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A Whiter Shade of Pale

May 11, 2016

I have probably said it before but if I were starting again with a new garden I’d seriously consider choosing only white, palest yellow and green flowers. I realise this would deny the pleasure of intense purple and red roses and the shrill pink of Cistus ‘Sunset’ and many of the dark aquilegia all of which are about to burst into flower. But I love the calm of pale flowers especially these T.’ White Triumphator’ against the green of the parterre…

DSCN6527And the lilac is smothered in dozens of fat, scented white flowers having had a year off …

DSCN6512And planted underneath and blooming heartily is Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’ …


I picked several stems of each for the hall table…DSCN6517

Tellima grandiflora appears every Spring blooming at the same time as Spanish bluebells. It self-seeds into paving cracks and has a pale, calm presence in part-shade…


The shrill green flowers of Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii illuminate the garden at dusk…


And more calm  in the kitchen with a bunch of wild garlic flowers for the kitchen table…DSCN6524

8 Comments leave one →
  1. May 11, 2016 9:02 am

    What a beautiful celebration of the simple elegance of green and white. I agree, the combinations you favour are hard to beat and such a soothing palette too. (There are some fabulous green/white variegated grasses and grass like plants which would complement such plantings, I wonder if you have tried any of them?)

  2. May 11, 2016 9:09 am

    Thanks Kate. I had in the past Arundo donax with its white and green stripe which I loved but it only survived for a few years. Any suggestions for variegated grass that could mingle in herbaceous.borders both shade and full sun?

    • May 11, 2016 10:18 am

      I’d recommend Miscanthus sin. ‘Morning Light’; it is my favourite grass of all. It probably won’t flower for you but its form is fabulous.

  3. May 11, 2016 10:18 am

    you have a beautiful parterre and I love it with the white tulips; what are the lolly-pop type trees?

  4. May 11, 2016 10:19 am

    Thanks Christina -I shall look it up right now.

  5. May 11, 2016 10:27 am

    Those are actually beech hedges to walk through to the next ‘room’. The emerging floppy, green leaves are making them look rounded but they’ll be pruned to crisp, straight lines soon. And beyond them towards the house is a half-standard holly which is kept to a nice round form sitting over box balls..

  6. May 26, 2016 6:20 pm

    My greatest joy in the veg patch garden this spring has been an area that I planted with all white bulbs so I had a wave of white crocuses, followed by ruffled daffodils, then tulips and now tiny white alliums (with very scruffy foliage!). I’ve loved it all and am seriously pondering having mostly white planting in the new middle garden – foxgloves, orlaya or ammi, lupins – it would be so restful with the green foliage of the surrounding hedges! I love the look of your garden rooms – all that clipping must keep you busy!

  7. May 26, 2016 7:08 pm

    Yes the clipping is time consuming but hey it only takes a few hours twice a year and this year I’m waiting till Derby Day -traditional date for clipping box apparently. Cool creams and whites are very appealing but would need a very restraining hand at the garden centre. Greys with plums and purples also look good and your new area is perhaps big enough for a bit of both. Sounds like a very exciting challenge.

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