Thursday, October 28, 2021

Planting a White Garden



Themed gardens are very popular these days. Zen, Butterfly, Herb… you get the idea. Adding a Zen garden to my yard seemed like a great idea. I found the perfect spot for my new garden – a small courtyard area comprised of three fenced-in sides. My Zen garden would have clean lines, well-thought-out plantings, and plenty of open space to relax and explore my inner thoughts.

A Zen garden would be a huge departure from the rest of my yard, which resembles a backyard wildlife habitat, as specified by the National Wildlife Federation – or in my mind, controlled chaos bordering on a code violation. Five hundred different species of plants, flowers, shrubs and trees make their home on my pie-shaped lot (no grass, of course) in a typical Naples community. So, wouldn’t the clean lines and tidy organization of a Zen garden perfectly complement the rest of my yard? I thought so, too. Unfortunately, I quickly came to the realization that I’m not a Zen-like person and certainly don’t live a Zen-like life.

The idea of a White garden came to me while watching the Weather Channel’s footage of another humungous snowstorm hitting those poor folks in the Northeast. A garden with all white flowers would be spectacular! There would be White Pentas, White Hibiscus, White Shrimp plants, Giant White Begonias, a beautiful White Mandnilla on a trellis. My White garden quickly began taking shape.

A Spanish Sword with its bell-shaped white flowers stands tall over my courtyard.  I planted a White Spirea just like we had up north, and it’s still blooming after two years. White flowering Arctic Snow, which is very slow growing and almost always blooming, was another great addition to my White garden. One of my best finds was White Candle (Whitfelida elongota), which blooms continuously in total shade! To achieve a dramatic walkway, I planted Pudica along the sides. The trellis in my garden looks awesome and resembles a work of art with Pudica trimmed over it. This winter, the crowning glory was my Florida Flame Vine with its bright orange flowers cascading down from a Queen palm in the middle of my new garden.

Searching for that perfect plant for your themed garden is half the fun. Two good choices for your new White garden are Sweet Almond and Alyssum, which are both extremely fragrant. A search of local nurseries came up with Frangipani (Pudica). It blooms most of the year and isn’t deciduous like other Frangipanis.  Of course, there’s always white impatiens … but only if you must. Remember, when planting a new garden, take your time.  You want to do it right the first time.

Take a walk through your White garden at dawn and dusk, and you’ll think FPL is behind all those spectacularly glowing white flowers.  And for a striking contrast to your White garden, consider planting a Chocolate garden nearby.

Additional white plants

  • White Plumbago (Scandens)
  • Fiddle wood (Citarexylum fruticosum)
  • Walter’s viburnum (Viburnum obovatum)
  • Scorpion Tail (Heliotropum angiospermum)
  • White Wild Sage (Lantana involucrate)
  • White Salvia (Coccinea spp.)
  • White Phlox (Phlox spp.)
  • White Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii spp.)
  • White Lantana (Lantana spp.)
  • Water Hayssop (Bacopa monnieri)
  • White Passion Vine (Passifloria spp.)
  • Snow Bush (Euphorbia leucocephala)
  • Bridal Wreath (Stephanotis floribunda)
  • Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides)
  • Plumeria (Plumeria stenopetala)
  • Natal Plum (Carissa macrocarpa)
  • Daisy Bush (Montanoa guatemalensis)



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