant leaf textures and shapes, rather than the colours of the blossoms. The variety of leaves; waxy, fern-leaf, soft, hairy or coarse are focused upon, rather than different colours competing for attention.

The addition of one other colour planted as a focal point to draw the visitor's eye is another way to make the garden seem even more white. This can be achieved by planting an urn or pot in a vibrant purple, blue, red or yellow. The use of any pastel shades will only make it seem washed out, and to repeat this planted pot or urn, would only lessen the intensity of the white.

Here's are more perennial plants to consider for your garden:

Pearly Everlasting

As the name suggests, the flowers resemble a cluster of pearls with yellow centers, atop 24 inch tall stems. It can be used as a dried flower in cut arrangements, thus the reason for the second part of it's name "everlasting". The broad leaves have a silver, hairy-down on the surface, making the entire plant have a greyish tone. This plant blooms in late summer or early autumn and performs its best in well-drained soil and in full sun.


One of the most prized by many visitors in gardens, the showy blossoms grace any space. Worth growing are either the regular variety or Belladonna" variety. The regular varieties have a formal air about them, can reach 4-5 feet tall, have medium green, large leaves and tall spires of blooms. The "Belladonna" varieties are shorter, 2-3 feet tall, have dark green, finely cut leaves with branched spikes of flowers and are very airy looking. Both do well in full sun, well-drained, fertile soil. Once they have bloomed their first flush, cut off their stems and leaves to 6" from the ground and apply a light fertilizer application. This will encourage another flush of blooms to appear in the fall.


Also called "Digitalis", this plant can make a heart stop if eaten. Medium green, five lobed leaves are placed at the base of tall, densely packed spikes of tubular flowers. The flowers are either white or cream and can be pure in form as in the "Alba" variety, or with brown spots in the center, as in other varieties. The varieties available are best in full-sun and flower in late-June to late-July. The "Excelsior" mix reaches 5 feet in height while other varieties can grow up to 7 feet, therefore all are best planted at the back of the border.


Many daisy-like petals surround a lime-green center in this flower. It's blooms rise 2 - 2.5 feet over the rosette of thin leaves, at the base of the plant. It blooms over the course of 3-4 weeks when the spent blossoms are removed regularily and given adequate moisture in full sun.

Common Yarrow

This plant is commonly seen growing in ditches along roadsides. Only growing 1.5 feet tall, the finely cut grey-green leaves and compact flatten flowerheads make this a plant able to be planted near the front of the border. It requires full sun and well-drained soil, and stays in neat clumps where planted. This plant can be used as a dried flower for arrangements as well.


Also called "Meadow Rue", this plant has very delicate-looking foliage that resembles finely cut ferns. Long panicles of puffy blooms appear from late-May to mid-July. To plant only one of these would be worthless, as they are so airy-looking, they would only disappear. They are therefore best planted in large drifts in full- to part-sun.


Also known as "Bellflower", there are many different varities available. The short "White Chips" grows only 10 inches tall, has a mounded shape with pointed bells looking up into the sky, that rise just above finely toothed leaves. "Peach-leaved Bellfower" grows to 2.5 feet tall and unlike the name suggests, the leaves are green, short and straplike at the base of the plant. Both do very well in full sun or partial-shade in many different soil conditions.

I will wrap up this series focusing on white flowers for the garden in next week's article.


Powdery mildew is the growth of a grey mildew on plant leaves and stems. Chemical fungicides can be used, or try this homemade recipe: mix 1 Tbsp baking soda and 2 tsp. vegetable oil into one gallon of water. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and coat the plant on both the top and bottom of the leaves every 10-14 days, until the problems disappears.

Jennifer Moore

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