White gardens, also called moon gardens, are actually not all white as foliage contributes additional colors. Silver along with variegated green and white foliage are especially valued in white gardens. Another design factor to consider is that most white flowers are not pure white – they have very subtle shades of yellow, pink, green, or blue in the petals. Plus some white flowers age to an ugly, ‘dirty’ white – not a desirable quality!
When designing a white garden it is important to mix flower shapes and textures. For example, creating a composition of plants blooming concurrently might include fragrant white daylily ‘Sunday Gloves’; Calamintha nepeta (2021 Perennial of the Year, pictured – photo from Gardenia); Hydrangea p. ‘Bobo’; Achillea ‘Firefly Diamond’; and Echinacea ‘Fragrant Angel’.
Here is one of my client’s white garden. There were no plantings when I began designing the foundation bed. The client wanted a white garden and loved boxwood. She didn’t want a ‘busy’ looking garden. The planting is in its second year of growth. I took these pictures on June 25th. Plants include Hydrangea Incrediball, Iceberg roses, Japanese Maple Fireglow and two dwarf blue spruce (Sester Dwarf and Montgomery grown as a standard).